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Golden Knights Have Created A Reputation, They Need To Get Back To Living Up To It

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Winning the Stanley Cup brings a team many things. Among them is a reputation. All season long the Golden Knights have been dealing with being the defending champions and constantly getting a high level of focus and effort from the opposition night in and night out. No one takes Vegas lightly, and it has shown in the results this season as it’s been a bit of a rocky road for VGK.

Part of that reputation is the style of play needed to beat Vegas. Not only are teams ready and excited to play the Golden Knights, but they know exactly what is necessary to have a chance against what was the best team in hockey last season.

After last year we have a reputation of being this big heavy team, which we are, so they’ve created that for themselves. The tough part is now you have to live up to it for 82 games and in the playoffs again. So what they’ve created and should be an honor to be considered that way, they have to back it up every night. -Bruce Cassidy

This is specifically the case in the defensive zone.

Vancouver probably had a game plan of ‘if you want to win, you’ve got to get inside.’ Edmonton I’m sure will be saying the same thing. We have to do a better job taking care of business in front of our net. -Cassidy

The last two games Vegas has struggled to defend the area in front of their own goal. The Canucks sent players there consistently and it helped them generate four goals. Edmonton worked a little more around the outside, but they won many puck battles in front of the net to keep plays alive.

It’s not just on the defensive end though, VGK’s game has been lacking physicality going forward as well.

We need to be better on the forecheck to create some anxiety for them, create turnovers, and get us some chances. To me that was the difference in the game. They were miles ahead of us in that area. -Cassidy

If the Golden Knights want to have any success in the playoffs, they have to live up to their reputation every night. Vegas is not one of the most skilled teams in the league, nor are they anywhere close to being one of the fastest. To win, they must be dominant in front of their own net defensively, and wear teams down physically in the offensive end.

Listen, this is what you’re known as so if you want to continue to be known as that then that’s the ask every night. -Cassidy

With four games left in the regular season, timing is running out on getting their game in order. Step one to doing it is living up to the reputation that made them Stanley Cup champions. It hasn’t been there recently, it needs to be starting tomorrow.

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14 Comments

  1. Jake

    Gutless, lifeless, fading defending champions in any sport is a sad sight to see.

    Only one cure.

  2. Physicality is a want and desire.. anyone can do it at any point relevant to the play of the game.. Marchy throws terrific body checks on occasion.. others do the same… but way more occasionally than they should…barbashev is a prime example and I postulated early in the season I wouldn’t expect him to be the same force over the slog of an 82 game season .. but it’s kinda about time to be doing so already!!…watch other teams.. preds panthers et al.. they finish their checks.. create scrums.. it sends a message to the opponent and plants seed in their mind for the next time…time for our boys to start taking things seriously and stand up for each other!!

    • ThG

      vgk never were a body check finishing team, they relied heavily on their stick checking. They only have three big guys on decent, 3, 7, and 14. And they rarely use their body. We now have hannifin, who is no petroangelo; having two shea theodores out there, 1/3rd of their defense has drastically changed their defensive structure. Other teams are picking up on this. The forwards need to come back and help the D out more during next few games. Dumping into o zone and chase, playing a dump and chase game may be more effective when opposing teams gum up the N zone.

      Does Cassidy have a way out of this ? Home ice? We shall see, as this team is getting wiped out more than any other. Remember PDB team two years ago was in ,nearly every game down the stretch. And he got canned for missing the playoffs.

      • Pistol Pete

        PDB believed Lehner when Lehner said he could play. That cost the season and him his job. Why make something more complicated than it is?

  3. Emmanuel

    In the playoffs (assuming health) they should ride the top 4 D and give junk minutes to the 3rd pair.

    Also for the 987th time….discard the” we are a 4 line team”, stack the top 3 lines!

    You can make a case VGK has 4 franchise F’s & 3 franchise D but eh scrubs get WWWAAAYYY too much ice time.

    • knights fan in minny

      come on you cant wear out the top 4

      • JB

        Hey minny , that guy just doesn’t understand how much our fourth line contributed to the cup last year!

  4. knights fan in minny

    nhl network reports 8 year extension for hanifin

  5. Barb

    Knights don’t look like the Stanley Club team they were last year because they aren’t. Too many key players out with injuries, a parade of different AHL players in and out (no offense to the AHL guys), the line pairings are in a mixmaster, the schedule hasn’t been friendly, the goalies are shell shocked, and the players look exhausted. If every other team sees this and knows just what to do to beat them , then changes need to be made before 24/25 season starts and it starts at the top. Don’t want to see a mass exodus but it’s hockey. Look at the front of the sweaters and not just the back with names and numbers. GO KNIGHTS GO!

  6. They talk a good game of what’s they aren’t doing and should be doing – but can’t (or have no desire to) put those same words into ACTION. They look uninterested at times about even playing. They certainly have lost the killer attitude which is essential to winning. Someone posted they appear tired and that certainly looks that way more often than it should. They are slow learners about screening opposing goalies and can’t clear out the front of their own goalie. Getting a little late in the season to still be talking about that so not optimistic about it changing.

  7. Pistol Pete

    I don’t think other teams have figured out Vegas as much as they have their own issues. EDM is deeper and has a better defensive structure, DAL is deeper. Somehow VAN and WPG have improved and have places in the standings to show for it. All that matters now is the how they all do in the playoffs and if the VGK can field a solid 4th line (Howden-Roy-Kolesar = Carrier-Roy-Kolesar), get Petro back in the lineup and Hertl becomes more impactful. They are still a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs and we can go back to certain games where that is shown to be the case. All this talk is just talk all that matters now is how the first round goes. Looks like that will include VGK opening in Dallas.

  8. Pistol Pete

    Mark Stone has been cleared to practice in a red no-contact jersey. Looks like we’ll have him for round 1 (in Dallas probably)!

  9. Great news… will give the whiners of the NHL something more to whine about!!

    Hurricane are at the blues today and thankfully they also still have plenty to play for as if they sweep their last 3 games and the rangers lose 1 Carolina will capture first place.

    Of course if we just take care of our own business everything else is moot!!

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