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Middle Frame Dominance Propelling Vegas To Brink Of The Promise Land

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30 to 10.

That’s the score of Golden Knights playoff games in the 2nd period this postseason.

30 to 10, in 21 games.

The 30 goals are unsurprisingly the most by any team in the postseason. The other side is pretty wild though. 10 goals allowed in the 2nd period this playoffs is the 7th fewest of all 16 teams that participated. 10 goals allowed is the same number as Winnipeg allowed in five games, fewer than Minnesota allowed in six games, and 11 goals fewer than New Jersey allowed in 12 games. And the Golden Knights just completed their 21st game!

There was a time earlier this season when one of the biggest challenges for the Golden Knights was surviving 2nd periods. They struggled to tilt games in their favor in 2nd periods and it often led to long spells of the game where they were forced to defend. It’s actually been an issue in the Cassidy system as far back as his first season in Boston.

The Golden Knights finished the season with a +3 goal differential in the 2nd period and they were -6 in home games. Yet here we are, at the most important time of the year, and nightly in Western Conference and Stanley Cup Final games they are utilizing the 2nd period to run away with hockey games.

When you have four lines rolling like that in a 2nd period, we’re the best team in the league. -Adin Hill

In Game 4 the Golden Knights absolutely obliterated the Panthers in the middle frame. They outscored Florida just 2-1, but they outshot them 11-7, out-chanced them 18-4, and generated six high-danger scoring chances compared to the Panthers’ single one.

In that 2nd period, for at least 15 minutes, I think we were all over them, chance after chance. That’s how we’ve got to play. That’s when we play our best hockey. We come line after line and they can get stuck in the zone a little bit. We had two or three shifts tonight in the 2nd where they were stuck in their end for a good minute or minute and a half because they were rolling lines. -Nic Roy

The period not only helped the Golden Knights extend the lead and take control of the game, but it further demoralized Florida. The Panthers consistently struggled to exit the zone, they couldn’t generate a forecheck because they had to line change most of the times they dumped the puck in, and they watched Vegas come at them with wave after wave of attack.

There are so many momentum shifts in the game and you’ve got to just keep on creating opportunities. Our pressure tonight was much better than theirs. -Reilly Smith

That pressure got to the Panthers in the 2nd and if it weren’t for Sergei Bobrovsky, a crossbar, and a few off-net shots, Vegas could have blown the game completely open.

2nd period success is yet another example of how the Golden Knights have grown over the course of the season (more on that tomorrow).

Because of that success tonight, Game 5 will take place with the Stanley Cup in attendance at T-Mobile Arena. One more dominant 2nd period on Tuesday and the next word engraved on hockey’s holy grail will be Vegas.

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31 Comments

  1. I dont think it was so much shots were off-net…well Roy did miss rather badly on a 4 on 2…and Reilly also did…but the majority of our Golden opportunities were neatly placed in bob’s midsection and crest…including Eichels wide open slot shot…sigh…if it wasnt for the pinball goal i really believe the vgk would have blown the panthers right out of the building!!

    • Pistol Pete

      Eichel has been great all postseason including Dallas and Florida where as fortune would have it he has not found the back of the net. Always taking care of things in his own end, winning puck battles and creating breakouts that result in scoring opportunities. Applying his gifts to the two way
      game (thank you Bruce Cassidy) and driving play. Is going to be a very important player for the team for years to come. Poetic justice would have him netting at least one on Tuesday.

  2. Astrophyl

    Wild Bill won’t win the Conn Smythe but VGK fans will always know how much he’s meant the n this cup run

    • Frank

      Not sure – if he adds another couple of goals tomorrow and VGK win… he has a solid case…. So does Marchy, Eichel and Hill….. We’ll see! I have a good feeling that we’ll see the knockout punch delivered early in game 5.

    • knights fan in minny

      he has been fantastic

  3. FG

    Is this another example of a Cassidy adjustment? As you commented after one of the games, he seems to be the perfect coach for this team. It is a bit of travesty he wasn’t nominated for Coach of the Year, but will get the last laugh on the NHL and the Bruins when his name is on the Cup.

  4. Rashaad

    58 hours until game time

  5. Tim

    Coach of the year would have to be Devils. Kraken, or Bruins coach for obvious reasons. Cassidy is our coach of the year that’s all that counts. Lets hope we end it Tuesday at home and let the mayhem begin. For once we won’t have to say wait til next year. Go Knights

  6. Jailbird

    Well, back on an even plain today,after that heart wrenching ending, to the huge high of the win. Just thinking back to this six year journey out town and fans have taken. Although I had been involved in and a hockey fan for many years, many many here in Vegas knew very little about it back in 2017. Then, they were subjected to a fantastic or first season beyond all logic. I said at the time that could ruin our fan base for awhile. It did in a way as they expected those same results to happen season after season. Management and players were ridiculed so often here, it became the norm. That’s why I thought last years missing the playoffs was the best thing that could happen to our fan base. Now we appreciate much more and understand much more, what going to the Stanley Cup Finals takes and means. Winning the cup will be much more deserved and appreciated than it would have been six years ago. Revel in that Vegas , because it’s going to happen!

  7. Sorvino

    I keep feeling like someone’s going to tell me that Vegas lost to Winnipeg in five and all of this is a hallucination.

  8. Jailbird

    No, even though there we a number of people here who turned on the Knights after game one vs Winnipeg, we did win that series easily. We saw many one game panic people here. The uneducated that don’t understand playoff hockey tend to react like that. Most now of course jump on the band wagon along with those of us that were there all along!

    • Jailbird – not bad but quit patting yourself on the back. There are many more hockey fans around Vegas who have a true understanding of the game and don’t just see things thru rose colored glasses. I smiled at your remark ” many one game panic people here” – your take, because they point out the flaws after loses – that’s not panic that’s objective thinking. It doesn’t make them any less avid supporters that you purport to be.

      • Jailbird

        Quite frankly HD you are generally full of crap. You were a leader at “the flaws” attitude with your dooms day comments after a bad game. It’s ok, those rose colored glasses you so overly use as a dig, seemed to see the future very clearly.

        • I guess if you consider objective observation as crap that just proves my point regarding your hockey knowledge and how you see the future clearly – talk about crap stop patting yourself on the back it makes you look even more foolish

          • Jailbird

            Those who I pat on back are the posters here who stayed positive about our team even thru ruff patches. It’s ok, it is known how you constantly called out doom about the Knights progress during this season . It’s your right to say anything you wish, and now too, to jump on the bandwagon with the rest of us. Nothing is going to ruin my joy about what we are about to accomplish. You should enjoy it too!

          • Jailbird – I have always been on the bandwagon and an avid supporter of the knights. I have just been around hockey from the day l was born and more objective about it than you. Staying positive doesn’t make you or any other supporter individuals who cares more about their winning than those who are objective and realists. We want the same we just see things differently. Here’s to a win tomorrow night. Stay come don’t have a heart attack.

          • JB – Nothing is going to ruin my joy about what we are about to accomplish. Are you playing tomorrow night for Vegas I couldn’t help but notice the WE in your statement – I know you probably meant “They” or at least I hope you did – otherwise please advise what number you will be wearing so I can take note and cretic your play. LOL

  9. Donald J Trump

    • Donald J Trump

      HEY UTAH GET ME FOUR !!!

      since ThG appears to be stalled in route from the humid hinterlands , thought DJT would throw that out there !! Instead.

  10. I guess if you consider objective observation as crap that just proves my point regarding your hockey knowledge and how you see the future clearly – talk about crap stop patting yourself on the back it makes you look even more foolish

  11. TS

    Guys, come on…we’re on the SAME team, here!! Jeesh…..

  12. Tim

    I for one never expected us to go this far Stone missing half a year Eichel a question mark. Misfit line not scoring it didn’t look good to me. Then the switch flipped on. Stone back playing well, Eichel now playing a 200 foot game, A Hill blossoming into a top notch goalie, and biggest of all trading for Barbashev at the trade deadline. This completely changed our team with Cassidy’s defensive structure we are where we are today. Signing Barbashev and Hill are a must and a little tweaking we could actually have a chance to repeat next year.

    • TS

      Yes, sir, Tim, those two are a HUGE piece of our amazing success— gotta keep them both!! Hill– what a story to add to the Book of Knights! Barbashev: a human steamroller!!

    • Howard

      “Signing Barbashev and Hill are a must and a little tweaking we could actually have a chance to repeat next year.”

      Need to win 4, not 3 games for The Cup – PEOPLE NEED TO STOP DOING THIS. Hockey is a game of a lot of luck, and FL could be tied here, or even up in this series. It’s likely VGK will win as only one team in Cup Final history has come back from 3-1 (1942 Leafs). In other words, respect the game and wait for the 4 wins needed to win Cup.

      • TS

        I think fans are just enjoying the moment. Reveling in the whole season’s success. Showing optimism and good vibes. I’m in that boat, too..
        Nothing to do with ” respect”. Now, the Cat Fans? They’re are showing ” lack of respect”. Their players?? Also showing the same.

  13. Jailbird

    You’re right TS, we are on the same team, and have been ALL year! Feels good doesn’t it!

    • TS

      Dang right, it does, jb! I am literally ” floating” since last game! This season’s team is the BEST in the short VGK history. We all saw it unfold. The resilience. Confidence. Team comraderie, Coach’s positive direction, EVERYTHING. THIS IS THE CUP TEAM!!

  14. A little look back as to how we got here….a here that will culminate in THE STANLEY CUP being awarded to Captain Mark Stone tomorrow night at around 8pm pst!!!

    Game 7 at the sharks…the debacle…the losing with a 3-1 series lead…grudgingly have to give sharks credit for not folding lol…a 3-0 lead with 10 minutes left….the penalty..which WAS not a major…not even a minor…check the referee who watched the whole play and never raised his arm…the perfect storm that followed….bellemare not suited up…eakin being thrown out…our 2 main penalty killers…and Gallant not calling time out after the first goal…he is supposed to use what is usually a meaningless time out to stem the mometum and remind his team they still have a 2 goal lead irks me to this very day…

    which leads to his firing the following season in my opinion as the team had ceased to follow his ‘leadership’…his track record is much like Billy Martin….he is good for a year or 2 and then he must be relieved of his duties…

    …the Dallas series in 2020 where we couldnt….wouldnt??..lol…score a goal….and a chance in game 5 with a 2-0 lead with 10 minutes left to at least have given us a chance…

    …The bubble… Montreal…WTF…how in the world did we ever lose to them….that was going to be the first ticker tape parade…we have always matched up well with the Lightning…but our power play was horrid and again we refused to score goals…and Fleuty’s gaffe sure didnt help…i mean they still coulda scored in the last 2 minutes regardless…but he handed it to them on a silver platter!!!

    …last year we just couldnt overcome ALL those injuries…initially i felt if we get in we might have Colorados number if we played them…but logically it would not have happemed as we were a weakened squad and the Avalnache were way strong…

    this is our year…we are clearly the better team to the panthers…the wife and I went to the LAST practice of the season today…and the boys were looking really fast and were incredibly loose… they know its within their grasp and they wont let the opportunity slip away!!!

    There have been many ups and downs thru the 6 years…some decisions i have agreed with ..others not so much…

    I didnt agree with the signing of Pietrangelo for that amount of money….but sure am glad he is back there as he is a warrior…

    I didnt agree with the Eichel trade given the unknown of the surgery…not to mention the assets we were giving up…full disclosure I am a Tuchy guy!!….before the season i was on record that VGK would not be successful if he was not a 40-100 guy….he might have gotten there but missed 20 games due to injury and recovery…Eichel is a fantastic 200 foot guy who will be spearheading us for years!!

    I agreed with the Schmidty trade…totally was on board with how lucky we were to unload Stasny’s contract..

    …I was on board and understood why Fleury had to go..it was a business decision that had to be made…also unloading Pacioreety was the right move as he was slowing down..was not a playoff factor and had become injury prone….kudos to Mccrimmon and Mcphee for taking the heat about the unpopular moves..always in their opinio trying to bring the Cup to us…and guess what…IT will work tomorrow night!!!

  15. TS

    Good post, Larry. THE Gallant ” major” debacle vs Sharks was HIS ” Major” playoff- ending blunder, and he paid for it wth his eventual firing. I go NUTS when coaches refuse to use their ONE timeout in determinative moments…PDB was guilty of the same.
    I notice Reaves was not mentioned in your post….what is your view of his trade?

  16. TS….my omission of not including Reaves…i was 100% on board with that trade as well…he was a good locker room presence….but his buffonery and defensives liability were way more than the forechecking and hitting he contributed…we got way younger and faster with Keegan who also stands up for his teammates while obviously not the fighter Reaves was..but really how much did it help the team….for an answer ask the Rangers and Wild who didnt play him when games actually mattered!!…as an aside i thought Kolesar was going to be a 15-20 goal scorer this year…i based it on him getting power play time as a net presence…maybe next year/???

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