It’s been said that a two goal lead is the worst lead in hockey. Silly, right? However, there’s some truth to it.
As you might expect, the absolute most dangerous lead in hockey is the one-goal lead as 85.35% of those were surrendered. That means either a game was tied up or the opponent took the lead back from them.
A two goal lead was given up 39.52%, seeing a two-goal lead given up nearly four out of every ten times is incredible. Think of the “dead puck” era when a two-goal lead essentially meant the game was over. Now? Not so much. Of the 463 times a team held a two-goal advantage, 183 times that team gave it up.- NBCSports.com
When a club is up two or more in a game, they tend to take their foot off the gas or play with a bit of unnatural risk. Not too mention trying to stop an angry, desperate team chasing goals. On Tuesday night in St. Louis it was a rare occurrence that a 2-0 lead wasn’t good enough for Pete DeBoer and his players.
We got the start we wanted for a change, and we talked about that, and we let them back in the game.-Pete DeBoer, VGK coach
No need for panic as it was the first time all season the Golden Knights blew a two goal advantage and lost. Vegas had spoiled puckline leads in the past but always found ways to win. The season opener against Seattle and the overtime scramble against Anaheim are two instances that stand out. In St. Louis the guard was let down too early and the Blues sensed it.
Original Golden Knight David Perron liked the Blues response on Tuesday night. Perron told Bally Sports Midwest that trailing by two only fueled his team.
They had a couple of good bounces early but we were about to bounce back. Everyone got a little frustrated, a little pissed off and it brought the emotions out of us. We got goals right away and had a solid rest of the first period.-David Perron, STL forward
To be fair, Vegas has been on the right end of most blown leads. It’s happened in seven contests this season. In fact the last four games featured two goal leads disappear and the Golden Knights were 2-2 in those games. The Golden Knights are 2-1 when squandering multiple goal leads, and are 3-1 when climbing back from a two goal deficit. Although they would rather not be in those situations it’s clear DeBoer’s squad is comfortable under either circumstances.
And it’s not only happening in Vegas games.
Used to be the dreaded two-goal lead is the most dangerous in hockey, but now it seems like the four-goal lead’s the hardest one to hold on to. Teams believe they can come back at any time.-Jon Cooper, TB coach
One reason why the Golden Knights are equipped for a comeback is when they allow opponents to score. Vegas is tied for the most goals allowed in the first period. However, it’s only effected them once. The Golden Knights tend to do their damage in the second and third.
VGK Goal Differential By Period
- 1st Period: (-5) Goal Differential
16 Goals Scored, 21 Goals Allowed
- 2nd Period: (+2) Goal Differential
20 Goals Scored, 18 Goals Allowed
- 3rd Period: (+1) Goal Differential
21 Goals Scored, 20 Goals Allowed
- Overtime: (+1) Goal Differential
1 Goal Scored, 0 Goals Allowed
The Golden Knights tend to do their damage in the second and third. It hasn’t hurt the final result too many times this season, but St. Louis only needed half of a period to score their three. That’s something neither Vegas or any team can do and expect to win.
While a two goal advantage or deficit will keep players, coaches and fans at the edge of their seats, the truth of the matter is any lead is a good lead. The NHL is so competitive each night that any edge can turn into victories or overtime points. As long as Vegas ends up with two points, it shouldn’t matter if they blew a lead or not. Now giving up a three in the opening twenty minutes is an issue for another day.