Want to win in the NHL? There’s one specific place on the ice where you must be better than your opponent.
These last three games for the Golden Knights, they’ve dominated there.
Early in the year, there were some games where we played well but we ran into a hot goalie. But the Winter Classic and some of the other recent ones I think we could have been better at generating offense with a little more will and second effort. Usually that requires an inside presence and that’s how we got back in the game, we got inside. -Bruce Cassidy
The Golden Knights erased a two-goal 3rd period deficit on Saturday night because they killed the Penguins directly in front of the goal. In fact, Vegas has been excellent in the low slot for the last three games, and it’s why despite the depleted roster, they’ve been winning.
Here’s a look at where each goal was scored from in the last three games against Nashville, New York, and Pittsburgh.
Not only are all the goals bunched between the circles and below the dots but there are a handful of different players scoring from that area. Jonathan Marchessault, Pavel Dorofeyev, Nic Roy, Ivan Barbashev, Mark Stone, and Keegan Kolesar have all scored goals in the most dangerous area on the ice. (Brett Howden’s and Marchessault’s from the goal line were into an empty net.)
It’s been a welcome change from what has been the root cause of VGK’s offense struggles over the last 20 games.
Our rebound game, our slot battle, over the month of December was not good, the analytics prove that. -Cassidy
Now, it’s about taking that same show on the road. The Golden Knights have struggled away from home this season and it’s been particularly bad against Eastern Conference teams. This trip starts out a bit differently than a few of the others though.
We go on the road on a positive note with a lot of hockey in front of us. We should be feeling good about ourselves and we’ll see, we’ll see in Jersey. -Cassidy
Devils, Islanders, Rangers, and Red Wings. Four difficult games.
If the Golden Knights can continue getting to the front of the net, they’ll have a great chance to win each and every one of them.
*Goal locations for this story were sourced from NaturalStatTrick.com.*