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Golden Knights Have Stymied Top Players Deep Into Each Series

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have faced their fair share of offensive superstars this postseason and they’re about to see a few more.

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and now Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov.

As with any playoff series, the biggest names dominate the conversation before it begins. Then, as it wears on, the winning team usually finds a way to slow them down.

As a staff and as a team we’ve done a good job of taking certain players away from what they want to do as that series has gone on and that’s why we’re still playing. -Cassidy

Vegas has struggled against opposing stars early in series. In Game 1 against Winnipeg, Dubois and Connor each scored to give the Jets a 2-0 lead. Draisaitl scored four in the opening game of the second round and then added another pair in Game 2. And Game 1 of the series against Dallas saw both Hintz and Robertson hit the back of the net.

However, the impact of the best players for the other team dwindled as the series got deeper and deeper.

Points Per Game (Game 1 & 2)Points Per Game (Game 3 & Beyond)Goals Per Game (Game 1 & 2)Goals Per Game (Game 3 & Beyond)

Sometimes there’s a frustration level for the other player as well. We’ll do that accordingly to whoever does the damage for them. Right now it’s Tkachuk doing a lot of damage so we’ll have to account for that but there will be other guys that will step up so we have to look at different matchups. -Cassidy

One of the big reasons for this is the play of William Karlsson. VGK’s shutdown center has spent the majority of his time on ice playing against the likes of the players listed above.

(Karlsson) just goes to work every day. No maintenance. He’s a real quiet leader. He can be a captain in my eyes with the way he conducts his business. I can’t say enough good things about him and I’m happy for him. -Cassidy

In 219 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time this postseason, he’s only been on the ice for five goals against.

TOIGoalsShot ShareO-Zone Start

Karlsson has been asked not only to defend the best players but to do it with a majority of his faceoffs in the defensive zone. He’ll likely see a lot of both Tkachuk and Barkov in this series.

It takes everyone though to slow down elite players. Vegas’ superpower this postseason has been their ability to use any line against the opposition’s best. Whether it’s Jack Eichel and the 1st line, Nic Roy and the 4th line, or anyone else in between, the top players have had a hard time keeping their footing as each series has gone along.

The important names on the back of the jerseys will change when the Stanley Cup Final gets underway Saturday, but Vegas’ plan to stop them will remain the same.


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  1. TS

    Reading your opponents. Cassidy has figured it out, for the most part. And he’s not afraid to change it up if things aren’t working, unlike other coaches, who seem paralyzed to counter other teams.
    Karlsson has become the Complete Player, quietly honing those invaluable skills that sometimes go unnoticed. He’s also under the radar of other teams, as they tend to focus on the big scorers. Nice advantage to have… Our secret weapon!

    • knights fan in minny

      what is the buzz around sin city TS

      • TS

        Minny, kinda subdued. Everybody’s resting! Practice should start up tomorrow, …chatter will ramp up. I plan to.go in the next couple days ., will let you know !

        • TS

          Fyi: I went to practice today— biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at the practice rink! ( including the 1st season). The guys were upbeat, relaxed…I even saw Coach smiling! Fans were celebratory, lots of appreciation for our Knights!! It really feels special this year!!

    • Stephanie

      Thats so funny you said that ! I told my mom before the playoffs started that Karlsson was vgk’s secret weapon !! Been saying it since the beginning!

  2. knights fan in minny

    if vegas wins the cup who gets the handoff from stone

    • TS

      Haha, like minds, Stephanie! He doesn’t always get the attention,but he’s always working at both ends of the ice…compete player!

    • VGK fan

      IMOP, misfits go 19, 81, 71, 3, 28 and 27.

  3. Jailbird

    There hasn’t been any talk like that yet. The city is quietly optimistic that the Knights are gonna win this thing.

  4. Arnold Rothstein

    it takes a lot more team energy to play defense than it does to play offense; it is mentally more challenging on a player. Deep into the season as it now, with long west east trips coming up; we’ll see how long it lasts. This reminds me of many east west series match ups. In which the first few games are tight , low scoring affairs. But as the miles pick up the overs start taking over as defense starts to lapse. That advantage belongs to Panthers. Also, the panthers have gudas or dudas or whatever, as stahl on team. watch out of the “loser” style of hockey. Expect a more disrespectful series than the Stars. These teams will end up hating each other, sooner than later. Assuming the refs and close scoring allow it.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    Dr Gene Scott saying was “to this day I still can’t figure out how Peter (in the garden of Gethsemene) cut off the Roman soldier’s ear managing to miss taking off his head and hitting his shoulder!.”

    Very perspective insight, Doctor.

    • Bobby

      A Dr Gene Scott reference! I remember my dad way back in the 1980’s staying up late to watch him teaching, smoking cigars, cussing, and hollering for donations. He would play the Masters V song ‘I want to know’ 25 times in a row. Good times.

      • THE hockey GOD


        He owned the Jesus Saves Theater in downtown LA (one sign is still on the building), his wife Pastor Melissa Scott carries on the ministry in Burbank area. Dr Gene Scott had a PhD from Stanford University in Palo Alto. A very beautiful campus. I used to go there all the time and finished my research there in theology. There was a movie made about him called God’s Angry Man. Robin Williams used to spoof him on SNL.

        but here they are from Atlanta, Georgia, those fellas that everybody loves: The Statesmen Quartet and Hovie Lister, for the next 15 minutes!

        I want to know that my Jesus (He) will welcome me there
        I do not want to be denied
        I want to live in that city so fair
        That’s enough for me to know
        I want to know that my Jesus (He) will welcome me there
        I do not want to be denied
        Let me live in that city so fair
        That’s enough for me to know

        [Verse: Big Chief]
        I do not know the day my Savior will call
        I must be prepared to go
        Here from earth I know he’ll call me, o Lord
        That’s enough for me to know

        I want to know that my Jesus (He) will welcome me there
        I do not want to be denied
        Let me live in that city so fair
        That’s enough for me to know
        I want to know that He will welcome me there
        I do not want to be denied
        I want to live in that city so fair
        That’s enough for me to know

        • Bobby

          Saw God’s Angry Man a few years ago. I remember the KDOC years, the monkey band, the racehorses, the empty chair, love or hate they’ll never be another one.

  6. THE hockey GOD

    vintage dr scott on youtube (his wife has been removing them, but I found this one), fast forward to bump in viewership cloud /watch?v=KHtfX7XGYVI&t=12s

    • THE hockey GOD

      change .c.o.m to com

    • Bobby

      Melissa deletes them? interesting.

      • THE hockey GOD

        yes “copyright” infringement

        but she is starting to realize that her ministry thrives more when she
        starts preaching and then interjects old Dr Scott preaching replays because, lets face it, she’s not as dynamic and she lost a lot of the flock. She couldn’t maintain the cathedral in downtown LA. She took all the old Bibles to Burbank, and took one of the two Jesus Saves signs to Glendale/Burbank area. One sign still remains, and no services are at the United ARtist Theater in downtown LA.

  7. THE hockey GOD

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