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Vegas Not The Only Bullies On The Ice This Round

In the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Golden Knights were known as the schoolyard bully. Whether it was a big hit by Ryan Reaves, Max Pacioretty slashing Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat late in a game, or Vegas’ bench calling Quinn Hughes a towel boy? The fear tactics worked against those teams, but it won’t make the Dallas Stars flinch.

Vegas may call it playing heavy and physical, but Dallas calls it Stars hockey. They openly invite Vegas to try and bully them around. And by the way, this isn’t a secret to the Golden Knights.

Now that Vegas trails the series 1-0 their approach needs to be clearly focused on hockey. With a slumping offense, finishing hits and behind the play antics shouldn’t be a concern. Of course, there will be after the whistle moments but it’s only worth engaging if the Golden Knights are scoring. With Reaves back in the lineup he’ll add some energy and grit but his big physical force won’t impact the outcome against Dallas. Plus, I’m not sure that’s a road Vegas wants to go down. There are no Antoine Roussel’s on the ice out to take frustrations out on. Sure, Corey Perry is a pest but he’s also 6’3″.

The main reason why the Golden Knights should lighten up with the cheapies and chirps is the Stars discipline, or lack thereof. Among the teams remaining in the postseason, Dallas leads in penalty minutes and penalty minutes per game. They’ve spent 183 minutes in the box, and average 10:45 PIMs per game. Sure, Vegas’ PP is struggling but multiple man-advantages a game allows opportunities to break out of their slump and wear down Dallas’ lineup. It’ll pay off eventually if the Stars begin to unravel.

Both Chicago and Vancouver were comprised of smaller, inexperienced players that were admittedly scared of Vegas’ heavy hitters and shocked by their level of chattiness. As the series went on, the Canucks ignored the after school playground crap and went out and won three games. None of that will exist against the Stars. If it does, it could be the other way around.

There’s no doubting Dallas is a tough team, and tonight Vegas will have to play smart to even up the series. By no means was the physical element the reason why the Golden Knights lost Game 1, it was their offense. Fixing that will change the entire series. Staying composed and taking advantage of Dallas’ undisciplined play will help Vegas get points on the board.

But I’d advise Nick Cousins not to yell a Findlay Chevy “Woooo” the next time he drops Dallas captain Jamie Benn to the ice.

Benn doesn’t seem like the type of guy that would forget.

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11 Comments

  1. The Noodle King

    Time to shut up and put up.

  2. One game can be overcome but lead dont follow keep shooting the goals will come
    Good luck VGK

  3. Daryl

    VGK is no stranger to the penalty box either… they have 132 penalty minutes themselves. Those minutes also come against smaller and weaker foes.

    Not sure where my math went wrong but I had DAL averaging 13 PIM/game while having VGK with 10 PIM/game. Either way, VGK isn’t too far behind DAL in penalty minutes.

    Either way, both of these teams are physical so it will be interesting to see how they each handle getting hit.

  4. DOC aPositiveFan

    Once again Ken shows his utter lack of respect for Reeves and his play. I think Revo WILL have an impact in the game, positively. Our boys will come out flying and playing good hockey tonight. Regardless of what Mr. Negative, Ken, says. GO KNIGHTS GO !!!

  5. A Fan

    If they don’t start scoring in this game and/or lose tonight, it’s going to be a long and tough road to the Cup finals. Big game tonight…better win it.

  6. Julie

    VGK lost Game 1 against Winnipeg and then went on to win 4 straight games when they went for the Western Conference their first year. Maybe that history can repeat itself. Also, if it’s true that Dallas usually peters out of energy and can’t sustain their mojo and Vegas usually builds theirs, that can only be good for us. Just in case, I am doing a little praying and I sacrificed a homemade cheesecake because as we all know, every little bit helps. Be golden, VGK!!

    • The Noodle King

      OMG, Julie…..don’t waste the cheesecake……!!

    • Well Julie it should be easy for Vegas to build their mojo as they are starting from zero based on their performance Sunday night. Like you pointed out concerning yr 1 versus Winnipeg hopefully in this case history will repeat itself. Where did the history come from regarding Dallas petering out or is that just wishful thinking. Prayer will help for sure. They can’t afford to go down two so hopefully they will appear this evening with the attitude to get the job done. Not sure what they expected Sunday from Dallas but obviously they were caught off guard and they never recovered. My prayer is they learned from the experience, figure where they want to go and step up. They need to screen the goalie and pour on the shots. They don’t need 8 goals like Tampa – it would make things interesting but they need more than one despite that was all it took Sunday night by Dallas. GO Knights Go
      .

      • Julie

        Hey, HD, I was scanning sites and then looked at predictions for the game. I think it was “winners and whiners” that talked about Dallas not sustaining their energy the most. Rotowire also does a blurb on the goalies ( and the other players) on each game played if you look up NHL starting goalies which I find factual.

  7. DOC aPositiveFan

    It’s almost ….. KNIGHT-TIME!!!!!!!!!!! Show em you’re CUP worthy tonight guys. Two big boys back in the lineup, Panda and Revo! GO KNIGHTS GO !!!

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