For the second straight game, the losing goaltender suggested there’s “nothing special” about the Golden Knights. However, by no means were Matt Murray
or James Reimer being critical. If anything, both goalies were overly impressed by Vegas.
I don’t know if you can be underrated with their record, at some point (you’re) not underrated. Honestly, hats off to them. They’re an honest hockey team. They come and they work hard and they work honest. So there’s nothing special to their game, they’re a group that’s working very well and very hard here. -James Reimer, Florida Goaltender
The Panthers goalie fought hard against the persistent Vegas attack but couldn’t stop Erik Haula’s game-winning tip-in. Reimer also called the Golden Knights an honest, well-balanced, hard-working team on the ice. Now compare that to what Penguins goaltender Matt Murray said Thursday night.
They are just absolutely a dog and a bone on that puck. They just work so hard, and I think that’s where they kind of caught us by surprise on a couple. Especially on the forecheck where like I said, caught by surprise, quick turn over, bang bang to the net. That’s what they are good at we knew that going into it, but they are definitely a hard working team and a fast team. Good in transition, you know I don’t think they do anything special but they work extremely hard and I think that’s why they have such success. -Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Goaltender
The one guy that would know if the Golden Knights do anything special would be their head coach.
I think we play the game the right way, most of the time. We make mistakes like every other team. I think we turn over four lines, I think we turn over six defenseman. We play two goalies all the time. I think the guys really like being a big part of our team. When we’re going to win, to be successful everyone has got to play. It’s a team win for us, every night. -Gerard Gallant
So there you have it, in the NHL not doing anything special, really means doing something special. Boy these cliches are just the worst, aren’t they?
By all accounts, the Golden Knights play a simple game. All 23 Vegas players work hard, play with discipline, and execute the coaches plan. According to NHL goaltenders like Reimer and Murray, simple can be tough to defend against. The Golden Knights never let up and bring constant pressure. Add in speed and possession, it’s no surprise opposing goaltenders leave the Strip empty-handed.
For an expansion team, that is special.