The Golden Knights have had the luxury of a relatively spread out schedule to this point in the season. During the seven-game homestand to begin the year Vegas had 11 days in which they were not playing a game. They took full advantage of a majority of those days by practicing.
On the long road trip they had just three days off between the six games. When the Golden Knights came home for the Friday game against the Jets, which they dominated, they had a decision to make about practice days, off days, and when to travel.
With three days in between the game against Winnipeg and the one in Edmonton, the Golden Knights opted for an off-ice training session on Saturday, a complete off day on Sunday, and a practice in Vegas before traveling to Edmonton on Monday. After seeing the dismal performance in Edmonton, Gerard Gallant’s now second guessing that schedule.
You go back and think, ‘did we do the right thing?’ You are trying to rest your team and get them ready, maybe it was the wrong decision. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but we looked flat tonight. -Gerard Gallant
It’s the first time all year (including training camp) the Golden Knights did not hit the ice in back-to-back days, despite having multiple opportunities to do so with the early spread out schedule. Looking forward, the next chance the schedule could possibly permit for consecutive days off the ice is from December 20th to the 27th when they play just one home game before heading off to the LA/Anaheim back-to-back. They’ll likely have Christmas off, but it doesn’t sound like there will be many more off days in the Golden Knights’ future.
As a coach, you think about those decisions you make. We had two days off the ice and then we had a practice day yesterday. Maybe that’ll be the last time we have two days off the ice at one time. -Gallant
It’s certainly an interesting thought to come to mind for a coach after his team put forth their worst effort of the year. Whether the training schedule was the reason will never truly be determined, but the next time the team feels they deserve an extra day off the ice, they’ll likely be reminded of November 14th in Edmonton.