Last night’s 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers was another game the Golden Knights would like to forget. The reigning champions put themselves in harm’s way midway through the 1st period with their lack of discipline. The Panthers took advantage of their initial power play in the opening period and continued through their first man advantage in the final period. It was uncharacteristic, unfortunate, and ugly.
I think our power play sucked the life out of us. Your top guys are on it and those are the guys that make it go. Our best players got out played on special teams by their best players. From there we weren’t able to get our game back. I didn’t speak to the players afterwards but maybe they can answer why they couldn’t get back to their game. Or if they were stuck on failed power plays. -Bruce Cassidy
Beginning with William Carrier’s 1st period tripping penalty, the home team had difficulty bailing out goaltender Logan Thompson all night. Thursday’s loss marked the third time this season that Vegas committed more than seven penalties in a game. The reigning champions are 1-2-0 in those games, losing both to Florida. Perhaps the Golden Knights should have been more prepared for a murky game considering they fell into the Panthers trap less than two weeks ago.
20 guys come to the rink every day. Everyone has to play better. The forwards have to play better. The D have to play better. The goalies have to play better. -Mark Stone
Florida tagged Vegas for three power play goals, accruing one in each period. The Golden Knights penalty kill couldn’t clear out in front of the net and their power play was hopeless. On the flip side, the Panthers were 50% on the power play and 100% killing penalties. If the percentages were slightly different, the local club might’ve been able to close the gap. However, that would have taken a full 60-minute effort.
We better get our friggin’ heads out of our… if that’s what we think we’re going to be perfect every night. There’s not a perfect team in this league. Get back to work and win a game five-on-five. Kill the next penalty and bear down. We weren’t able to do that. -Bruce Cassidy
Since December 12th the Golden Knights have missed out on 12 standing points, taken more penalties than they’ve drawn, and are -7 in power play goal differential. Clearly, VGK’s PP and PK have hit a wall.
While we’re at it, let’s add Vegas’ struggling 5-on-5 to the list. Over their last seven contests, the reigning Stanley Cup champions are averaging 2.14 goals per game and are allowing 4.14 goals per game. Scoring has dried up since mid-December, and defense and goaltending haven’t made the difference.
There’s going to be lulls in the season where the intensity doesn’t match the other teams, but this has been way too long. -Bruce Cassidy
Vegas’ Stanley Cup-winning coach is frustrated with the funk his club is currently stuck in and hopes to work things out by Saturday’s matchup against the New York Islanders. New York has also been struggling since mid-December, but it hasn’t been due to inefficient special teams. In that span, the Islanders have recorded four power play goals in 22 opportunities while allowing four in 26 penalty kill attempts. Both teams are in the middle of the pack in PP% and aren’t all that good on the PK%, so it’s likely Saturday’s game against New York will come down to who wins the 5-on-5 battle. This should make Cassidy, Stone, and the fans feel better about snapping Vegas’ latest skid.