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Vegas’ Unheralded Unit Comes Through Again

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s fair to say the Golden Knights’ defensive unit have outperformed their opponents all postseason. Vegas’ defense have allowed the second least goals per game, and consistently cause star snipers to shake their heads and shrug their shoulders on the bench. However, last night was evidence of how the Golden Knights’ blue line can change the outcome differently when they’re pitching in offensively.

They got some solid d-men over there. They were finding lanes, getting pucks through and jumping in to the rush. That’s what good D does. I’ll have to find a way to mitigate that. -Carey Price, MTL goaltender

In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals, three Golden Knights defensemen scored and five registered a point. Vegas’ blue line produced more points than Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Alex Tuch, and Mattias Janmark combined. Yet it didn’t matter for Vegas.

Not only were the Golden Knights’ defensive core one of the highest-scoring in the regular season but they’ve nearly matched it in the playoffs. In the regular season, Vegas’ blueline combined for 142 points, adding 0.39 of offense per game. In the postseason it’s been equally as impressive.

VGK’s Offense From Defensemen

Regular Season: 142 Points (36 Goals, 139 Assists), 0.39 Points Per Game
Postseason: 37 Points (9 Goals, 28 Assists), 0.38 Points Per Game

Last night’s game-winning goal scorer Alec Martinez leads the charge with three playoff goals, two on the power play. Shea Theodore finally broke through and Nick Holden has been an unexpected surprise for coach Pete DeBoer. This was the second game that Golden Knights forwards weren’t needed as much. In Game 6 against Colorado, Vegas advanced largely because of the additional goals from Holden and Alex Pietrangelo.

They do a good job of getting pucks through. They jump up in the play and we have to do a better job of taking them away and slowing them down coming up the ice. -Joel Edmundson, MTL defenseman

Overall, the Golden Knights are 3-2 in the playoffs when receiving a goal from a defensemen. The tally board is at nine goals and counting for Vegas’ D and they show no signs of slowing down. That’s great news for the Golden Knights. To win the next two series Vegas will need to rely on impact scoring from their depth forwards and defensemen. It negates top-six scoring droughts and frustrates opponents.

One goal from a d-man can change history. Just ask Martinez.

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13 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    O (uc )H Canada!!

    As fans across our upper border woke up this morning they found that their Cindarella team’s luster is a little less shiny. Their highly praised goalie not as MVPish as EASTERN press made him out to be. Quickly followed by the sound of gnashing of teeth throughout the north land. {there are 13 verses in Bible regarding the gnashing of teeth, I will not post them all here, for now}.

    The press from Canada , who outnumber the local press by at least 10 to one,
    along with Hockey experts who tagged along have gone over game one with a fine tooth comb. They have vowed to find every flaw , every chink in the armor, of the Golden Chicken chokes. Opps, I mean Knights. While they snicker among each other with the “BAWK BAWK BAWK” cries under their breath. Laughing at the ‘expansion team’. Saying that the highly vaunted HABS franchise will never lose to an expansion team, ever. They promise to exploit these weaknesses as the series unfolds one way or another.

    Coach Dominique Ducharme of the Canadians swore up and down that the HEAT and DRY air had nothing at all to with the performance in game one. He alluded to “positive ions” in the air that made his “players feel good”. Nor was he blaming that several of his players were seen in Flippers Gentlemen Boutique sipping orange juice and ginger ale. When asked about several D man throwing dice at the craps table he denied it and said they were groupies from Quebec that just flew out on the $99 junket. And those sighted at Poker Tables at Venetian. “No way, those players all wear hoodies and sun glasses. No way they were not us! Our players dress with sytle, No hoodies. No sun glasses !” Then topic of elevation and altitude came up. He said “we are acclimated to all the elements, we are Canadians. We are used to the heat!”. Some skeptics think maybe he meant to say “cold” not “heat”. The coach said they would play better in GAME TWO, because they got all that stadium crowd out of our system.

    WE shall see. No one likes to be blown out in game one of a series. Game two is a must win in any series. Will the knights step up to the plate and do their duty ? Or will they lollygag along and let HABS off the hook? You would seem to think that
    past lessons would be a learning experience for this team. The odds of winning so many in row is against them. So they should be the underdogs and they play like they are.

    It won’t be easy. It never is in Bettman’s “parity for all ” NHL especially with all of Canada, which owns the Habs, in their back pocket.

  2. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Yes, the Knights are reviled/hated by the east, especially Canada.

    The NHL owned (Toronto) network is so obvious.

    It’s ok. Just would make victory that much sweeter!

  3. knights fan in minny

    petro is at another level holdy playing well martinez solid as always

  4. Petro is jelling, our blueliners are top notch. Martinez is just a terrific player, his passing is amazing. We got a good shot at The Cup !

  5. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Of course ya’ll know my thoughts on IF the Knights CAN win the cup! ha ha

    Hey, just saw on twitter that about 50% of the Montreal fans think they will win game 2. The other 50% ……. has given up on them! Amazing! That’s Canadian fans for ya!

  6. Sam

    Playoff hockey is where you can get away with holding all you want AVS needed to realize that! But at least they didn’t bitch about the officials like some other teams did.

  7. Blitz

    You folks see Flower take Gallagher’s helmet last night? I didn’t see this in the game and I am not sure what he did with it after the clip ends, but awesome! The linesman doesn’t even notice. Damn glad that dude is a golden knight.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hockey/comments/o031se/fleury_skates_away_from_scrum_and_takes/

    • Fleury is the JOKER in PADS , to be sure! What I noticed in Game 1, 1st period, during the goal scrum at our end; when Fleury was hit in net by Montreal player, he responded by pummeling the player with a furious flurry of padded fists!! It was totally hilarious!! I have NEVER seen a goalie be the center of a brawl, but MAF is a man of surprises!!! Love his attitude, his superhuman play. Our team feeds off of his success!!! He IS our MVP. This is the Knight’s year–WE GOT THIS!!

  8. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    TB tied up that series last night.

    Looks like it might go 6-7 games, hopefully.

    I’m not necessarily rooting for the Islanders, more rooting against Vasilevskiy! Would prefer not to face the best goalie on the planet, given a choice!

  9. Tim

    What worries me in this series is the following, Winnipeg beats Edmonton 4 straight, Montreal beats Toronto, then Montreal beats Winnipeg 4 straight. Now if we pummel Montreal what does that say about the Canadian division. With so many Canadians involved in the NHL and how many refs are Canadians will we get some Canadian home cooking to make a series out of it not to embarrass Canada and there pathetic division. With the hate the rest of the hockey world has for us nothing would surprise me. You only have to look back to game 2 at Colorado for the slashing call in overtime which did he just throw his stick to draw the penalty? Of coarse there’s the infamous call in game 7 against the Sharks. Bottom line it won’t surprise me if there are some phantom calls. Say what you want I have no faith in the refs. Last night a good example Tampa has 7 men on the ice when a goal is scored another oops by the refs.

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