Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Team Defense Helped Make A 15 Shot Offensive Effort Look Like Plenty

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

For the first time in a long time, the Golden Knights looked like the real Golden Knights while protecting a lead. At their best, as they were en route to winning 16 of 22 playoff games a year ago and hoisting the Stanley Cup, Vegas is a lockdown defensive team that makes it impossible on opponents to generate scoring chances. This regular season though, they never quite returned to being that style of team with any consistency.

In the 1st period, the struggles continued. Despite having a keen understanding on exactly what the Dallas Stars are trying to accomplish, VGK couldn’t quite settle in defensively early.

The goals that we let in, that’s part of their strength. It was rush goals. It’s just being aware and being on top of certain guys. It’s something that we can fix next game, being aware of who we’re up against on the ice. There’s a reason why they’re first in the league on rush chances. It’s up to us to be aware and be above everybody. When they miss their chances, we know we have to bring it up quick. It’s on wingers and centers to show early options and be able to transition quick. -Jonathan Marchessault

Dallas generated five high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in the 1st period, scored two goals that counted and another that was ruled off by an offside challenge.

The good news for the Golden Knights was that they were able to exit that period with the lead and eventually extend it early in the 2nd. That allowed them to get back to their true identity that made them a Stanley Cup champion, which is defending.

They’re as advertised. A good team, obviously the additions make a difference for them for sure. If you’re going to knock off the Stanley Cup Champions, then you’re going to have to bring your A-game every night. Tonight, we did some decent things and did some things well, but we were chasing the game the whole night from the first shot of the game on. Tough to play from behind against that team. You can’t chase the game the whole series. We were chasing the game all night, and we’ve got to fix that going forward. -DeBoer

The Golden Knights generated just five shots in 39 minutes of hockey after they grabbed a 4-2 lead, but they were able to make the lead hold up due to their defending.

After that 1st period we locked that up a little bit and forced them to dump some pucks in and hem them in our zone. They have a lot of speed with some of their lines. That is something you want to eliminate, and I thought we did a good job with that as the game went on. -Noah Hanifin

Included in eliminating the rush chances, which Vegas did excellently especially in the 3rd period, the Golden Knights began blocking shots. In the 1st period, Vegas did not record a single blocked shot. When the game was over, they had managed to post 20, nearly seven more than their season average.

They’ve got some guys that are good around the net that can tip pucks. Sometimes when you are boxing out you happen to front pucks and get in that lane and I thought our guys did a great job of that tonight. -Hanifin

As the game wore on, Vegas’ defending started to slow down the Stars. Late in the game especially, the Golden Knights were excellent at getting back to Dallas dump-ins and making a quick accurate first pass. Then, they supported the puck well to consistently exit the zone and neutralize the Dallas forecheck.

Even when a goaltending mishap helped bring the Stars to within one, Vegas’ D remained steadfast.

In the 3rd there was nothing going on until their goal and of course they get life. But we played the right way and we stuck with it. We know how to do that and we know how to win. I heard all kinds of comments on the bench. Good teams this time of year tend to not panic in those situations and we didn’t. -Cassidy

There’s been a question all season on whether or not the Golden Knights can flip the switch when they finally arrive at the games that truly matter.

It happened in Game 1.

Now it’s about keeping it on, because consistency was another issue they fought all season as well.




VGK’s Shot Blockers Back To Frustrating Playoff Opponents


  1. Pistol Pete

    The regular season is just such a grind playing hard defending all season long, injuries, fatigue. Good teams are able to flip the switch come the postseason and of course it helps to have the captain back and an otherwise 100% healthy roster (did something happen to Carrier again?) plus the addition of Hertl and Hanifin. If Carrier is hurt again I feel completely comfortable with Howden-Roy-Kolesar but let’s see Dorofeyev on the Karlsson line for his first playoff game hitting and winning puck battles!

  2. Erik d

    This is not repeatable for this team, last years team also got goaltending that stopped all the easy ones. Oettinger isn’t giving up 4 on 14 every night, I think he’s overrated a bit but still far better than that, on the other hand that wtf goal from Thompson in the third is more the norm for our goaltending then we like to admit. We play that same game 10 times they win 8. This team needs to keep generating because some shots will get through and we can’t trust goaltending to save anything. Literally the reason this team won was oettinger was bad, and this article for some reason praises them for going completely away from taking further advantage, you can’t have a goalie give up 4 in 10 shots then only get 4 more shots in the next nearly 40 minutes.

    • Erik d

      For me, I’d put doro on the third line,

      If carrier is healthy let the 4th line be roy-carrier-howden, otherwise replace carrier with kolesar.

      This gives us more versatility imo because if the game is close and you don’t trust doro defensively as you cut down playing time move howden up later in the game. Yet early on in the game it will give us more offensive weapons, which I said in my other comment we aren’t winning many with that shot output

      • Pjt

        You will not succeed if you keep switching players in the lineup. Now is the time to maintain consistency and play the game right. Trust the coaches and the linesmen. Just play your game accordingly. Fall back on your training and discipline. Now is not the time to experiment.
        If you want to help, here’s how you do it:

        1. Watch the tapes. Study not only vgk players and their tendencies but the opposing team as well. Spot something. Say something and let Ken feed it up the chain.
        2. Look for good matchups and suggest them e.g. can Hertl neutralize Pavelski? Who should face off against who?
        3. Play recognition. DeBoer likes to set up plays like an NFL playbook. Spot his top plays and suggest ways to neutralize them.
        4. How to deal with breakaways and stretch passes?
        5. Early lead and then 1-3-1 neutral zone trap. It’s not exciting but the playoffs are about winning. Not for your entertainment. Leave that to wpg vs col.

        I know we are just fans and not professional scouts or color analysts but hear me out. This is just another form of crowd sourcing. If you seriously want our team to succeed, this is how you do it constructively. GKG!

        • Erik d

          Just as important as anything you mention is being self aware, the team can’t think that’s good enough, you simply do not score 4 goals on 15 shots much, it’s why I said doro, he likes to shoot, then when you’ve got the lead you can lean more on howden in the trap and less on doro. I don’t have any delusions coaches are listening to me, or Ken for that matter. So what I say here is my opinion not to influence, you are insane if you think Cassidy is reading this right now and thinking wow that guy does or doesnt know what he’s talking about. Very little of what you said actually addressed my points but instead were just red herrings to make you think you know what you are talking about .

          • Pjt

            Trust me I love me some Dorofeyev too. He’s a sniper and a valuable offensive asset to our team. Defensively though, could we achieve the Cassidy lockdown with him? Perhaps but the coaches didn’t think so at the time. Like I said, regular season and playoffs are different. I would have hedged with an experienced player than risk a talented first timer. If however a player gets hurt, which is very likely, Pavel would be my choice over Cotter or Rondbjerg. But i would still play Amadio over the Russian though only because 22 has gone through the playoffs with us last year and won us a cup. He deserves to be in the lineup but being a great guy like he is, he doesn’t mind riding the bench. Don’t worry, when we hit that tough rough patch, coach will start trying other guys. As for your claim, I never said any staff would waste their time reading my post or yours but maybe Ken does and he does talk to the staff. So who knows.

          • Erik d

            My odd man out is kolesar, so it makes no difference on the Cassidy defensive system, you get offense early that kolesar doesn’t offer, howden can adequately do what kolesar does, then later in the game when kolesar is having his minutes restricted that’s doro, best of all worlds imo

          • PJT

            Erik d comments:

            “My odd man out is kolesar, so it makes no difference on the Cassidy defensive system, you get offense early that kolesar doesn’t offer,”

            My response:

            They don’t call them the shutdown line for nothing.
            That Cassidy and DeBoer both often start that line against the first line of the opposing team tells you something. Champions win because they can roll all four lines.

    • Annie

      Most of this team is healthy if they keep defense and a few more goals we will repeat as long as their mindset is win they can do it.

  3. Pistol Pete

    Stone took Hertl under his wing showing him around, having him over to his place to watch and talk hockey plus extended sessions in the gym together. Now they are fast fast buddies on the same line looking to build chemistry.

    How things can change between hockey players! Jesse Granger says this is Hertl’s only fight ever.

  4. ThG

    Stone had a word with Thompson, not a very steady Eddie in the nets. Note the minus twos. Stone, hannifin, petro. no. 20. Team was lucky to come out of this one alive. Game two is always hardest to win for road play off team.

    PS genocide Joe is real threat to “democracy”, not the other guy.
    Anyone with a brain knows that. Dictator, who ignores SC rulings and
    weaponizing the justice departments to go after his political opponent.

  5. Bobby

    Deepest team in the league, in business mode now. Keep grinding.

  6. ThG

    Thompson had better stop watching MAF replays before he loses it entirely

    meanwhile Howe vs Orr, Howe won.

  7. NAM

    Just my take on some things:

    There is the cassidy lockdown defense that has been missing all season, minus a couple of games. Really really good stuff.

    Thompson: He did great at some intense times!! Stop killing the guy. He had 1 completely stupid goal whiff and that was on him, but the defender was MIA to contest the shot, still should have been stopped, no question. The other two goals are on the defense or the team. Benn should have never got the break away and logan should never had been in that spot period. The Petra to Stone to DAL blunder was 100% avoidable. I knew as soon as he passed it to Stone that puck was going to be contested. Just a dumb mistake getting out of your zone and again I don’t blame the goalie for the flub in front of the net.

    Outside of that I think everyone played really hard and for them most part good enough. Team effort. Dmen all looked good for once. Carrier was really rusty and off, but I think it was mitigated by good play by Kolesar on that line.

    We have seen the moves, now the chess match begins. Dallas will rebound no question. Vegas will need to find more offensive to their game now, especially to try and start with the lead again or worse recover from a Dallas lead. I don’t think Dallas will be caught off guard again early.

    No matter how it goes from here on out I am super happy to see the VGK playoff team show up for game 1 on the road.

    • TS

      Nam, agree on LT’S game…the open goal against him wasn’t defended by our D, a nd LT was left wide open. Dallas hammered him relentlessly at times, but he held his ground..
      Score could hv been ugly. Otherwise, our guys played good playoff hockey.

  8. JB

    Not a perfect game, but well in hand in the third until that very soft goal let in. Not panicking about LT yet. But he needs to calm down. Quite frankly, as I expected, we are in Dallas’ heads. They are good but we are a better overall team.

  9. Bolts1

    Death, Taxes, And Mark Stone Coming Off Long-Term IR For The Playoffs

    Mark Stone Cemented His Legacy Last Night As The Greatest Salary Cap Circumventer The Game Of Hockey Has Ever Seen.

    Amid boos, Stone leads Knights to win in return

    Mark Stone scored 2 minutes into his Golden Knights’ playoff return and NHL fans all had the same reaction


    those are just some of the headlines from today’s fake news, ink stained wretches.

    It just makes it all the more enjoyable to stick it to these aholes with Stone scoring and the Knights winning. Espn had Bucci-gross crying constantly about Stone and the cap. Poor widdle babies have nothing to say about Tampa and 2 cups. nope, just the hated for jealousy reasons Vegas Golden Knights.

    • knights fan in minny

      love it bolts

      • Bolts1

        here are the teams that exceeded the cap with LTIR according to the final cap hit stat on Capfriendly………

        Toronto 97.6
        Tampa 93.7
        VGK 92.2
        Col 90.9
        Mtl 88.8
        Van 86.5
        LA 85.9
        Wash 85.7
        Minn 85.6
        Bos 85.4
        Pit 85.2
        Ott 85.1
        NYR 84.6
        NyIsles 84.5
        Phil 83.69
        Fla 83.57
        Edm 83.553

        Gee, no mention of Toronto or Tampa etc etc from the crybabies in the media.

        • ThG

          stone seemed to be a bit rattled by boos, he was looking into the stands when crowd was booing him

  10. Jack Hammer

    Golden Knights are great!

    But I am the best!

  11. knights fan in minny

    hague possibly DTD

    • JB

      We have Marty and Hutton to step in if Hager can’t go. We are so deep all across the lineup.

  12. Vic

    It wasn’t mainly team defense that won this game. The team (everyone) answered the bell in period one hitting anyone in sight (ok except Theo). Roy was a man possessed or loaded with caffeine (8 hits), Jack with 5 and Barby with 7. The first period checking stunned the Stars and created the 2-0 lead that made them chase for the whole game. Not sure they can maintain that sort of hitting, but it led to victory and home ice. Now the Stars have to wonder, how will they come at us in the next game, and the goalie has the VGK renting space in his head.

  13. stats

    doncha know? Mark Stone had back surgery just to help out his team, and then this year Stone got checked, fell down, and then he rushed into the locker room and told GM Kelly McCrimmon to lacerate his spleen just so his team could make some trades.

    all according to internet trolls from 31 NHL teams.

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