The 3-on-3 Golden Knights struck again on Sunday night winning their fifth game in overtime game of the season. They are undefeated in the 3-on-3 portion of overtime (lost in shootout to Toronto) and have an impressive 4-0 record in the extra frame at T-Mobile Arena.
Back when the Golden Knights were just 2-0 in OT, we pointed out individual defensive efforts, line changes, and pure scoring skill as the reasons why the Golden Knights were having success in overtime. Well, now that they’ve pushed the number to five out of five, we need to add a few more aspects of the game that are leading to this OT domination.
To do that, I asked just about every player and coach I could find the exact same question, “what are you guys doing in overtime that other teams are not?”
I think it’s puck possession. We are a really high puck possession team, guys like James Neal, Marchessault, guys like that who like to hold on to the puck, and we are also really good off the rush. We do 2-on-1’s a lot in practice so I guess that’s helpful. –Alex Tuch
We just play well defensively and limit their chances, and we get a chance we’ve got to move, and we do that we are successful. We have good offensive power and if we just take care of being above them, we’ll get rewarded. –Jonathan Marchessault
Usually, I don’t think we trade as many chances as we did tonight (vs. ARI). We try not to do that, but it seems like we are finding different ways to win every time in overtime. –Reilly Smith
I think we are smart. Things like that little play off the boards by Marchessault, he’s made plays like that that create odd-man rushes, same with Smith, Perry (Perron), and all those skill guys, we have forwards that do it all. We’re playing tight and trying to control the play, and honestly, I can’t say enough about the fans here. They give us so much energy and so much adrenaline that gives us an advantage over the other team. –Malcolm Subban
We got some good, skilled players and they’re quick players. I think when there’s open ice, we’re a pretty good team. It’s early, but so far we’ve been really good at it. -Gerard Gallant
Here’s are the skills/reasons we took out of all of that.
- Puck possession
- Scoring and defending 2-on-1’s
- Skilled possession-minded forwards
- Quick players that find open ice
- Not trading chances
- Home crowd
Gallant does indeed appear to favor possession-minded and quick players in the overtime periods. Last night, James Neal, William Karlsson, and Nate Schmidt opened the period. They were followed by Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and Shea Theodore. The final line was Erik Haula, Alex Tuch, and Colin Miller. It’s essentially the power play guys for the Golden Knights that get the call in OT, proving a few things. First, Gallant prefers to go for the win rather than sit back, and second that the Golden Knights forwards are two-way players that can be trusted to not only create scoring chances but also limit the opposition’s.
The next portion is puck possession. The last two games, as well as Buffalo and Toronto, Vegas controlled the puck considerably more than their opponent.
|Opponent||Time of OT||VGK Possession Time||TOP %|
When it comes to scoring chances, the Golden Knights have created more than their opponent in four of the six OT periods and allowed less than a chance per minute (19 in 23:18 for 0.77 chances per minute). Meanwhile, the Golden Knights have racked up 37 chances in those same 23:18 (1.59 scoring chances per minute) and scored five times to their opponents zero.
|Opponent||VGK Chances||Opp Chances|
The Golden Knights are indeed really solid in the 2-on-1 game. Smith’s point about “not trading chances” shows up here too. Vegas has created seven odd-man rushes in six OT periods while allowing just three. As mentioned by Tuch, it’s one of the most worked on skills in practice, and it sure has paid its dividends in 3-on-3. Unfortunately, the second most practiced situation is getting the puck out of their own zone, something Vegas still struggles with at times.
|Opponent||VGK 2-on-1's||Opp 2-on-1's|
The final aspect is home crowd. There’s really no way to measure that other than the fact that Vegas is 4-0 at T-Mobile Arena. So, yeah, we’ll just say that’s good.
All in all, the Golden Knights are just flat out great in OT, and that’s a huge asset going forward.
Overtime comes down to the guys that want to do the difference to come out on top, and we have a lot of guys that are willing to do the difference, and it’s been rewarding us. -Marchessault
Now they just need to work on what happens after OT.