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Canadiens Say The Pressure Is On Vegas

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According to our friends at William Hill, the Golden Knights were heavy favorites to win their Semifinals series against the Canadiens. The odds have adjusted (-340) since Montreal picked up two victories in four games. However, most believe Vegas is the better team and should advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

**Don’t forget, you can get a free VGK jersey by signing up for a new William Hill account using promo code SINBIN100. Click here for full details!**

So as the series goes deeper, is pressure building for the Golden Knights?

You come into this series and obviously there’s a certain rhetoric of how the series is supposed to go. I’m not saying they bought into it or believed it, we definitely didn’t. There is a certain expectation on their side. The longer this series goes, the more pressure falls on them.-Brendan Gallagher, MTL forward

Gallagher brings up some valid points because let’s face it, there are hefty expectations from the Golden Knights organization. This is their third semifinal in four seasons and management has built an expensive, experienced club. And we can’t forget about The Creator’s “Cup in six” decree. So yeah, to say there are expectations in Vegas is putting it mildly.

The Golden Knights have performed well as a favorite and also a slight underdog. Maybe coach Pete DeBoer and captain Mark Stone felt they proved the hockey world wrong by cutting down Colorado in six, but in reality, it was cute rhetoric to stay positive. The semifinals against Montreal is completely different. Vegas might be the better overall team but being widely chosen to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals can add a layer of internal pressure. Pressure that only mounts when you consider how things ended last year.

It’s great that we tied the series, but at some point the big guys are going to kind of have to come out and step up here, including myself. I think it’s not good enough for the forward group that we have only three goals in four games. Obviously, we’re facing an unbelievable goalie, but that’s no excuse. It’s the same thing last year against Vancouver, Dallas. It’s the same thing, we’ve got to find a way and we don’t have any excuses, we need a solution ASAP, and we need to help our team wins some games here. -Jonathan Marchessault

The Canadiens have proven the doubters wrong but with three games left to decide a winner and two at T-Mobile Arena, the series is set up to favor the Golden Knights. Game 5 isn’t a must-win for Vegas but a loss on home ice would ramp up the pressure the Canadiens forward suggested.

We get more and more comfortable in these situations and we’re looking forward to it. We’ve shortened it to a best of three. We’ve gone into Vegas and we know what it’s going to be like, an electric atmosphere for sure. They definitely feed off their fans but now that we’ve experienced it we’re going to be more and more comfortable. -Gallagher, MTL forward

Of course, pressure and stress can build the deeper an elite team advances but it hasn’t overwhelmed the Golden Knights yet this postseason.

The Golden Knights came back against Minnesota in Game 3. Vegas beat the Wild in Game 7, started another comeback in Game 3 against Colorado. They beat the Avs in Game 4 to even the series and won Game 5 in OT on the road. All the pressure was on the Golden Knights in Game 4 in this series, and Gallagher knows how that one went.

Every crucial moment the Golden Knights needed focus and urgency they got it. Expect the same tonight.

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34 Comments

  1. Vic

    Who cares what Gallagher and the Habs think? Either team can win 2 of 3, and the odds are there for us to play around with. Remember we’re an expansion team and the Habs have been around for 100 years. One would think the senior players and VGK management have drilled in the importance of not thinking beating the Avs was the end all. Now let’s shut the Habs up by playing like Tampa did last night. That’s how teams win the cup.

    • Vic – the probability of vegas playing like tampa bay did last night is slim to none and slim left town. Nice thought but wishful thinking. Yes I know anything is possible but in this case highly unlikely. If they can score 4 and hold Montreal to 3 that’s all that’s necessary and that is a tall task for vegas given they can’t even score with the man advantage. We are all in love with our team but some of us are realist- not many but some. Don’t underestimate how dangerous Montreal is not because they are a better club but they appear to have a much stronger attitude about winning than Vegas has and that could be the difference. Listen to interviews from vegas they all say what’s missing play wise buy neglect the most important ingredient which only they individually can correct – money hasn’t purchased it. PDB hasn’t inspired it nor has anyone else. They need to clean up their thinking otherwise they will be on the golf course sooner than later. If you believe you can win you will it’s almost a certainty if you think you can’t you won’t- it’s all in the state of mind.

  2. Richard Santomauro

    These guys need to figure out how to break that MTL defense, that’s it in a nut shell.

    What worked against the AVS, a much smaller although faster D won’t work against the bigger D men and the TRAP they are setting at their blue line. The forwards aren’t going to muscle their way past Montreal into the O zone. They’re going to have to cross ice pass to get there. It’s a mobile trap that needs to be tricked into one side or the other with a scheme to get the puck cross ice to players that are more open.

    Once MTL’s D is set in position it gets even worse as they stack up their D zone strategy closer in to the goalie to block shots. Here too, cross ice passing setups need to be open and accurate with one-timers. Or, crash the net and create chaotic rebounds like the one Roy scored on in game 4 to end it.

    Screens and shots from the point are just simply luck with the hope that a rebound will kick loose. They’re not high percentage in this series.

    Prediction?

    VGK will win tonight because they have to. The pressure of returning to MTL for an elimination game is simply to great and should create some needed motivation and desperation. We’ve seen VGK turn on the jets when they are down in the 3rd period. That desperation needs to be driving them from the puck drop in period 1 and through the entire game.

    You saw this with the Lightning yesterday. An all out massive blitz against the NYI for a full 60 minutes and an 8-0 thrashing. This is what VGK is capable of.

    The question is whether or not they can do it.

    I think they can.

    • Howard

      Holy Hell – the answer against a trapping slow dcore to start is CROSS ICE PASSING! I mean, this isn’t hard, just have to watch for F1, F2 help. Get em up ice.

      Sadly, Deboer coached teams have historically struggled against teams that did this against him, like Kings, Pens.

      Every team employs certain traps, and it’s up to coaches and player to have the knowledge and skill to beat it. Tampa had both last night. We will see if Chandler makes the difference along with PDB finally understanding how to coach against it.

    • Howard

      Richard Santomauro – Correct, but PDB coached teams have yet to figure this out since 2012 🙁

  3. dc

    anything can happen game to game, it’s the playoffs. the team that makes the best adjustments likely wins unless a goalie gets hot

  4. THE hockey GOD

    SinBin.vegas
    @SinBinVegas
    ·
    1h
    Marc-Andre Fleury is the first goalie off the ice at morning skate.

    PS ( the AVS and WILD said the same thing, nothing new here)

  5. THE hockey GOD

    WAIT A MINUTE

    breaking updates

    Robin Lehner

    @RobinLehner
    ·
    34m
    Replying to
    @emilymkaplan
    I told Logan to go off first:)
    (if this team isn’t loose, I don’t know what loose is !)

    Jesse Granger
    @JesseGranger_
    Logan Thompson is the first goalie off the ice.

    (Fleury and Lehner are both still out here, wait a second to figure out who’s starting)

    Jesse Granger
    @JesseGranger_
    ·
    1h
    Chandler Stephenson is on the ice for morning skate.

  6. THE hockey GOD

    boo hoo hoo hoo hoo

    @JesseGranger_
    ·
    1h
    Pete DeBoer says he thinks the officiating narrative is overblown.

    “In the regular season we were one of the least penalized teams and they were one of the most penalized teams.”

    like i said earlier non calls by refs help HABS, by long shot.

    • Daryl

      Like that punch to the face by McNabb??? Officiating has been bad, but it’s been equally bad for both teams. I’ve seen plenty of obvious calls that could have been called against both teams

      • Richard Santomauro

        If the Refs called every infraction I have seen these games would be four hours long and all be played 4 on 4 or on the PK.

        Nosek boarded Weber but after being cross checked numerous times. Then in retaliation Weber punched Nosek square in the back of the head with the Refs looking right at it.

        Looks to me like the Refs are leaning toward letting them play unless it is a clear intent to injure or impacts a scoring chance. How they missed the high stick by Marchy? I have no idea at all.

        Bottom line here is that MTL has been lucky enough to win 2 games, one of those on a complete fluke gift.

        All that said, tonight should be the point that VGK puts MTL down.

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    JUST WIN TINIGHT!
    (that’s all)

  8. Daryl

    I don’t have a problem with the comment about the pressure is on the Knights. It’s true…. VGK is the favored team and many, like myself, felt VGK would win this series in 5 or 6 games. There is nothing wrong with his statement. VGK has superior goaltending, defenseman, and players in general.

  9. Julie

    Ok, listen up peeps! Here’s how it’s going down tonight. We are going to see the forwards step up, like one giant leap forward for mankind. They heard what happened to New York last night, been through that already, need a kick in the pants and knowing they can send the Canadians home to the moose and squirrel, it’s coming tonight. Several VGK forwards have been skating on thin ice in terms of performance and it’s time to blow that up. So they are going to come out, sticks blazing, hitting, controlling the puck and Price will wish Allen was out there.
    Anyone with an issue with this post, please document all grievances on tp and send to:

    Vegas Front Office
    c/o McBros
    Las Vegas Boulevard
    Find Another Team, USA

    Because it is they who know best how to bleed the joy out this team.

  10. Richard Santomauro

    – Fluery back in net?
    – Stephenson back in?

    • Julie

      It was interesting how practically every announcer last night praised Lehner’s performance but when they dissected who should play tonight, it was Fleury. I hope Stephenson is back 100%. They need all cylinders all game long.

  11. !Tim

    A suggestion hire the Tampa Bay Power Play coach in the playoffs were 4 – 39. Big swing game tonight hope were up to it.

    • Howard

      Tim, try this – GET THE TALENT TAMPA HAS!

      It’s a gross mismatch Tampa playing everyone. Their 4th line would be our 2nd line and most team’s first line. Let’s be real here, Tampa has the most talent, but that doesn’t mean per se they’ll win The Cup (AGAIN).

  12. Howard

    As I suspected, PDB so far after one period, did not make the correct adjustment. Team is still trying to carry puck into Habs rotating trap instead of tic-tac-toe = cross ice to cross ice passing is how you beat a slower dcore and forwards who aren’t great side to side.

    PDB did not make the adjustments in 2012 and 2016, which is why he has never won a cup, and is not likely to. His teams will always be competitive, but will not win Cups when other teams that make it this far know how to rotate traps and stack 5.

    • Richard Santomauro

      Once again, Stone gets stuffed right at the Blue Line turns it over and they score.

      This is getting very very old.

    • Daryl

      Does he ever really make adjustments? I’ve seen him switch out line mates but that isn’t really making adjustments

  13. Howard

    And no point in beating The Lehner horse. MAF gave up a goal because he overplayed the save and was way out position on rebound. Lehner is better suited for this series, but management makes the decisions, I don’t.

    • Richard Santomauro

      Game 6 will be an elimination game.

      Knights came out absolutely 100% clueless and unprepared tonight.

    • Richard Santomauro

      Knights are like, well Stephenson is back and now we will win.

      What an awful showing on home ice. Those 18,000 fans should ask for a refund.

    • Frank

      Hey buddy. Get in the net and “overplay” a save. I am a goalie. I play. Granted not as good as Fleury or Lehner. That first save on the breakaway you allude to was great. The defense needs to bail him out on the rebound off that. Goaltending 101. Make the great save on the breakaway. Hopefully your dmen should bail you out on any rebound. The second chance on that is NOT the goalies obligation. Holden needs to bust his ass back to clear that rebound. PERIOD. We lost this game because Montreal out played us… As a team. That is all

      • Richard Santomauro

        Totally agree. Holden was lollygagging and being a spectator. Once he realized that the rebound was in danger it was already too late, he had already given up on the play. Why? Who the hell knows. Holden not following up on that play was JUST AS BAD AS THE FLEURY BUCKNER MISTAKE IN GAME 4.

        • Frank

          Yep. Exactly. Agreed. A lot of folks like to blame the goalie… And sometimes deservedly so. I play the position, so I know how it can be. You let in a bad goal, and you feel like shit… Like you’ve let your team down. None of the three Montreal goals on Fleury tonight were bad goals… At all. They were all over us like white on rice and our defense was not good, not to mention not scoring on our PP and taking untimely penalties. Team loss. They were better than us tonight. Period.

      • Daryl

        Yeah, not sure what Holden was doing…. he was out for a Sunday drive it looked like. He didn’t seem to really hustle back. We were lucky the game wasn’t as bad as the TB game thanks to all our turnovers. MAF made some great saves time and again just to keep us in the game.

        On a side note, who needs a good PP? They are overrated!!!

        • Frank

          We need a powerplay goal. We don’t need to be great… We just need a freeeeeekin goal. Start to build some sort of confidence.

  14. Richard Santomauro

    You have to credit Montreal.

    They are executing their game plan to perfection and are exposing the Knights weakness.

    They are susceptible to pressure and here in game 5 they have completely collapsed.

    At this point who will score more goals in game 5, Tampa Bay or Montreal?

  15. Richard Santomauro

    Well, the Knights caved to the pressure so far.

    After watching Tampa destroy NY last night, I have to say that Montreal is much better suited to play them in the Finals than we are.

    We obviously cannot handle their pressure, the trap and our forwards are too small to do any scoring.

    Our power play is completely lost and PDB hasn’t adapted to anything Montreal is doing at all. They keep trying to skate into the teeth of the defense.

    I am absolutely disgusted with this coaching as well as the effort.

  16. Richard Santomauro

    An utter and complete team loss. Pin this one on Coach Deboer and the inability to adapt to Montreal’s strategy of traps and pressure. VGK finally began to solve the pressure and traps in the 3rd period through smart cross ice passing and passing the puck back to relieve pressure. Too little and way too late of an adjustment.

    There was no attempt to adapt at all in periods 1 and 2 even though it has been fairly obvious what Montreal’s strategy has been since game 1.

    So far, the story of this series is VGK’s complete and utter lack of a power play, Fleury’s Buckner moment and the inability by PDB to adapt.

    If things don’t change in game 6 Montreal will eliminate our Golden Knights on their home ice. It’s already embarrassing that Montreal has beaten us 2 out of 3 on our own home ice.

    Tens of millions of dollars spent to bring in high caliber scoring on that top line and this is all they have? This team is nothing like the Misfits of Season 1. That team played 60 minutes of high speed tilt the ice hockey the entire season under Gerard Gallant. I don’t see the same spirit in this team. That team was about proving something. The current edition doesn’t have the same heart.

    I will have a lot more to say if the Knights fail to advance to Final, especially if they go quietly into the night in game 6.

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