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Defense Slipping In Recent Weeks

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The hallmark of the Golden Knights under Bruce Cassidy is their ability to defend. It can mean different things on different nights but if we see the best version of Vegas hockey, rarely are pucks going in the net.

Recently, there has been some slippage in that category. Before we delve into though, it should be noted that it has not completely wrecked the Golden Knights’ results. Despite all of the stats about to be presented below, VGK remain above a point per game at eight points in their last seven games and have a +2 goal differential having scored a whopping 30 goals in the previous seven contests.

Offense has not been a problem, which substantially softens the blow at the other end. That being said, if the Golden Knights want to repeat as champions this season they are going to have to get much stingier in their own zone.

Since December 10th, Vegas has allowed 28 goals in seven games for an average of four goals a night. That’s the 3rd worst mark in the NHL behind two of the worst teams in the league Ottawa and Columbus.

A large part of the problem has come on the penalty kill where Vegas has dropped from 3rd place at 87.7% to 13th at 81.8%. In the past three games alone the Golden Knights have allowed seven power play goals to the Seantors, Hurricanes, and Lightning. They had allowed seven power play goals in the previous 20 games.

It hasn’t been all gravy at even strength either though. The 20 goals against in the previous seven games are tied for the 4th most in the league in that span and just one off the leaders. Vegas has been allowing about two more shots on goal per game and many are coming from the more dangerous areas of the ice.

Another place where we’ve seen a downtick is in blocked shots. Prior to December 12th, the Golden Knights were averaging 18.2 blocks per game, the 4th most in the NHL. Since, they’re down to 15.9, the 9th most. Blocking shots has become a huge part of the Golden Knights’ identity in the defensive end and the decrease in blocks has certainly played into the overall higher goal-scoring numbers.

All of this decline has happened due to a rash of injuries on the back end. Shea Theodore has missed each of the last 14 games, Alec Martinez was out for 12 straight, and let’s not even get started on what’s going on between the pipes.

There certainly are excuses, but there also has to be massive improvement if this team wants to get back on the track it was on from the All Star break last year until the end of the first month this season. It hasn’t always been this way in Las Vegas, but with Cassidy behind the bench, and the track record proven by the last 52 names engraved in the Stanley Cup, defense comes first, and Vegas’ defense hasn’t been up to snuff over the past month.

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12 Comments

  1. John W

    Well, now we know have to make it work with Hutton for the next 2.5 seasons.

  2. ThG

    well you all have been patiently waiting for the daily seasonal interlude,

    here it is !!!

    ENJOY.

    it’s blind blowing, it’s amazing ! It s
    it’s its
    s playlist of your favorite tunes, done by no other than: you know who !

    • ThG

      and some nifty lyrics to go along,

      O come, O come, Emmanuel,
      And ransom captive Israel,
      That mourns in lonely exile here,
      Until the Son of God appear.
      Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
      Shall come to thee, O Israel.

      O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
      Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
      From depths of hell Thy people save,
      And give them victory o’er the grave.
      Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
      Shall come to thee, O Israel.

      O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
      And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
      Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
      And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
      Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
      Shall come to thee, O Israel.

      O come, Thou Key of David, come
      And open wide our heav’nly home;
      Make safe the way that leads on high,
      And close the path to misery.
      Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
      Shall come to thee, O Israel.

      O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
      Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
      In ancient times didst give the law
      In cloud and majesty and awe.
      Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
      Shall come to thee, O Israel.

  3. knights fan in minny

    hill to ir

  4. Emmanuel

    Alex Pietrangelo looks as bad as ive ever seen him, still hes very good, maybe hes tired?

    • knights fan in minny

      he plays a lot of minutes i think one game this year he played 30 minutes

  5. ThG

    after splitting with bruins, vgk returns home to face the canes in game 1 of strat simulation.

    GOALS 1 2 3 OT F
    Carolina CAR 0 1 0 0 1
    Vegas VEG 2 1 0 0 3

    SHOTS 1 2 3 OT F
    Carolina CAR 11 11 13 0 35
    Vegas VEG 11 11 9 0 31

    S C O R I N G S U M M A R Y
    1. VEG. MARK STONE( JACK EICHEL, CHANDLER STEPHENSON ): 1st 10:05
    2. VEG. NICOLAS ROY( BRAYDEN McNABB, SHEA THEODORE ): 1st 14:04
    3. VEG. JACK EICHEL( REILLY SMITH, WILLIAM KARLSSON ) (PP) : 2nd 0:52
    4. CAR. SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE( JORDAN MARTINOOK, JORDAN STAAL ): 2nd 13:04

    P E N A L T I E S S U M M A R Y
    1. CAR. SEBASTIAN AHO – 2 Minutes: 1st 5:29
    2. CAR. BRENT BURNS – 2 Minutes: 2nd 0:27
    3. VEG. ALEX PIETRANGELO – 2 Minutes: 2nd 14:46
    4. CAR. BENCH PENALTY – 2 Minutes: 3rd 5:38
    EXTRA PENALTY SERVED BY MARTIN NECAS

    Goalie Stats For Carolina CAR
    GOALIE MIN SA GA ENG SV SV% AS PIM GR GRS REB #AC FAT
    FREDERIK ANDERSEN 60 31 3 0 28 0.903 0 0 6 3 0 105
    ANTTI RAANTA 0 0 0 0 0 —– 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Goalie Stats For Vegas VEG
    GOALIE MIN SA GA ENG SV SV% AS PIM GR GRS REB #AC FAT
    ADIN HILL 60 35 1 0 34 0.971 0 0 5 4 0 105
    LOGAN THOMPSON 0 0 0 0 0 —– 0 0 0 0 0 0

    POWER PLAY OPP GOALS
    Carolina CAR 1 0
    Vegas VEG 3 1

    STARS OF THE GAME
    1st star – ADIN HILL from Vegas
    2nd star – JACK EICHEL from Vegas
    3rd star – NICOLAS ROY from Vegas

    GAME STORY
    In a close game, Vegas topped Carolina by a final score of 3 to 1. ADIN
    HILL was outstanding in goal. He gave up just a lone goal while facing
    35 shots. Goals were registered by SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE for Carolina and
    JACK EICHEL, MARK STONE and NICOLAS ROY for Vegas.

  6. JB

    If we beat Florida Saturday, we can end on a high note!

  7. JB

    New extension for Hutty. Good for him!

  8. JB

    Game time growing closer. I don’t think the goalie is going to make a difference today. I would just throw in our 13 yr old backup in. What’s his name? Ha. (Ok, he has his drivers lisence, so maybe he is 16)!

  9. Ron

    I have idea and need to know who played defense on the last 2 games when goals were scored?

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