We all watched with our own eyes on Thursday night. Vegas’ 5-2 victory over Anaheim got off to a quick but hectic start. In the opening eight minutes of the 2021 season, the two teams totaled four early goals. We know what happened later in the game, but let’s focus on the first eight minutes of the game.
If you’re playing in a normal season, and we get up two nothing like that the building is rocking. We got to learn to continue to push, we kind of let our foot off the gas after going up two nothing. -Mark Stone
In the initial 2:13 of the 1st period it looked like Vegas had turned the game into a one-sided contest. Jonathan Marchessault and Tomas Nosek nabbed their first goals of the season, temporarily giving the feel of a normal Golden Knights drubbing of the Ducks. Minutes later things quickly changed.
With their backs against the wall, Anaheim battled back and scored two of their own. Like the Golden Knights, the Ducks netted two in a matter of minutes.
The first eight minutes were messy but that wasn’t a shock to the players or coaches involved.
With no preseason you have to evaluate your game. We had some breakdowns a little too much in front of our own net. Some mental breakdowns but we also battled back. We gave up two goals early and we were able to respond the way we wanted to. -Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks captain
After a long time off the ice and a short training camp, it was expected both teams would come out rusty. However, both offenses came out hot and surprised the defense and goaltenders right from the opening faceoff. According to Anaheim’s head coach Dallas Eakins, the early flow of the game was sort of a reality check.
The Ducks coach felt the tempo was a result of neither team playing a real opponent prior to Thursday night’s game.
Probably both teams underestimated the speed of the game. I said it after the first period, the pace in that game is much higher than our intra-squad game. I’m sure Vegas goes through the same thing. You have an intra-squad game, you think the pace is pretty good and then you have another team and the pace is even higher. -Dallas Eakins, Ducks coach
The two teams settled down after an early scoring frenzy and it became a well-defended, well-played game over the next 32 minutes. Vegas’ loaded lineup eventually took control in the 3rd period and it ended up with a multi-goal lead.
They’re going to watch the tape tonight and tomorrow, and try and learn some of our habits and adjust. They’re going to scout us pretty well after that game and definitely come back harder next game. -Max Pacioretty
It’s doubtful tonight’s game gets off to that same high-scoring start, but there will be periods of sloppiness from both sides. It’s only game two of a unique, uncertain season. One thing is for sure, the Golden Knights are expecting a strong effort from the Ducks.