It’s on Pete DeBoer’s mind. It’s on Marc-Andre Fleury’s mind. It’s on Mark Stone and Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt and William Karlsson’s minds. It’s on George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon’s minds. It’s on The Creator’s mind. And it’s on every single one of you reading this’s minds.
It can’t happen again, can it?
Whether anyone wants to stare the beast directly in the eyes or not, the memory of how last season ended is inescapable for the Golden Knights as they prepare their second Game 7 in franchise history.
The first one has been woven into the fabric of the team over the past 16 months. Every decision they’ve made has been done with at least a sliver of blowing a 3-1 lead on the minds.
They hired the coach on the other bench. They revamped the penalty kill. They replaced the goalie. They added reinforcements on both offense and defense. They did it all so that these playoffs wouldn’t end the same way the last ones did.
Everyone knows what’s at stake. Even if neither Pete DeBoer nor Mark Stone would say it in the moments following Game 6.
This is a different group, different team. We’ve hit a group over there that’s feeling confident and getting great goaltending and that’s going to happen on the playoff trail and you’ve got to find a way. This is our adversity and we’ve got to stick together and come through it. -DeBoer
It’s one game. We’ve got a great team. Guys are going to go out there and bring our best and whatever happens happens. We’re confident going into tomorrow. We were confident going into Game 5 and 6. We feel like we have the team to win. -Stone
This is a mental test unlike any the young franchise has faced. The answers above are already a testament to how the Golden Knights want to handle it. They are going to try to do everything in their power to focus solely on this one game and ignore the elephant in the room. They want to play great from the moment the puck is dropped, score quickly, win the game, and come out on the other side stronger and more together than ever before.
That’s exactly how they’ll be feeling the moment they get on the ice. But if the adversity from Games 5 and 6 rear its ugly head again in Game 7, the way the Golden Knights handle the flood of emotions linked directly to their history will determine their fate even more so than hockey skill.
Normally, it’s about being the better team, and for the first 10 minutes of the game, it can, and it will if they put the puck in the net. It’s if, and probably when, the going gets tough inside of that game that this team will have to prove to the world, and to themselves, that they can overcome it. They can block out the negative memories of a terrible ending to last season and the frustrating end to the first one. They can bear down and play the way they know they can, the way that got them to 3-1 in the series, and the way that had everyone believing they were the far-and-away better team.
The crossroads is here. Either the Golden Knights win, exorcise the demons that have been haunting them since Joe Pavelski’s blood hit the SAP Center ice, and head into the Western Conference Final with the best chance they’ve ever had to win the Stanley Cup or they lose and they’ll earn a label of playoff chokers, a label that will stick with them for as long as it takes to win 16 playoff games in the same season.
Why should it NOT happen again if? If PDB does not change anything it is most likely that the result will not change neither
It was a very very stupid decision to start Lehner in net for game 6.
The loss was not on Lehner, but after game 5 the momentum was with Vancouver and if a coach does not change anything the momentum does not change neither and it is most likely that you get the same result.
Simply very very stupid (or arrogant as I do not think PDB is stupid) not to take advantage of the fact that we have 2 starters in net.
If we do not advance, it is 100% on PDB and his goalie decisions.
What i have noticed in the last two games is the knights have been neutralized in the neutral zone they are being out coached in my opinion . When you have as many shots on net as in last two games with no results you better make some changes . The Cannucks are not allowing the Knights to enter the offensive zone with more than one player at speed ,The other players are being interfered with before the blue line. The Cannucks are allowing that one player one shot , The Goalie sees the puck all the way and dosent have to reset . With the quality of goal tending you can shoot all day and you wont score , gain the zone with multiple players at speed ,move the goalie and you have a chance . Comon boys get er done .
If it ain’t broke, lets change things around and see if we can break it. If it broke, let’s leave it alone and see if it fixes itself.
Couldn’t have said it better myself
I don’t know if the question in everyone’s minds is about last year. I think it’s about what can we do to win now? PDB in all of his wisdom should be aware now of what changes are needed – i.e., the fourth line needs to step up, etc. Additionally, I recall the phrase “hockey is a business”. I don’t know any business (other than the government) that pays 7M a year for something that they rarely use.
Julie your a wise wise lady “only the government pays 7m a yrfor something they rarely use” excellent point well taken. In the govt place there is probably a few more zeros back of number but you sure hit the nail on th head. Unfortunately the momentum has definitely swung in favor of Vancouver and they have the WILL to win not sure the knights can say the thing. PDB and stone say they have the TEAM but left out the deciding factor that of attitude.
Hey, HD! I am thinking PDB needs to change Vancouver’s momentum however possible. Herby made that point above as well. PDB better be John Madden-ing the heck out of all the plays and circle and arrow the bejeezus out of them and figure it out. Or he will prove to be the “clown” Gallant said he was after not rotating the goalies at least. PDB’s Game 7 record is 7-0 I think. My intuition tells me that they can win tonight and PDB can extend his success there if he makes some simple changes. You are right about attitude 100%. Stone and PDB are missing something. I should send them some flowers. 🙂
Watching the last two games, we’re definitely feeling the nausea resurrecting from last year’s debacle. Canucks are not the better team, but neither was SJ. It doesn’t matter how many shots to the net we have if we can’t score goals. Hoping VGK can exorcise the demons and get through this round!
As I’ve said before are we looking at Groundhog Day again. Watching our offense score goals is like watching grass grow. One goal in the last two games with this high flying offense is a sad thing to watch. I think the Canucks will put us out of our misery tonight and then the famous cry of wait until next year. After watching most of the games the best player by far in the tournament is Matt Barzel. We just don’t have a player like that who can change a game. George and Kelly have to be tearing their hair out. Last one out make sure you turn off the lights.
Please WIN tonight boys. You are a big part of what keeps me going! Thank you
DOC l sincerely hope you have a back-up plan in place to keep you going and not depended on these Vegas boys at the moment. As pointed out by a number of the folks who visit this site they are mentally challenged at this point for a number of reasons and disruptions. While they paint a picture of harmony etc l seriously question if that is the case. If you go down fighting that’s one thing if you play like you are carrying a purse and don’t inflect some damage along the way shame on them. Reaves was a wiss last night. No body came out eith any fire – l smiled at the announcers claim Vegas is pushing back – not sure what game they were watching. It is only common sense that doing the same thing wrong g and expecting g different results borders on stupidity. If they didn’t have the potential they would not be there but potential and desire are miles apart when not used. They can win tonight but not doing what they have been doing the last two games. It would be a real shame if they landed up being identified as Chockers – unfortunaltely that’s the path they are on if they don’t clean up their act. It may be on PDB shoulders up it won’t be he is identified as such. Swallow your pride Pete and start your real starter tonight you may discover the boys will respond accordingly. It worked for Vancouver
HD, looks like Lehner tonight. PDB is all in.
There is no leadership on the Knights.. They have 2 guys kneeling and bringing politics in to disrupt and divide the dressing room, and those same 2 guys have played terrible in recent games.
And then you have the other goalie’s agent causing a disruption with the coach and the team.
If they lose tonight in game 7, 2 years in a row of blowing a series with 3 straight losses will brand them forever as CHOKERS, just like their hated enemies in San Jose are well known for their playoff choking over the years.
sorry, but nothing I saw last night, especially the last half of the game, gives me any indication that they will win tonight, no matter who they put in goal.
VGC= Vegas Golden Chokers
VGC, the common denominator with San Jose and VGK is DeBoer. So if choking is a virus, contact tracing tells us where to look. Also, not sure if you saw, but the LVMPD wrote a scathing letter to Bill Foley after the postponing of games led by Reaves. Foley responded saying his team will not be bringing any politics into hockey. So, you should not see anymore kneeling, not playing, etc. The leadership you mentioned has from all team accounts been Fleury. He is there every game helping the team whether or not he is playing. There is great synergy there. On the ice, that probably doesn’t have the same effect as playing with them. I am very hopeful that VGK will take care of business tonight. I hope you hang on, too. 🙂
I am so pissed about the stoppage of games over that criminal Jacob Blake that I am likely not renewing my season tickets and have communicated that to the front office. I am checking in here because I have refused to watch any of the games after the stoppage. I know that not all of the players are involved, but supporting the Marxist BLM movement and Jacob Blake rather than Officer Shay Mikalonis (shot in the back of the head by a BLM protester) who is paralyzed for life is a damn disgrace. I would stand shoulder to shoulder with Reavo and Lehner over racism and police brutality but the Jacob Blake incident was neither. So, yeah, I am boycotting the rest of these playoffs and not watching. I will be just checking the result. Hockey’s a business and I am of the opinion that they’ve made some very bad business decisions.
I completely agree with everything you just stated. I canceled my TV service and NHL network. I have also returned what few items I did buy. I’ve watched the last 2 games on the internet but I won’t spend another time on the NHL.
I totally understand, Richard. I decided after Foley’s response, I could hold on this season.
VGC You’ve got a good point not to beat up on the Knights but when it’s money time there a no show. I think it would be fair to say we have a good team but not a great team. Making the playoffs the first 3 years has been an accomplishment but expectations were higher this year and if we don’t move on they’ll be a lot of disappointed fans. For me mixing sports and politics doesn’t work and I’ve lost interest is sports in general. It used to be fun watching the Knights now I can take it or leave it. I played and coached baseball all my life that’s my true love these other sports are all about an agenda so why even care.
Vegas’ top 6 forwards look completely useless in games 5 and 6, shooting soft perimeter shots into the goalie’s pads. Where is the desire, the hustle, the drive, the fire in the belly for these guys to drive to the net, get tips and rebounds, draw penalties, make something happen, rather than just coast around and roll over and play dead for a Vancouver team clearly playing rope-a-dope hockey.
Tonight will be the defining moment for the VGK franchise. Either they will regain their self respect, or they will go down in flames as quitters 2 years in a row.
HD … I am in a battle I will eventually lose. The doctors and the meds have done about all they can. I keep fighting to be around as long as possible for my wife, family and friends. Unfortunately there aren’t many “back-up” plans available. My only tools to fight with are positive thoughts and positive things to look forward to. The Knights and #5s foundation have given constant positives and encouragement to me. D.E. has been a godsend for me. GO KNIGHTS GO !!!
Good luck…. Wish we both could get one last shot to watch #5 play
Well Doc having faced a number of battles my heart goes out to you and your family. Hang in there man brighter days are ahead. Hopefully it will start this evening with the Knights coming to life. Take care.
God Bless and I will be praying for you. Miracles can happen. Never give up hope. Cherish every moment.
Just wanted to echo good luck wishes as well. Bless you and your family.
Thank you guys
Ken – l have a general question that l hope you can shed some light on. Everyone on your site seemed to be excited about Lehner become another goalie for the Knights .Simple question. If he is the be all that ends all why were other clubs willing to let him go.? It’s obvious why he is referred to as Panda as me appears to be out of shape and much heavier than he should be. Vancouver puts a guy in goal no play – off experience and he makes Lehnet look like an amateur. What am l missing here. Any help appreciated.
No amateur TONIGHT! Way to go Panda!!!!!!!!
Not to take away anything from Lehner, but he only had 1 tough saves tonight, which he made. I wonder if we’ve seen the last of MAF.
Now what scares me is this, this series should have been over several games ago. VAN is good but not that good. They are a young team with very little experience. I know VAN goalie played unbelievable but some of that was VGK not getting traffic in front of him. Vegas. VGK now starts to play actual good teams so they better up their game. Our defensive play better step up big time.