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“Tighter-Checking” Last Game Of Series To Be Expected

Max Pacioretty called it a week ago.

I think you’ll probably see that often that it’s going to be a tighter checking game in the second game of the series. -Pacioretty

Talking about adjustments after the second game of the season he said the format reminded him of a college schedule. As a former college hockey standout himself, he’s used to that style of schedule and made a prediction that couldn’t have come more true in the final game of the four-game series against the Coyotes.

The format allows you to kind of make adjustments after a game and while it’s fresh in your mind go out there and try to play a team you were just studying and breaking down. -Pacioretty

I’m not sure he expected a goalless game for the first 59 minutes yesterday, but tight-checking is about as perfect a description of that game as you can find, especially from the Golden Knights.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Vegas gave up just 16 shots against the Coyotes Sunday afternoon in a game that featured just 18 high-danger chances, the season-low in a VGK game (previous low was 19, in the second game against the Ducks).

Vegas did a wonderful job keeping the Coyotes to the outside in the offensive zone, forcing them to play a style they aren’t necessarily comfortable with, especially without Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the lineup.

After three games of learning habits, Vegas was able to adjust to what was making Arizona most dangerous. That was transition off turnovers and players crashing to the net. Look at the difference in where the Coyotes shots came from in Game 3 (the one Arizona won) and Game 4 (when they were shut out). *Charts from NaturalStatTrick.com*

Game 3

Game 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s exactly what the Golden Knights do when they are at their best defensively. Not only do teams have a hard time getting into the offensive zone against Vegas, but when they do, they can’t get to dangerous enough areas to score.

Of course, Arizona adjusted on the other side and we saw a bit of what we remember from the bubble in the Golden Knights’ offense, but Vegas created enough and had been scoring consistently before yesterday that it’s nothing to worry about at this point.

As the season rolls on, and games against the same team are commonplace, keep an eye on the difference in style of play in the last game of the series. Pacioretty expects them often to go like yesterday, and if they do, that’s probably going to be good for the Golden Knights.

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12 Comments

  1. Peter Brown

    Another insightful accounting Ken. Always a pleasure to read. Thanks for all you do.

  2. THE hockey GOD

    i think that 7 or 8 games into season fatigue is setting in

    if i were coach i would call up fresh replacements— with no one in stands this is prime opportunity to expand the ice surface and put more excitement into the game. These past few games, as well as most of others in NHL, are unwatchable.

  3. Peter Brown

    I agree with DeBoer, yesterday the best effort this season. Playing closer to post-exhibition.

  4. Peter. Brown

    Things are going to be interesting “between” Fleury and Lehner.

  5. Peter Brown

    Theodore off to a point/game start 3G/3A.

  6. Peter Brown

    Has the skating of Hague improved? His motion looks smoother than last season. His last year in the juniors he set the Mississauga Steelheads season record for points for a D.

  7. Peter Brown

    In his rookie season last year Hague got 11 points 1G/10A is 38 games. I expect his offensive production to scale up moving forward.

  8. Tim

    Ken nice job with your breakdown. St.Louis is just another game everyone saying this is our first competition is bull. Simple fact whether it’s Colorado, St. Louis or the L. A. Kings two points are two points in the standings. Right now it’s early and we still have to figure out our PP and team rotation so don’t take a win or loss to seriously. My biggest question is will Bill Foley contract with someone to carry the Silver Knights games on TV? Ken that’s your department get us some info please.

    • Peter Brown

      I guess depending on the timing of the WHL season, we could see both Krebs and Korczak on the Silver Knights roster, initially at least? Good thought on televising the games.

  9. Pistol Pete

    Pistol Pete checking in aka Peter Brown lol.

  10. Pistol Pete

    Big day for Petro tomorrow.

    • Pistol Pete

      There must be dynamics in the locker room regarding insights provided by a new roster member playing his old team for the first time, even more so given Petro is the former captain. What insights on the Blues on ice strategies can he provide that the team does not already own? There should be some.

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