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Tag: Defensemen

Defense Slipping Majorly At Home

Brutally Honest Marchy might be my favorite Marchy. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Friday night the Golden Knights were without Nate Schmidt and Luca Sbisa. Shea Theodore returned to the lineup, but he had missed the previous six games. Those are facts, but those also could be viewed as excuses for a team that’s had players in and out of their blue line for the entire season. Only recently though have they seen their goal against average balloon, especially at home.

It looked like it made a huge difference tonight. Other guys get chances to play and they’ve dominated all year long. I’m disappointed with the way a lot of guys played tonight. We didn’t compete hard enough. -Gerard Gallant

That statement came after a game in which the Golden Knights allowed five goals to the Ottawa Senators, a team that averages just 2.75 goals a game and an embarrassing 2.18 goals per game on the road.

It’s just another example of the recent downturn defensively the Golden Knights have experienced in their own building.

  • First 24 home games
    • 2.21 Goals Against Average
    • Allowed 3+ goals: 9 times
      • 1 out of every 2.66 games
  • Last 9 home games
    • 3.00 Goals Against Average
    • Allowed 3+ goals: 6 times
      • 1 out of every 1.5 games

It’s become a real problem and it’s one that must be corrected soon as the “goals for” column tends to dry up a bit in the playoffs.

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Offense From Defense Key To Vegas Success Now And Later

This man paces VGK blue liners with 24 points. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Over the past three games, Golden Knights defensemen have tallied 12 (2G, 10A) individual points, including a big five points last night. Overall this season, the Vegas blue line has produced 106 total individual points, which is in the top percentile of the NHL, and top four among teams in playoff position. The three teams are getting slightly more production from their defense are Nashville (109), Tampa Bay (107), Toronto (102). When it comes to point distribution, the Golden Knights get (25.67%) of team offense from their backend.

Percentage of Total Team Points by Defensemen

Nashville 31.5%
San Jose 28%
Los Angeles 27.7%
Toronto 26.98%
Vegas 25.67%
St. Louis 25%
Washington 25%
Tampa Bay 23.9%
Winnipeg 23%
Boston 21.4%

As important as it is to get offensive help in the regular season, it’s even more essential in the playoffs. Successful teams in the past have counted on their defense to add 23% or more of team offense. Here’s the final four teams in the past four NHL playoffs.

2017 Final Four
Pittsburgh 23.7%
Nashville 32.7%
Anaheim 31.06%
Ottawa 28.4%

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