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Tag: Todd McLellan

Are The Kings An Actual Threat To The Golden Knights Repeat?

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Sound the alarms the Golden Knights dropped another game. Even worse, they lost to a second Pacific Division team. So far this week the Stanley Cup champions dreadfully lost back-to-back games for the first time since losing Game’s 4 & 5 of the Western Conference finals. It’s time to sarcastically panic.

You work for your bounces. They did a good job getting to the net. We had our looks, we just didn’t capitalize on them. -Mark Stone

Last night’s 4-1 loss to the LA Kings was not exactly an upset. Of course, the Golden Knights were favored and held a better record but their counterparts from Los Angeles have been storming to keep it tight in the division. Entering the game, LA was riding a three-game win streak and points in six straight games. While the Golden Knights have stolen most of the headlines coming out of Pacific this season, the Kings have quietly made history of their own. After Wednesday’s game, LA became the eighth team to win their first seven road games. In reality, the two teams are closer than some expected.

So, should the Golden Knights consider the Kings a threat?

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Kings Humbled By Golden Knights 1st Period Domination

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last night most Golden Knights fans were prepared for an entertaining, nail-biting battle with the LA Kings. The problem was, only one team showed up in time. Sure, the math wasn’t in their favor but coming into Thursday’s clash but the Kings had a chance to make things uncomfortable for the Pacific Division’s leader. However, the Golden Knights came out firing and sunk the Kings in the opening 11 minutes.

We got a break with the disallowed goal. That helped us. We talked a little more in depth about LA’s system and a little deeper dive than maybe some other teams we played. Our forecheck was outstanding. Guys were real dedicated to that game plan tonight. I always say against teams that are very good defensively, play a certain way and if you get a lead, it may take them out of their structure a little bit. A lot of playoff hockey mentality. -Bruce Cassidy

Before the game was 22 minutes old, the Golden Knights were up a handful of goals. The Kings looked disengaged, out-of-sorts, and tired. After the opening goal was called back, Vegas pounced on the reversal and took charge of the game and the division.

Not only did the Golden Knights crush any chance the Kings had at moving up the standings, but they left the visitors questioning their effort and focus.

The other day I gave credit to the team as whole. I said it was a team win, tonight was a team loss. There were very few players that were engaged early. You can’t play like that at this time of the year. We haven’t had one of those periods in a long, long time. It’s a little humbling when it does happen. That won’t be good enough for the rest of the season and the playoffs. We know that. All of their damage was done in the first seven minutes so you shouldn’t be worn out at that point. You just weren’t ready to play. – Todd McLellan, Kings coach

Just about the only statistic the Kings were in control of was hits. While LA threw their bodies around, Vegas possessed the puck and heavily pressured the offensive zone. Outside of a couple of special teams tallies, the Kings were completely overwhelmed by the Golden Knights attack. According to Cassidy, his team executed their plan to clog and control the inside of the King’s net.

Power play got us a good goal early on. Stephenson’s line had lots of jump and got rewarded. Phil took one to the net. All of the little things. Inside hockey. We talked about it; you’ve got to get inside. At least two goals on top of the crease. A lot of good things. -Cassidy

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Familiarity Helped LA’s McLellan Prepare For Kings 4-2 Victory

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There aren’t many head coaches as familiar with the Golden Knights as LA’s Todd McLellan. Last night represented the 23rd time McLellan faced Vegas in their six-year franchise history.

I was impressed with our group the way we played early. We were fast, we executed well, our passing was crisp, we worked into position. Let’s call it what it is, [coming out of a break] it’s usually pretty or ugly and you have your fingers crossed that pretty shows up and that was the case for us in the first period. If you recall a year ago coming back, it was ugly against Vegas, so maybe somewhere in the back of their minds they remembered that. -Todd McLellan, LAK Coach

Since being hired in LA, McLellan is 8-10-0 against Vegas. With the exception of the shortened 56-game season, the Kings have had some level of success against the Golden Knights under their current coach. Vegas took six of eight from Los Angeles in 2020-21, but are a combined 4-5-1 outside of that NCAA-style schedule.

Also, as coach of the Edmonton Oilers, the veteran bench boss posted a 3-2-0 record against the Golden Knights. Last night, McLellan joined Jared Bednar, Craig Berube, and Bruce Boudreau as the only four to beat the Golden Knights under all three coaches in team history. To say he has experience coaching against Vegas would be an understatement.

Yeah, I think we played great. I think we started the game well, we were all over them at the start and I think that was that was good and the team kept it going. -Victor Arvidsson, LAK Forward

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