Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Golden Knights’ Focus On Limiting Odd-Man Rushes Is Paying Off Early

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights’ most dangerous weapon offensively for pretty much the entirety of their existence has been dominance off the rush. When teams allow Vegas to get odd-man rushes, the Golden Knights tend to make them pay.

This year, especially against Los Angeles, Seattle, and Winnipeg, those chances have been plentiful and it’s a huge reason why the Golden Knights sit at 4-1-0 and in 1st in the NHL.

However, even more impressive has been their ability to limit them going the other way. With Bruce Cassidy at the helm, Vegas saw four new forward line combinations, a switch in neutral zone system, and a different plan in the defensive zone as well. Through all of the change, they’ve allowed hardly any 2-on-1 or breakaway chances through five games.

What we wanted to execute was fewer and fewer Grade A chances off the rush. That was brought to my attention this summer so we’ve put some things in place and the players have bought in and believe in it as well. -Bruce Cassidy

The NHL doesn’t publicly offer statistics on odd-man rushes, but having watched every game live and rewatched them all a second or third time, I can confidently say Vegas has allowed fewer than 10 odd-man rushes on the young season. It’s a big reason why the goaltenders have gotten off to a hot start and it’s been crucial in why they haven’t conceded more than three goals in any game this year.

Right now we’re just making really smart reads and playing smart hockey, especially in the O-zone. -Brayden McNabb

Game state is often a major catalyst in teams allowing these types of dangerous chances. The moment a team falls behind, the numbers tend to increase. So far, the Golden Knights have barely trailed at all. They scored early and often on Seattle and Winnipeg, shutout the Blackhawks, and had a multi-goal lead on Calgary.

This has empowered them to stay patient in the offensive zone which allowed them to consistently have the proper setup in the neutral zone as the other team starts their rush.

We’re a 1-2-2 team so we have our layers and we are asking our D to receive the rush at the blue line. If you can laterally move and kill (the rush) great, but if not, let the forwards track without giving up numbers. -Cassidy

The neutral zone is set up well. We’re being smart in the o-zone, we’re activating when we need to and we’re not taking any big risks. It’s been good so far and we need to keep it going tomorrow. -McNabb

There are two stiff tests coming up to keep this habit alive. Both the Avalanche and The Maple Leafs are fast skilled teams that are deadly on the rush. The Golden Knights have made it a priority so far, and they have to keep it up over the next 120 minutes.

That was certainly a plan in place from Day 1 to be more responsible in that regard. When our D would challenge rushes, when they wouldn’t. We certainly still want to pinch at the right times to keep plays alive and ask our forwards to reload. -Cassidy

It was an issue last year and Cassidy and the Golden Knights appear to have recognized it and corrected it. If they can continue limiting odd-man rushes throughout the course of the season as they have through five games, they’ll already have one foot in the playoffs.


Golden Knights Adopting Cassidy’s Patented Early Season Success




  1. Bobby

    VGK plays defense, they win. VGK has level-headed goalies without issues, they win. Honest, hard working coach who speaks without double talk, they win. Life is good.

    • Pistol Pete

      Good defense including by Eichel and the scoring will come including Eichel (of course). All the McDavids and Draisaitls in the world are no where near enough without the right defensive structure.

    • THE hockey GOD

      “VGK has level-headed goalies without issues,” you mean like them posting cartoons of back stabbing the coach?

      “they win” , so they “won” 4 1/2 of past 5 seasons.

      Got it.

      “double talk” When did GG and PDB use the old double talk ?

      “put your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand”
      “doyousweartotellthetruthand whole truthand nothing but the
      Curly: “Not if I can help it” TAKE OFF YOUR HAT
      “doyousweartotelltheruthandwholetruthand nothingbut the truth?”
      Curly “you giving me the ole double talk?

      so many misguided and misinformed people in the world, sigh.

      • Lemon Glaze

        Wow, sounds like THG on line meds failed to show up this week. What a nut case!

  2. Pistol Pete

    Good analysis.

    The time Cassidy has spent sitting down with management, the coaching staff and the players as soon as he arrived here early in the off-season to figure what has to be done to improve play is paying off so far.

    • TS

      Pp, I see Cassidy as the “Analysis Coach”, and I saw Deboer as the ” Paralysis Coach”. Cassidy is going to be a good fit for us!

  3. Jailbird

    Go get those AVs tonight!

  4. Sorvino

    Dallas Stars fans are probably saying, “ I see DeBoer as the “Analysis Coach”, and I saw Bowness as the ” Paralysis Coach”. DeBoer is going to be a good fit for us!

    DeBoer’s Dallas Stars power play currently ranked 9th best in the league. Dallas penalty kill currently ranked 8th best in the league.

    Cassidy’s Vegas power play currently ranked 20th in the league. Vegas penalty kill currently ranked 17th in the league.

    I like Bruce Cassidy and maybe he will prove to be the right guy at the right time but let’s not pretend that DeBoer ruined this team or did a terrible job last year. The extent of injuries to their best players were ridiculous and may never happen again.

    • Sorvino, what I saw in the Pdb years in Vegas was his unwillingness to try new/ different things to right a rocky ship. Like when his set plays were intercepted over and over; when our PP was rarely changed up, even when it sucked; When games would go south on us, Pdb rarely called a TO to regroup. He’d just STAND there, doing nothing, as time ticked down and the game was slipping away…just my opinion…

  5. Mike StG

    Absolutely love Cassidy. Hang on every word of his post game and post practice interviews. VGK may not have all the tools they need to win the cup, but he will get the most out of what he has to work with. And that is good enough for me.

    I’ll be in San Jose on business Tuesday and going to the VGK game there. Amazingly cheap tix. I’m in Row 9 directly behind the Vegas bench with Club Room benefits – $120/per. At TMA I’d be upper level on the drum corps end for that price. 🙂

  6. Vic

    Good early season analysis by Ken. The AVs are certainly not the same team today with players gone, injuries and average goaltending. Focus on stopping the 3 or 4 key players and they are beatable as Seattle proved. If only the VGK can stay healthy, play smart and hit the net, then good things will happen in this division. Playing smart versus the AVs is key considering they are 1st on the PP and last on the PK.

  7. TS

    I don’t think it’s very nice at all to call some of our players “odd”. Seems mean

  8. knights fan in minnie

    Thanks to all who post here. It’s my only group of friends. Being named after a famous cartoon mouse can be tough

    • knights fan in minny

      as your only group of friends fake ts do us all a favor jump off a bridge you piece of shit

  9. Izzy

    THG, why don’t you just leave TS and knights fan in Minny alone.

    Team is going well. fans gotta do a good job too

  10. knights fan in minny

    how odd the fake ass ts loser shows up and we have not heard from the bitter queen obvious

  11. knights fan in minny

    taking down the cup champs would be a big boost

  12. Knights fan in Minnie

    My man boobs are cup champs

    • knights fan in minny

      you’re as dumb as your posts fuck head fake ts the nauseating loser of north las vegas how many 40s have you had today welfare loser

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén