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Tag: Rick Tocchet

Tocchet’s Honesty Says It All About Matchups With Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights had one of their best periods of the season last night and it wasn’t shocking that it came against the Arizona Coyotes. Vegas outworked, outshot and bullied Arizona up and down the ice in the opening twenty minutes. Being down four goals early wasn’t a surprise to Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet.

They have more talent than us, we get it. I just didn’t like some of our guys push early on. It looked like they were just deer in the headlights.-Rick Tocchet, ARI coach

Occasionally, Arizona has competed with the Golden Knights and did for half of a period last night. For the most part it’s been a one-sided contest with Vegas walking away with the majority of points.

Certain elements that the Golden Knights possess, the Coyotes simply don’t have an answer for. Arizona is much smaller and younger team. Vegas scares them and their coach echoed that. The advantage of size, skill and veteran IQ are the reasons why it’s mostly been a lopsided affair.

You know you’re playing against the big boys and I’m disappointed some guys couldn’t match. Couldn’t get in the forecheck, couldn’t hold on to a puck. When you’re playing the big guys you got to make sure you know what you’re doing.-Rick Tocchet, ARI coach

At times last night it almost looked like a scrimmage between the JV and Varsity teams. In the first period the Golden Knights bullied their way to four goals in nine minutes. The game was essentially over at that point. Sure, Arizona made a late push but that will happen when one team is trying to kill the clock with 51 minutes remaining in the game.

There’s a chance Vegas and Arizona will face eachother in the first round of the playoffs so it’ll be interesting if the Coyotes will play a different style or attack the Golden Knights with their speed an offensive weapons they have.

Vegas when they smell blood they’re going to give it to you.-Rick Tocchet, ARI coach

Before I declare a matchup with Arizona another easy path it’s hard not to think about last year’s postseason. Vancouver admitted to be intimidated by Vegas but learned how to absorb hits, adjust and force a deciding game seven. Could the Coyotes do the same?

Vegas’ Cup Contending Offense On Display Last Night

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

No matter how many games an NHL regular season has, no game’s are alike. Sure, the first few games had similarities, Vegas won all three but didn’t look good doing it.

Something had to break.

We were talking before the game that we hadn’t really pitched in too much… It’s kind of convenient that we did tonight, and I thought it definitely helped our overall game. -Shea Theodore

With the exception of the first few minutes, the Golden Knights put together their best attack of the season and were handsomely rewarded from it. Ten players collected points in Vegas’ 5-2 victory against Arizona and not a single one of them were cheap empty-net points either.

All five goals were examples of how dangerous this club can be. Alex Tuch scored Vegas’ first power play goal of the season, Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty paired up once again, and the star defensemen found the net three times.

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Coyotes Always Seem To Keep It Close

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Since their first season, the Golden Knights have now faced the Arizona Coyotes 13 times. Although Vegas’ record is 9-4-0 in those games, it doesn’t truly tell the story, a lot like last night’s game.

The Coyotes will remind us that in their history against the Golden Knights they’ve taken points off the Golden Knights in eight of the 13 games.

We’ve played this team before and we’ve had some success. I don’t want to go in there and be intimidated. We shouldn’t be intimidated if we play the right way. We got to have some swagger going in there knowing that if we play our game we can beat this team. -Rick Tocchet, Coyotes coach

Prior to last night, in the first dozen meetings with the Coyotes, the Golden Knights led the scoring margin by just six goals. However, three were scored in overtime, one in shootout, and one was an empty netter. So, after last night, Vegas has nine wins against Arizona, but an overall lead of just four goals in regulation. 

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Vegas Handles Arizona’s “Mucky” Style Of Play

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After their 2-1 loss in shootouts, the Arizona Coyotes spoke positively about their performance.

We played a good hockey game. We had to kill six penalties, we only had one power play. We deserved better. I’m proud of the guys. They played hard. -Rick Tocchet, Arizona Coach

The Coyotes have been one of the best teams this season in limiting opponents’ goals. They deployed the same strategy yesterday in Vegas. Holding the Golden Knights to one regulation goal was exactly what Arizona intended.

You have to make them defend. They got a lot of skill up front. You get those skill guys playing defense and eventually they’ll make some mistakes and a little bit more tired going up ice. We did a good job staying on top of them. -Jason Demers, Arizona Defenseman

Over the past two seasons, the Golden Knights have essentially owned the Coyotes compiling a record of 6-3-0 over 9 games. This season, Arizona came in with a different philosophy. One that would give them a better chance against the bigger, more skilled Vegas club.

We know they’re so quick and offensively very strong. The best way to play them is to make it a mucky game and make them play defense. I think we’ve learned to just play them and play them hard. I think we’ve done a good job of staying on top of them this season. -Jason Demers

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