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Block Party! Golden Knights Blocked Their Way To The Semi-Final

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have battled and bruised their way through 13 tough games this postseason and with two series under their belt and another a few days away, Vegas seem to have found a simple yet painful approach to beating their opponents. Blocking shots.

We presented the numbers after Game 2 against Colorado and the trend continued throughout the six-game series. The Golden Knights have become a shot-blocking brigade. After last night, the Golden Knights are 7-1 in the postseason when they block 18 or more per game. In their Game 6 clincher, VGK blocked 34 shot attempts from Colorado. We can only imagine the extra-long ice bath Alec Martinez needed after the 6-3 victory.

Playoff Blocked Shots By The Numbers

VGK 249 Total Blocked Shots (1st)
VGK 19.00 Blocked Shots Per 60 (2nd)
Alec Martinez 52 Blocked Shots (1st)
Alex Pietrangelo 36 Blocked Shots (2nd)
Zach Whitecloud 30 Blocked Shots (4th)

When Pete DeBoer took over as the Golden Knights coach he stated shot blocking would be a heavy factor in how the team defended and it was non-negotiable. Well, the coach wasn’t kidding. His players lead all playoff teams with 249 total blocked shots and have 47 more than the NY Islanders who are next with 198 blocked shots. Painful as it is, game after game the Golden Knights have sacrificed their bodies to frustrate snipers like Nathan MacKinnon.

Vegas’ next opponent the Montreal Canadiens will most likely fall victim to clogged shooting lanes and dud shot attempts as well. After two rounds the Canadiens opponents averaged 15 blocked shots per game. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets blocked a total of 170 shots in 11 games against the North Division champion. Vegas should be able to match if not exceed the average amount Montreal has faced all postseason.

The Golden Knights will need to be aware of facing shot-blockers like themselves. Defensemen Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmunson, and Jeff Petry log heavy minutes and average four or more blocked shots per game. It’s not in Martinez’s neighborhood but the Canadiens have guys that are willing to throw themselves into a hard slap shot as well.

Shot blocking isn’t the sole reason the Golden Knights have advanced to the semifinals but it’s been effective. If Vegas continues to frustrate sharpshooters and defensive weapons on the blueline they should be to limit Montreal’s offense, like they did to Colorado. Facing a goaltender like Carey Price, goals will likely be tough to come by. Relying on basic, fearless hockey could be the difference for Vegas in the penultimate series.

Just think, Martinez has 50 or so shots left to block before he can hoist the Cup. Luckily he’ll have plenty of time for his puck-sized bruises to heal in the offseason.

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29 Comments

  1. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Nice job Jason!

    Now, former members of the negativity cult, will come out of the woodwork, jumping on the Knights raft (bandwagon). So funny.

    • knights fan in minny

      tell the cult criers we dont need them

    • DOC – just for the record being objective about things isn’t negativity. Check a dictionary for the definition of both and you may feel differently.

      No response necessary or needed. It was a tuff series the better team prevailed. Great win. That’s objective .

      • DOC (Go Knights Go)

        PLEASE! Don’t lecture me. We all know what is said here.

        • knights fan in minny

          stick to your guns doc a cup victory parade on the strip would be fantastic

          • DOC (Go Knights Go)

            Oh I will “fan”. It’s easy to defend against “brave” internet BS!

            Anyway, YES I hope we get that parade. It will be a great payoff to the boys and the fans that really back them!

        • Amazing you don’t mind calling people out you know nothing about but consider it a lecture when corrected. Seems you can dish it out but sure can’t take it in return. You can be a loyal fan and still be objective about things that is not negativity.

    • Blitz

      It’s interesting that you always call out others for being negative, but in my short time (last half of this 1/2 season) coming to sinbin I find your post the most negative. 95% of the time your post have zero substance and always end with you saying negative stuff about other posters. Where as the other posters post interesting stuff, analysis, opinions, different takes, etc. I appreciate most of them even if i don’t agree or maybe they are just blowing off some frustration. I have learned alot about the strategy and different takes on various situations that maybe I didn’t know, notice, or think about. If the team or a player shits the bed it is ok to say it. If they kicked ass, it is ok to say that too.

      Back to you Doc. Your post mainly provide nothing to the community. One or two lines of VGK or sinbin praise. Then you always go to “everyone else is negative and I am so positive”. Honestly, who gives a shit.

      • DOC (Go Knights Go)

        Eacatly pal. WHO gives a shit about you. Just another now trying to cover up all the bullshit they have said. It’s typical.

      • DOC (Go Knights Go)

        Further. In my two years on here, I’ve seen your type come and go.

        Crawl back under the rock you came out from a couple months go

        You haven’ got anything to contribute. You bore me. Bye bye!

        • Blitz

          What bullshit am I trying to cover up? That doesn’t even make sense. Jesus, people have had to deal with your “I’m so positive, you’re so negative, oakely dokely” posts for two years?

  2. Our deflections of shots was also exceptional last night. Are there stats for deflections in addition to blocks?

    • Any attempted shot that hits off a player or a player’s stick and subsequently does not make it to the goalie is considered a blocked shot. So if I understand you correctly, the ones you are talking about are included.

  3. THE hockey GOD

    A NEW MAGIC SHOW on the STRIP in VEGAS !?! Revision 1

    by the HockeY God (the hockey ‘guy’ was already taken)

    Millions of visitors come to the Strip every year. Tens of thousands go to a myriad of magic shows to see Penn n Teller, Copperfield, Mindfreak, Burton, Shin Lim, the likes of Houdini and Blackstone and Doug Henning. But last night we were treated to a gigantic show of shows. Some same the likes of which have never been seen ! And not in venue of some dark, dank, smokey theater where you can’t see the behind and below stage mechanics, nor the props of disappearing ladies, or assistants seemingly cut in half disappearing behind smoke and well placed mirrors, blinded by flashing lights.

    NAY NAY NAY say I (shout out to great John Pinette-RIP).

    Last night’s venue a fully lighted stage, in form of a slick fast ice hockey rink! Viewed by tens of thousands and broadcast live to millions. And our performers have names and wear numbers on their backs so you can not confuse them. Smith, Stone (not Blackstone), Max Patches, the Chief, the Flower, JM, the Fourth Line, et al. Add to that an opposing team hellbent to stay alive, playing with reckless abandon . A roster filled with high round draft picks, skating with skill and velocity faster than light speed. Not to mention a top notch goalie between the pipes. There’s more , tilt the ice to one end with wave after wave of attacks on the defense sort of like that table top game but without that spot where the slot- hinged little metal players can’t get to the puck.

    The principle mainly involves that simple concept of keeping your eye on the moving object. Which in this case is that shiny little black thing called the puck. Most of what we saw last night was much like that shell game. Every one knows it, three shells, move the pea around, and guess which shell it’s under. Only in this game our pea is the puck.

    Our first performance of the night goes to no. 19, the DUKE OF JUKE. Up along the boards in the o zone this guy plies his well honed skills , not an amateur move by any means. He jukes his head towards the red line, but alas the puck doesn’t go there. It ends up on the stick of 22 at the blue who deftly directs the flying object towards the net. Meanwhile the illusion is complete. Tens of thousands are fooled including the opposing team’s goalie and the puck shows up in the net ! This was no power hockey move, this was a trick right out of Felix’s magic bag.

    Next up you have the flare for the dramatic, the chief performer plays the goat. Flings the puck into the crowd, showing all that this thing is no illusion, but the real thing. Violating the no. 1 rule in game of trickery and tomfoolery. Which is never let the the audience touch your main prop! But then the dramatics come later.

    When ?

    Enter the masters of misdirection, not once but twice ! First off we have no. 23 with his no look pass, and head fake towards opposing goalie, to no. 71 who pockets that elusive puck into the back of the net. Then his partner in crime going the other way, no. 89 plays back board banko to no. 7 who again flips that elusive puck for what ended up being the game winner into top of the net. Making up for his goat play completing the drama. So the uproar of the crowd sees right through the irony ! Goat to hero, zero to hero. What ethos, Aristotle couldn’t write a better script.

    But there’s more. Let’s not forget the fourth line playing their game of Panchinko. Set up not once but twice. First by the deception of no. 27 and then by that zero to hero no.7, this is not misdirection, this is shear ACTS of STRENGTHS and deception. Not seen since the likes of FEATS of STrength in George Costanza’s living room during Festivus (for the rest of us). Strength you say ? Yes the power shot from the point. And more strength from 55 and 28 to gain position. Then there is misdirection. This is clearly the main point of anyone watching FOOL ME , or is it FOOL US. Penn, or is it Teller, one talks , one doesn’t. Always getting them missed up. His favorite point is “your misdirection didn’t fool us”. Well this display of misdirection was pure PANCHINKO. Bingo, bango, bango, ping pang pong ! FOOLED. Two goals.

    Last but not least we have the THIEF of the NIGHT , and his supporting cast , the D men. One of which is known as the CHIEF. The Thief is AKA as the FLOWER. The top performer, the coup de grace, the cake and the ICING on the cake. Another master of illusion. It takes a great artist a master, well honed in his craft. His specialty, along with is crew. Taking away TIME AND SPACE. Do do do doo. Twilight zone stuff. Stealing the puck nearly every time with save after save after save. Now you see it now you don’t. What do you see? Well that easy. An opposing team member with a high quality sure score, back in the net with the puck. Then his cohorts come in. No. 2 goes down, covers the bottom of ice. No. 3 back ups the net , a whole score of defenders come down. The shots are blocked or deflected. The magic opportunity is gone is FLASH.

    We are not seeing hockey players, we are seeing FOOLERS, MASTERS of MISDIRECTION and ILLUSION, pick pockets, thieves, scoundrels. Certainly this was not a display of your normal brand of power hockey and sharp shooters. And their leader , the master mind behind all of this all of this is no more then a meek, slender, wily, mask wearing man, his push button control station, and deep pocketed magic bags of tricks.

    Next up, the team of hockey lore, the once great dynasty filled with the many legends the likes which the “game’ will never ever see again. Half way there, and the bottom half is always the toughest half.

    – THG

  4. THE hockey GOD

    nice write up boys !

    I added deflections to magic bag of tricks employed.

  5. A VGK FAN

    I’m still waiting on ken to admit he was wrong about his articles stating we should trade fleury and “lehner is the future.” WHERE’S MY APOLOGY KEN!?

    • THE hockey GOD

      i liked how both no. 7 and on 29 stood up for Walanda in post game interviews. ( i wouldn’t be surprised if push button Pete puts him in for game no. 2, depending on outcome of game 1, but what do I know ?)

      • Michael Bongard

        I think if PDB gives Fleury a break, it would be game 3. Let Fleury play on home ice where the crowd gets him and the team pumped up. If there are no fans in the Bell center, the team may have to adjust to little to no fans in the stands, and game 3 might be the time to give Fleury a break.

  6. Tim

    Fun series coming up say what you want but both the Wild and Avalanche series were stressful. I’m so calm now it’s unbelievable knowing we got the monkey off our back in the Wild series and then beat a great team like the Avalanche. If you match us up man for man with Montreal it’s a no contest they do have the X-Factor in Carey Price who is very good but beatable. When there young forwards come to the Fortress and see and hear over 18,000 raving maniacs there going to shit in there pants. I’m just hoping the Islanders beat Tampa because they’ve got a lot of fire power where New York is more defense.

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    UPDATE!

    On top of the great game from last knight. Here’s some more good news.

    I mentioned plans for a new site earlier and I’m told things are progressing. We already have quite a following for this on twitter, I’m told.

    So keep the faith and the hope all you REAL & positive Knight fans. The day will come when you will have a place to go to and share your thoughts about our team …. without having to wade through endless paragraphs of nonsense or hot air,

    You won’t be intimidated or bullied. No political or racists’ posts. Just an enjoyable place to follow the boys and enjoy our hockey here!

    So right now, lets just get ready for what could be a monumental climax to the season. One, most of US have been saying all season, could happen.

  8. Pistol Pete

    Petro playoffs:

    8 pts/13 games +5

    (MIN 3 pts/7 games +3)
    (COL 5 pts/6 games +2)

    He really turned it up beginning COL game 3 (5 pts/4 games +5).

    Seems Petro is able to ramp things up at crunch time, what he’s paid to do.

  9. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    I said back in April that “maybe” we would get the Petro, that all the league said was a top 5 in the NHL, IN the playoffs!

    WE HAVE!

  10. Mike StG

    Very interesting piece in the Athletic by Arpon Basu about how the current Habs team was essentially patterned by Bergy after 2017-18 VGK. Probably explains in part why our record against them the last 2 years is 0-1-3. Their roster is very similarly constructed and they play in 5-man units like Vegas. They should not be taken lightly as an opponent, and analytics show them to be one of the best 5v5 teams in the league.

  11. Howard

    Habs are A LOT tougher than most think. They play a similar game to how Dallas played last year but they aren’t as fast. Habs grind play, so this series will look much different than AVS series did.

    They’ll clog up the middle and stack 5 to try to force VGK outside the dots, something AVS should learn from. I think we will win this one, but it might go the full 7.

    The key for us to win this series is to NOT take too many blue line one timers as we did against Dallas last year. Price won’t allow those goals in, so I hope we don’t hear “how great he is” if we have problems scoring that way on him.

    HABS DMEN are bigger than AVS, so will be harder to get more established net presence. Petro I think will be the difference in this one as HABS more suited opponent that should bring out a more offensive advantaged Petro who should be looking to pinch in a lot more on the cycle against Habs.

    Habs will have a hard time scoring on us, and we will have a hard time scoring on them, so expect goal totals betting line to be low and most of the game will likely see the under come in.

    I don’t expect VGK to get a lot of odd man rushes here as Habs play a style as I said, like Dallas last year. Their Dcore is better (defensive minded, less turnovers) than AVS overall which actually gives them a much better chance in this series than oddsmakers are giving them.

  12. Howard- exactly – hopefully your post will help many readers on this site to come out of the ether and realize this series isn’t going to be a walk in the part. It won’t be surprising to see it go 7. Obviously not what anyone would want as that becomes areal grind when essentially going coast to coast. This is not being negative this is objective and anyone who truly understands the game of hockey realizes the difference. There is a huge difference between a hockey fan and a VGK fan who truly appreciates the game. And yes you can be both but not blinded to the point where all is wonderful in vegas land.

    • Should read ” there is a huge difference in a hockey fan who truly appreciates the game. Yes you can be both but not blinded to the point that all is perfect in wonderful fantasy land Vegas. Ken understands that for sure as .any of his article point to issues and cause an uproar.

  13. Jon

    Hilarious when people think “this could go 7!” Yeah and I might learn to fly tomorrow but probably not. VGK I in 4 or 5, and every game will be close on the scoreboard just like the Kings series. But Montreal is far, far below VGK in talent. THAT is an objective analysis. One team was the best in hockey almost all year, the other didn’t deserve to make the playoffs but in a 7 team division, a losing team makes it anyway.

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