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Defense Slipping Majorly At Home

Brutally Honest Marchy might be my favorite Marchy. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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.


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  1. Bob

    I don’t know if I would say all three games were lazy. The first LA game was quitting in the last five mins and never picked it back up for whatever reason. Now lets go get em again.

  2. Brian

    Ken—-what’s the scope on Sbisa ? Re-injure the tendon finger?

    And what happened to Schmidt? I’ve played back the skirmish with Brown 15 times and can’t see anything obvious. Right shoulder from yanking his stick out of Brown’s grasp twice ??

    Defense is leaking, as you so perfectly point out with the stats. And where’s the “dog on bone” fore check from lines 2-4 ? No doubt down 6 starters is not helping. But it happens to EVERY team. Sucks it has happened to ours right now. Hate seeing them back of the Bolts by seven and the Pacific tightening up, but the Presidents Trophy is sort of like the participant trophy. Sure as shit I’d like nothing better than to see Pacific Division banner raised, but the banner—and trophy— we ALL want to see raised is much much bigger…… !!


  3. Slr1982

    I think the fact that the Knights have no history for us to look back on, we have come to expect the winning to be automatic. The bottom line is all teams go through ups and down. This is a Pro League and any night any team can beat the others. Example: last month the Sabres knocked off the Lightning (twice) and the Bruins (twice). We are missing key players. Teams are also figuring out how to slow us down and our shot are from the outside. We need to remember that this Team is still a work in progress and will go through growing pains. We as fan have to be patient, supportive and understanding. I agree that Marchessault’s perspective and statement shows that the Team is aware and will rally and right the Ship.

    • Brian

      Patient ? Yep. #cupin1
      Supportive ? You bet. #cupin1
      Understanding ? OF COURSE WE DO !! #cupin1

      Did I miss anything……. 🙂

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