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Golden Knights Have To Start “Trying To Dominate,” Especially At Home

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The last time the Golden Knights won at home was 17 days ago. The last time they’ve won two in a row at home was 211 days ago when they won Games 3 and 4 of the series against the Sharks.

Over the course of the first season and a half for the Golden Knights, no matter what else was going on, they could always rely on their ability to win at home. They went an unbelievable 29-10-2 at T-Mobile Arena in 2017-18 and backed it up by starting 16-4-3 at home to start 2018-19. But since, it’s been a bit of a struggle.

They finished last year at 10-6-2 before dropping a crucial Game 6 at home leading to a first-round exit. This year they’ve actually lost more games inside of T-Mobile Arena than they’ve won, posting a 4-3-2 record.

If you dig into the stats, you’ll see they’ve been scoring fewer goals, shooting much less, and for the most part not controlling the flow of the game even close to as often as they used to.

I don’t think it’s anything with personal or the style of play or anything like that. I just honestly think it’s a mentality thing. We’ve got to play a little bit harder, little bit chippier. We’ve got to really want to dominate teams. I think we are going out to just try and win, we want to go out and try to dominate. It makes winning that much easier and I think it makes everyone around us better. -Alex Tuch

Tuch has been watching from the sidelines for all but four periods this season, and he’s seeing exactly what most everyone else is seeing. While he was speaking about the team in general, in my opinion, his comments translate to the team’s play at home even more than on the road.

They haven’t looked truly dominant at home aside from one game this year, the season opener against the Sharks. That looked like a team that not only wanted to win, but wanted to absolutely embarrass their opponent.

As Tuch said, they are simply looking to win as opposed to looking to dominate. So, when they get a lead, they have been prone to sitting back and absorbing pressure instead of applying it.

In just the last two home games, Vegas was outshot 27 to 14 in the 3rd period, leading to two collapses and frustrating losses. This season, the Golden Knights have scored just two even-strength 3rd period goals at home, and they both came in the same game against the Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, they’ve allowed seven, including three in the past two games.

For us right now it’s about finding ways to finish teams. You look at the game in Toronto, you look at the games against Montreal and Winnipeg, and especially in Detroit we have tons of chances to score goals and put teams away and we haven’t been able to do that. -Mark Stone

The killer instinct definitely hasn’t been there, but they’ve also seemed to let things snowball on them when the going gets tough. They’ve given up three straight goals in five of their nine home games.

We have to find a way to be resilient and hopefully, these last couple of games can give us the experience we need to overcome this adversity and be better from it. -Max Pacioretty

Tonight starts a stretch of five of the next six and six of the next nine at home. It starts with a game against a team the Golden Knights have never lost to in franchise history, the Chicago Blackhawks. A team that is struggling to score, struggling to defend, and majorly struggling to win. Vegas will enter as massive favorites and it’s time they look like it by dominating from start to finish.

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10 Comments

  1. keep pinching, keep losing

    so, in other words, do just what lost the game in Det

    more of the same losing tactics.

    for cripes sake, it is the stupid low percentage PINCHING and gambling at the wrong time, wrong game situations that is losing the games for them.

    but, by all means, even Schmidt and Pacioretty and Tuch all agree, that more stupid losses like that are the solution. Let McNabb try to be Bobby Orr. let Merrill try to be Brian Leetch. lets pinch and give up more breakaways, more 2-on-1’s, more easy goals.

    no wonder Barry Trotz won the Stanley cup while Gallant is left waiting for a cab

  2. McNabb is not Bobby Orr

    guess what, did these players see the road wins in Pitt and Columbus??

    the Knights won those games because they played SAFE, careful, cautious DEFensive, low scoring, very selective careful pinching, somewhat boring but successful road hockey.

    THAT is the answer…the gambling, pinching stupidity at the end of the Det game is definitely NOT

  3. DOC

    To me, after all else, it boils down to lack of effort. A) – Up in the 3rd, ok lets save some effort, we have a game tomorrow or B) – Lets conserve as much as we can to save for playoffs! Well guys, there won’t BE any playoffs if you don’t get off your butts and play HARD, to the end of each game. Holy crap, isn’t THAT clear by NOW!!!!!! Looks like Tuch is back again. I sure wish Gallant would give a Tuch – Glass – CARRIER 3rd line a chance. I’m not saying that would turn Carrier into a top scorer, but with his speed & doing the dirty work & toughness, it would really help Glass and Tuch do their thing.

  4. Mike G

    I think the energy in T Mobile is significantly down this year and I think it has affected the teams play on the ice. It starts with that ridiculous new opening that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Some of the in game stuff has grown stale. I’ve noticed significantly more empty seats in the lower bowl sections, especially in 3rd period of games. It just feels different this year …

  5. safe

    from Friedman of Sportsnet—

    One coach told me his team’s internal metrics indicate that no one spends more time in their own zone than the red-hot New York Islanders. He wondered how that was possible, so he took a look. Answer: “They let you go where they want you to go — on the outside.” You get time, but you don’t get quality.
    ———————————————————————

    yeah, no stupid pinching

  6. no backup, big problem

    For the season, the Golden Knights are one of just four teams that have yet to get a win from their backup goalies, and dating back to the start of last season they are just 8-14-4 in games that Fleury has not started. Their backups have a combined save percentage of .896, which is a completely terrible number even as far as backup goalies are concerned.

    8 wins and 18 losses with the backup goalies since the start of last season…… and .896 save %…….absolutely pathetic.

  7. Branden

    I think they need to Knight Up!

  8. that toddling town

    Vgk with only 2 wins vs teams in playoff positions now….Calgary and Pittsburgh

    and tonight is their 20th game.

    they have never lost to the Blackhawks in 7 meetings, so if they lose tonight Vgk-land can be officially declared a disaster area.

  9. Cali Pauly

    Must win game tonight, without question…Go Knights!

  10. DOC Williams

    Another home loss. Both goalies were fantastic. Could have been a 9-8 game! Moving Eakin to 2nd line? I think they are just trying to get him some points so someone would take him in a trade. He left the bench in 3rd. A “cramp” they say, hmm! Is Eakins time about over with knights? Maybe now they will move Glass to CENTER where he belongs. I can only afford to go to about one game a year. That game is Sunday vs Flames. I have no idea what my wife & I are going to see. 🙁

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