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Game 1 Allowed DeBoer To Balance Time On Ice, Setting VGK Up For The Future

When a team is in complete control of a game like the Golden Knights were Sunday, it allows a coach to balance his players’ minutes a bit more evenly.

It was a luxury coach Pete DeBoer was given when his team held a multiple-goal lead for most of Game 1. He wasn’t forced to utilize Theodore for 28 minutes like he had in the past with Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. DeBoer also balanced his forwards, using player’s like Ryan Reaves and William Carrier more than their season average. In fact, Reaves played the third-most minutes he had all season and hit the ice more than Max Pacioretty in Game 1.

Take a look at how DeBoer was able to roll his guys out in a dominant Game 1 compared to the rest of the playoffs and regular season.

Shea Theodore
Game 1: 19:40 TOI
Season Average: 22:14 TOI
Postseason Average: 22:57 TOI

Mark Stone
Game 1: 16:00 TOI
Season Average: 19:25 TOI
Postseason Average: 18:44 TOI

William Karlsson
Game 1: 16:21 TOI
Season Average: 18:52 TOI
Postseason Average: 19:13 TOI

Max Pacioretty
Game 1: 14:38 TOI
Season Average: 17:55 TOI
Postseason Average: 16:42 TOI

Ryan Reaves
Game 1: 14:50 TOI
Season Average: 10:09 TOI
Postseason Average: 10:04 TOI

Thanks to Antoine Roussel, Reaves was needed more than normal but it wasn’t just “to keep the flies off the honey.” Extra minutes for Reaves and Carrier equates to less postseason wear and tear on the top-six. Being that it was Game 1, DeBoer should have some well-rested stars for tonight’s matchup.

Going forward, if the Golden Knights and Canucks go deep in their second round series, or games go into overtime, DeBoer should have a bench full of fresh legs. Hopefully, the Golden Knights won’t be forced into a four or five overtime period game, but if they do, the advantage goes to the team that spread their minutes out in earlier games.

If the Golden Knights are able to perform as they did in Game 1, I’d expect DeBoer to deploy the same strategy again tonight. Any situation that has Vegas up by multiple goals, the bottom six, and the fourth line specifically, should see more ice time. But chances are the Canucks will permit that by sending Roussel on the ice to create his typical havoc.

Remember, Reilly Smith said this about Roussel and his antics.

So, I’m assuming if Roussel is out there mucking it up, DeBoer will be able to rest his stars again. If only Vancouver’s pest knew how to keep flies off the honey.


It Was Quite The Game 1, But It’s Still Just Game 1




  1. A VGK Fan


  2. Tim

    Thanks Ken. It’s time to give a little credit to the job Pete DeBoer has done. Since taking over the Knights and being put in a difficult position he has won more games then an other team. You may miss Gallant you may not like the Fleury situation you may not like he came from our mortal enemy but theirs no argument he’s done a great job. We all liked Gallant but would we be where were at with him at the helm no F-ing way. I heard on the radio that the team watched the show of Fleury together in a rec room and thought it was funny about the sword going through Fleury with DeBoer’s name on the sword. If true shame on all of you he’s playing the best people to win and all this crap Lehner was just brought in for a backup is bull-shit. He may have been but beat Fleury out when the camp opened before we picked up the season again. Was I a big Pete DeBoer lover when he first came no but I respect what he’s done and we should all be happy to have him. Gallant said he was a clown and some posters referred to that comment well if you can’t see what he’s done your the clown. Don’t you think Gallant is a little pissed he’s done so well who’s the clown now.

  3. DOC aPositiveFan

    #5 has fresh legs!!!!! 🙂 Go get’em tonight boys!!!!!!

    • Tim

      Doc your saying put D.E. in over Whitecloud ouch!!

      • DOC aPositiveFan

        Now seriously Tim ….. You think #5 is just going to trip over himself and cost us a game or something? And obviously the tone of my tweet was more light hearted than serious! GO #5 GO!!!!!!!!! 😉

  4. Mike StG

    Jason, good observations and nice read. 🙂

  5. Fortunately Jason you used the magic word “IF” they play like they did game one. Apparently they forgot how they played as they were out played this evening big time. Yes they had a few shots on goal but limited to no screening the goalie – except last one by Patch and our boy Smith screening. If the goalie sees it coming the probability of a stop is probably 90% or greater – this evening that doesn’t apply to Lehner as he was out of position more than in. Hopefully this was a wake-up call.

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