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The Golden Knights Forecheck Went After Dallas In Game 1 And They’re Coming Again In Game 2

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

In Game 1, the game plan for the Golden Knights was simple, literally the age old hockey cliche.

Get it in deep.

From the very first shift of the game the Golden Knights consistently sent puck after puck after puck deep into the Dallas zone and then hounded their defensemen until they’d unwillingly give it back.

Vegas’ forecheck was buzzing from puck drop to the final shift a few minutes into overtime. It’s become the hallmark of the Golden Knights’ offensive system, and the head coach was not shy in making a declaration about it moving forward in the series.

That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to do it Sunday, so you can put that in print or whatever it is these days. That’s our game and we’re not trying to hide from it. -Bruce Cassidy

Just as it won’t be news to the Stars on Sunday, Vegas’ forecheck didn’t surprise Dallas in Game 1. They knew it was coming, they knew how effective it can be, they just didn’t handle it well at all.

Part of it was execution on us and part of it was them coming at us hard early. You’ve got to give them credit, they were ready to play and they played well. -Pete DeBoer

The dominance of the forecheck was why the ice was tilted so heavily in Vegas’ favor most of the night. The Golden Knights generated 11 takeaways as they denied every exit route out of the Stars end. It looked like they came into the game knowing exactly what Dallas was going to do with the puck, and that’s because, they did.

Each team pre-scouts how each other break out and if you can get in on the forecheck and make guys lives difficult going back for pucks eventually things will be turn over. -Zach Whitecloud

That’s exactly what happened.

When you play behind them you are going to get some back. You aren’t going to get them all back but when you are forcing them to make a breakout play they now have to execute in order to get out of the zone. Then it comes down to effort. It’s just effort plays. -Cassidy

The forecheck laid the foundation for a territorially dominant game for the Golden Knights. They spent much more time in the offensive zone than Dallas and in a game where funky hops ruled the day, Vegas’ extra zone time meant they created more of the luck for themselves.

As the series moves on, the Stars will likely come back with more of a focus on breaking the puck out of their zone. They’ve felt the tenacity of the VGK forecheck and they should be more prepared for it in Game 2 and beyond. But, no matter how much emphasis is put on it, the Golden Knights will not stop coming.

It’s been a big key to our success the entire playoffs. When we’ve gotten to that part of our game we’ve been a really good team because when we do create turnovers we’re dangerous enough to put pucks in the net. The 5-on-5 numbers reflect that. -Cassidy

Per Cassidy’s request, it’s now “in print or whatever.” Now it’s up to Dallas to handle it much better than they did in Game 1… if that’s even possible.






  1. Pistol Pete

    Spot on Ken. Keep the forecheck coming,
    tenacious and win the Cup. Have to like that Vegas is one of the taller heavier teams in the league, supporting that forecheck.

  2. Bobby

    Formula for success! Good to see everyone bought into the system, truly a team with heart and grit.

  3. Jake

    Keep pounding the Stars:

    Keys stats –

    Heiskanen 29:23 TOI

    Suter 24:52 TOI

    FO Won for Vegas – 57%

    Eichel – 70%

  4. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my NY Rangers keep adding perimeter creampuffs at the trade deadline. It’s as if every year is Groundhog’s Day and they don’t know what they’re doing. Nice job by Vegas, hope they keep it up.

  5. Rashaad

    I highly doubt it because of the old don’t change a winning lineup narrative, but it would be interesting if Vegas made a couple of changes for tomorrow’s early game, load management for older players. I would never put Jonathan Quick in there or take Stone out of the lineup.

    Ben Hutton for Alec Martinez

    This series looks like it’s going to be much less physical than the Oilers series and maybe that will make a Dorofeyev or Cotter for Kolesar move necessary.

    • knights fan in minny

      martini is a warrior he is not coming out of the lineup

    • TS

      Rashaad, no way on Martinez! The seasoned, experienced, wise vets like Martinez are EXACTLY what we need to succeed! He is essential!!

    • Jailbird

      Don’t totally disagree, but as long as they are winning coach is not going to mess with this lineup.

    • Rashaad– – what purpose would be served doing as you suggest. ZERO. They are winning it’s not the time to mess with anything. If they weren’t winning that another story but doesn’t apply at the moment. The quicker Dallas is eliminated the better. Vegas appears at the moment to have a winning attitude and that is extremely important during playoff as there is no tomorrow. Here’s to a win again Sunday and going back to Dallas two up.

  6. Rashaad

    Trying not to get ahead of myself here but this playoff run seems different this time.

    No distractions like shit head Selfish Fluery sending stupid tweets.

    They seem more professional and focussed than ever before. I love they way they stepped on Winnipeg’s neck and finished that series early.

    My minor paranoid concern is Adin Hill staying healthy.

  7. Carson Smith

    Suddenly, the Knights are getting some pub. I’m the previous series vs Edmonton , not one sentence regarding the play of VGK, rather what the Oilers stars had to do to step up. Well balanced teams rarely get the recognition of teams with two Hall of Famers!

  8. Kevin

    You guys act like you won the Stanley cup with game 1 win and the stars didn’t play that well. lol

  9. Jailbird

    Heard a rumor that LT might be skating soon?

  10. James

    As a Stars fan it’s delightful to see how overconfident Knight’s fans are. Shows how little they’ve watched other series so far these playoffs.

  11. Richie-Rich

    A healthy LT will make everyone breathe a bit easier for sure. I really like both Dorofeyev and Cotter but don’t think they are experienced enough to step in. The future’s looking good for this team.

    Dallas did a much better job at breaking out and forechecking themselves in the 2nd half of period 2. D got a bit lazy as well. The Knights dominated the first 30 to 40 minutes of game 1. Had they found net on even half of their chances in period 1 this game would have been a blowout.

  12. Kevin

    Had your goalie not made that good save with 1 minute left you would have lost. 4-3 Dallas in regular time.

  13. Jailbird

    In year one the dream was more a fantasy . This year the dream is based on reality.

  14. Lori Thomsen

    The game was one of the most action filled, edge of my seat games I’ve ever been to in my life. It was great! Dallas is a really good team, just like our VGKs. This series win will not come easy and both teams are going to work for it. I was raised on Hockey, baseball and football, my dad loved them all, but Hockey was his favorite. He used to say “he went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”. I was at The Fortress for game 1, game WON! Our boys showed up, played hard, played great and got the Win! ❤️. I’m so proud of all of them but Aden Hill kicked ass! Continue on guys! Play hard and be good to each other. Vegas LOVES you all!

    • Jailbird

      Amen Lori!

    • Ts

      Lori, I heard that saying for YEARS! ” Went to a fight, and a game broke out”!! I was NOT a hockey fan. And THEN the VGK came to town, taking us ALL by storm, and Vegas became HOCKEYTOWN!! LOVE OUR TEAM!!

  15. Jailbird

    So, we know the Stars will come out strong today. Well, we just need to come out strong as well. We can’t set back in the first period. We need to push their butts. Go get them boys!

  16. bruce silliman

    As I’ve stated here before I was working at T-Mobile that first year and it was a fantasy for the entire season. Crowds poured into the arena just knowing we were going to win. I stood outside the East VIP entrance and fist bumped I bet a thousand people a night. But this year has been different with a lot of hope with the people we started with, then a few bumps along the way like the Stone injury and everyone was going, “woah is me”. But Blue Line came together finally with the top six back and we were off to the trade deadline to see what our GMs would give us. And boy did they produce, three players who just fit right into the puzzle for our final run to the playoffs. So now we are here with an almost totally fit team, except for LT and LB, with lots of players who can fit in at anytime. I’m sorry for Phil K but despite having a great year, at this time it would be a step backwards to use him. Coach Cassidy is showing the brillance we expected of him in molding this group together. And Wild Bill is shutting down the best players on the other team, just ask Connor McDavid. This year is not a fantasy but team that is ready for the big stage.

  17. bruce silliman

    Thanks TS for your comment. Unfortunately I decided to attend the NCAA Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile and was hit with COVID. So to ensure that I can continue to enjoy the VGK this year and into the future I’ve given up attending their games live and will have to root for them at my home. Also, will be not attending any large gatherings in the future. GO KNIGHTS GO

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