Friday night the Golden Knights were without Nate Schmidt and Luca Sbisa. Shea Theodore returned to the lineup, but he had missed the previous six games. Those are facts, but those also could be viewed as excuses for a team that’s had players in and out of their blue line for the entire season. Only recently though have they seen their goal against average balloon, especially at home.
It looked like it made a huge difference tonight. Other guys get chances to play and they’ve dominated all year long. I’m disappointed with the way a lot of guys played tonight. We didn’t compete hard enough. -Gerard Gallant
That statement came after a game in which the Golden Knights allowed five goals to the Ottawa Senators, a team that averages just 2.75 goals a game and an embarrassing 2.18 goals per game on the road.
It’s just another example of the recent downturn defensively the Golden Knights have experienced in their own building.
- First 24 home games
- 2.21 Goals Against Average
- Allowed 3+ goals: 9 times
- 1 out of every 2.66 games
- Last 9 home games
- 3.00 Goals Against Average
- Allowed 3+ goals: 6 times
- 1 out of every 1.5 games
It’s become a real problem and it’s one that must be corrected soon as the “goals for” column tends to dry up a bit in the playoffs.
I think our game is just slipping a bit. We have to get back to the basics. -Shea Theodore
That includes assistance from the forwards to help get the puck cleanly out of the zone when the Golden Knights get it back.
Every time our D has the puck, everybody is swinging away. We need to give options to our D and help them out. At the end of the day it’s easy to blame the D for turning the puck over on the wall, but I mean if the forward is not there, it’s our fault, it’s not their fault. We’ve got good D, guys who play simple. If we don’t give them the easy pass, obviously there are going to be turnovers. We need to make it easy on ourselves. -Jonathan Marchessault
Missing James Neal, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Oscar Lindberg, and adding in a couple new faces in Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar might be a part of that problem, but from the sounds of it, it’s more than personnel.
It’s just the way we’re playing right now. We are lazy. We are a lazy team and we aren’t playing well. It’s just basic hockey, give options to the guy who has the puck, and we are not doing that. -Marchessault
It’s not all bad though, the last two times the Golden Knights have experienced a three-game losing streak, they’ve bounced back to win. Also, they are 4-2-0 in games directly following those in which they’ve conceded five or more times.
I hope I don’t have to say much before the next game. I hope our guys have enough character and enough pride. -Gallant
They better, or else angry Turk is going to be very angry this afternoon in New Jersey.