VGKD 2.0 is 2-0-0 with a pair of thrilling victories that went beyond regulation. Against Arizona, Vegas allowed just one goal and it came from an incredible shot by a defenseman who fooled Malcolm Subban by even shooting it in the first place.
The difference in how the Golden Knights now defend is only six periods old, but it sure looks like it is making a major difference… even if the head coach doesn’t want to admit.
What new system? -Gerard Gallant
Obviously, we’ll be keeping a close eye on it during this road trip against a trio of teams that play three majorly different styles. After two games though, one particular pro of the system has jumped off the ice, and that’s clearing rebounds.
Against the Coyotes, Vegas was terrific controlling second chance opportunities in the slot. No matter where the first shot came from, the Golden Knights had two or three bodies around the rebound and quickly removed the puck from danger before any Coyote could get a second look at net.
If there’s a shot from the outside we want to make sure there’s not a second shot, a second chance. We’ve always talked about it, even in the old system, winning those net-front battles and making sure we tie up sticks and keeping those chances to the outside so they don’t get two, three, or four whacks at it in front. -Nic Hague
According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Golden Knights allowed just four rebound chances the entire game against Arizona. Only one was a truly dangerous chance. It happened to come in the waning seconds of the game and could have been a disaster had it found its way past Subban, but all in all Vegas was excellent in finding loose pucks and sending them to safety.
Our team cleared them really well. That’s an important thing for us. Give up shots from the outside and then do what you can on the rebounds. -Malcolm Subban
Even though Gallant doesn’t want to make a big deal of the change, he was very complimentary of his team’s work in front of their own net.
I think anytime you can box guys out and keep them from second and third chances in front of your net, it is going to help your team win games. A lot of teams are going through stuff like that, and if you can keep them on the outside you have a better chance to win and keep the puck out of your net. -Gallant
Every Golden Knight I’ve talked to about the new system has mentioned that they expect it to get better and better as they get more games and more practices under their belt. Yesterday they had a full practice at the Prudential Center (where they are playing tomorrow) and Gallant specifically mentioned working on “d-zone coverages.”
The Golden Knights have stacked two wins in a row four times prior to these last two, but have gone 0-3-1 in their attempts to win a third straight. They’ll have that chance again tonight, and if VGKD 2.0 works as well at MSG as it did at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, they should be able to get it done.
I noticed at the Yotes game last Friday (and believe me, I had a wide view of all the action from the very back row of section 213) that we don’t win nearly enough faceoffs…my unofficial count helped by a fellow back row guy next to me was that we lost about 2/3rds of all of them…that is a problem at both ends of the ice
VGK won about 54% of the faceoffs against AZ, and Paul S was 72%
Finally a recognition of net front presence! Hope its both defense and offense. y’all got to get dirty!
Yeah, this new “Zone” style in the defensive end has made watching the game a little easier on the heart, as I am fearing less dirty goals getting in. The Arizona game really showed how well his style can be implemented against top teams. The story going into that game was that Arizona doesn’t allow goals, while they didn’t, neither did we. I’m a fan of the change and can see it leading to a string of W’s
McKenna is an absolute joke as a pregame talking head. His supposed analysis of the dzone system change was completely unrelated nonsense that explained nothing. Millard had to step in and explain that it was a man to man system that is now replaced with a zone system that leaves the dmen in front of the net, not chasing around.
Darren Eliot is competent, McKenna is NOT.