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VGK Crumbled Under Nashville’s Physical Brand Of Hockey

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Predators visited T-Mobile Arena back in January they laid 48 hits on the Golden Knights, the most any team has delivered Vegas this season. Despite not getting the outcome they preferred in that game, Nashville came back with the same game plan last night and this time it worked.

The 40 hits absorbed by the Golden Knights are the third most of the season and it really impacted Vegas in all three zones.

That’s their game. If you’re not on your toes moving the puck and supporting it well then you are going to take some hits and they’re going to recover some pucks. That’s what happened early on. It took us a while to get going against it. Credit to them, they stuck with it, that’s how they play. -Bruce Cassidy

Vegas struggled in two areas against the heavy Nashville game. First, the Golden Knights turned the puck over along the walls on numerous occasions. The Predators’ active defensemen took away VGK’s preferred exit route and it led to extended time in the defensive zone. Second, Nashville players were camped out in front of Adin Hill’s net most of the night.

They took advantage of our slow start and I think it had a lot to do with them gaining momentum throughout the game. -Cassidy

High hit totals against have been troublesome at times for VGK this year. Of the 13 times a team has delivered at least 30 hits to Vegas, the Golden Knights are 6-5-2 including multi-goal losses to Nashville, Seattle, Buffalo, and Florida twice. Even if the Golden Knights know it’s coming, sometimes it has caught them off guard.

This time of the year every game is going to be physical. That’s a team that lost big last week so you knew they were going to come out. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and so are we, so we needed a little bit more. I know it’s a back-to-back but we needed more. -Alex Pietrangelo

Four of the next seven games are against teams in the Top 10 in hits this season. The Golden Knights are capable of running teams that play a physical brand of hockey out of the building, they just have to be playing at the top of their game to do so. Right now, they aren’t, but there’s no better time than now to pick it back up.






  1. John W

    Ken – when do we really start worrying about Cotters inability to finish? I am probably over estimating, but it seems Ike has had 5-8 “A” opportunities in the the last 3 games……no goals

    • Niggles

      Poor Cotter.

      • Richie-Rich

        I purchased Cotter’s jersey # before this season. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I have seen enough. He’s at best a 4th liner. He doesn’t bring anything to the offense or defense. Period. Time to move on from him. He should be packaged up in any forthcoming trade deal that is made.

        • knights fan in minny

          r-r what do you think of vatrano of th ducks

          • Richie-Rich

            I find it hard to believe that we will get help from any Western Conference team. More than likely it will come from the east and not from our own division. I like Buchnevich or Guentzel.

  2. knights fan in minny

    go get frankie v from the ducks

  3. Danny Gallivan

    outshot 29-9 (shots attempted) in the first period at home by a bubble team. Guess they simply do not want it bad enough.

    Takeaway from this game is the physical punishing by Nashville of the suddenly soft tarnished Knights, and the complete lack of pushback from the Vgk. First they took out Karlsson, then they took out Stone, and I guess they would have next taken out Jack too if he was not already taken out by another opponent.

    No scrums, no fights, nothing but lame attempts by a clumsy Hague to throw a check, and then fell down while his man tipped the puck into the net.

    I guess the V in Vgk stands for victims now, cuz the Knights are getting their top players bullied, and doing nothing about it.

    This team needs more grit, more toughness, more board battlers, and a lot more Conn Smythe, and a lot less Lady Byng.

    the current bunch are playing like a bunch of pokechecking pansies.

    What happened to the McNabb hip checks? what happened to the Kolesar check on Tkachuk? where is the payback to THEIR top guys?

    Even Cody effin 2 goals Glass was able to skate around at will in the Vegas zone.

    and the 6 on 5 Vgk effort? pathetic once again.

    let the trades begin, cuz this is more of a repeat of 2 years ago than a repeat of last year.

  4. Danny Gallivan

    Look at the outdoor game on Sunday between NYR and the Isles.

    the rookie just called up Matt Rempe put a beatdown on Matt Martin at the start of the game, and the NYR came back to win it.

    The Vgk need a sparkplug, a shit disturber, a guy who can bring his teammates into the battle, to get the complacent champs to stop admiring their shiny rings, and start taking the fight to the opponents.

  5. Canada

    Agree with Danny , but also missed was Hills worst game of the year. in some respects that was good for the knights to see what its like when your all-star goalie has a bad night . Three softies and no he wasn’t screened on the third one , i was there . The rest of Danny comments are spot on . They came out in the third and knew what they had to do and flamed out after about 8 min, loved the comment about looking at last years rings . Cotter i feel bad for he trys and trys and and is always in the wrong place , he works his ass off for nothing maybe hockey is not for him, If i was Cassidy i would set him free . This team has what it takes but only seems to do the minimum knowing they will make the playoffs, unfortunately as fans we wait for games like the Edmonton game to see what their capable of . We left early with three minutes left knowing they would probably get one more and still lose , your not going to stop a empty net goal on a hard checking team like the Predators to little to late .

    • Canada – don’t be so sure they will make the playoffs – their current play unless you see a dramatic improvement shortly will pretty much eliminate them to doing anything other than early golf.

      • NAM

        I agree, unless a big turn around I think they are looking at the 4th spot in the pacific so then it becomes a wild card race. Vegas does have a pretty strong hold on, at least, a wild card spot as of now (NSH, STL, SEA), but I don’t think it will be long before EDM over takes 2nd and LA 3rd.

        F the deadline, make your moves now.

  6. Nashville players were camped out in front of Adin Hill’s net most of the night. Vegas is afraid of or incapable of this most if not all the time. They are successful some of the time when they are in the dirty area but are reluctant to do so the majority of the time. Their reluctance to truly body check lands them in position to get hurt which ironically is what they should not be doing to avoid that. They lack the fire at this time to even come close to repeating and it is interesting that some on this site also see the existence of a country club atmosphere at present. Yes, I know we have some injuries as do all teams so that excuse is out the window which as you probably have noticed is not believed by THg, who in his own mind, is the most knowledgeable individual on the face of the earth regarding hockey.. Don’t be surprised or shocked to see Vegas a seller/trade active at or before trade deadline as they need a shakeup of some kind or another to get their heads on straight. They have time to get their shit together but it is rapidly decreasing. Let’s hope Thursday the leaks are a sleep and Vegas finds the will to score a number of goals – enough to win as a minimum.

  7. ThG

    “THg, is the most knowledgeable individual on the face of the earth regarding hockey.” You got that right, and you left out that 50% of last nite’s line up was AHL r with 71 and 61 sitting out large chunks of the game, and no 27 rustier than a nail at beach in SoCal. You also left out that coach had to scramble lines all nite long, and coach completely decimated 4th line which played well in the game before. Why did he do this ? Mounting injuries, no. 71 out, no 61 out For all practical purposes no. 27 was on auto pilot. Carrier out. Eichel out. And that adds up. Which no one is mentioning at all. Two years ago is what is looks like. I call a spade a spade, some people call it a ice pick. And they wouldn’t know the difference if it hit them square in forehead.

    Wonder how long Stone is going to be out, look likes he is struggling with back issues again. Certainly not same team that started off the first quarter of season. IF they miss playoffs, will Cassidy survive ?

    The first goal was on Cotter, wasn’t goalie’s fault. If Cotter gets that puck there is no high quality scoring chance. First goal is important.

    They need a big dead cat bounce back game against the leafs, I am expecting it. Let’s see if team responds.

    • Canada

      Disagree on the first goal, why they got the shot off is one thing but Hill was about 3 inches off the post a easy save that he will make 99% of the time if he is in position . . He seemed asleep to me for the the first period . It happens i expect he will be solid going forward .

      • ThG

        wouldn’t have needed to make save if cotter didn’t obviously blow it in first place, smashville player made a good shot; goalie can’t cover entire net at that angle. Especially with smashville players in front of net, and cotter out in left field not covering anyone.

    • Selective reading THg – you neglected the most important part of that statement “in his own mine”. You are so far from the most knowledgeable individual on the face of the earth concerning hockey there is ZERO chance of you ever catch up. Dream on man that’s about the best you can do and hope for.

      • ThG

        i didn’t neglect it, I fixed your obvious error !

        • Thg – like l stated “in your mine” definitely in no one else’s. The only obvious error was and is your selective reading. You appear to be much like politicians – if your lips are moving or have a pen in hand your are probably lying Just pointing out your obvious error again. Here’s to a win this evening.

  8. The wife and I went to the game last night sitting in section 20 about 12 rows up from the glass behind the goal…terrible seats as cant see the action on other end and difficult to watch on the Tron too…can hear pucks missing the net and players crunched up along boards…mostly VGK players sadly…watched Hill letting in 2 waaaaaay softies….saw little offense at all…i will be diplomatic about that…and after 2 periods was part of the procession to leave T Mobile…trust me there were throngs of fans doing the same…when i saw denisenko skating in warmups i suspected a long night…we were behind the goal where VGK would be ‘attacking’ in the 2nd period but sadly we only saw glimpses of them in the offensive zone the whole time…and that was enough to hit the door as this presently constitued lineup is not the kind the overcome a 3 goal deficit…even though gamely they did try…at least Thompson wont have to face matthews attemtping to score his 50th as the leafsare at the yotes tonight and he could very well have his 3rd hat trick of the week!

  9. Danny….

    Extremely well stated…and extremely well—concurred as i have often stated the same things as well before…hockey is waaaaay different from when i first started watching over 50 years ago…its partially the fraternization and partially the ‘safety rules’ mandated and imposed over the years…but…i notice a team in the other conference…a team that is steamrolling opponents over and over and take no prisoners…a team we are quite familiar with… the panthers….they play their style and dont really care what others think or consequences might be…we dont have to emulate all those shenanigans but for sure it gets in the heads of opponents and helps them alter thier game to compensate!

  10. Vic

    To quote the great Yogi Berra but switching hockey for baseball…..Hockey is 90% mental, the other half is physical. Injuries aside….the current VGK get up for big games, and play down to weaker opponents. As for the physical side, there is almost none. They played fast and physical when needed in the cup run, and it’s a tough act to duplicate. Watching Perry playing besides 97 and 29 at times in Edmonton is unsettling. He’s setting up and scoring goals while being the worm he is. They got him cheap, and if he stays off the booze, it’s a problem for other teams at playoff time. The VGK are missing the grit, and let Pachal get away who has averaged 3 hits per game over his career which dwarfs all of the current VGK defense core.

  11. ThG

    Stone will not play in the Knights next game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. Thursday at T-Mobile Arena. He is considered week to week with his injury.

    • RIchie-Rich

      We likely won’t see Stone until postseason. Eichel reportedly has had knee surgery. We have no idea how bad it is, or how long he will be out.

  12. Emmanuel

    That poster a few articles back that deduced Stone was hurt hit the nail on the head. Webhave some really good posters here.

    • ThG

      Emmanual Stone got leveled in last night’s game, that hit put him out of the game. Karlson got leveled too, so did Kolesar. The Smashville team earned their name in that game.

  13. Pistol Pete

    Heading down this first part of the stretch with a forwards-depleted roster (Eichel, Stone, Carrier and Dorofeyev) makes defending key to winning as many of these games as possible. Fortunately Theodore is back so that is the top six D corp forming the core of Cassidy’s five man defensive structure. C’mon men, defend, defend, defend!!!!

    For this TD I absolutely expect McCrimmon to land a high scoring winger to fill in for Stone and supplement him once he’s back in the lineup. Pavel Buchnevich is the strongest candidate, the injured and smaller Jake Guentzel notwithstanding. Bear in mind, we can assume Martinez’ $5.2m will be gone for 2024-25 and the cap is projected to go up $4.2m. If you run the numbers you’ll see there is plenty of room to add Buchevich’s $5.8m (signed through 2023-25) and re-sign Marchy and Stephenson. Actually I am not convinced McCrimmon will stay with Stephenson. We’ll see how the playoffs go.

    • ThG

      what part of this is replay of 2022 season is not clear to you ? >>”We’ll see how the playoffs go.” The trend is not making the playoffs unless the ship is righted.

      • Richie-Rich

        Unlike last year’s run for the Cup, this year the team’s effort simply isn’t there like it was the first 25 to 30 games of the season. This year the effort has been in either the first 10 minutes or a push in the 3rd period. In between it has been a complete no show.

        Don’t believe me, go to any stats site online and you will see just how poorly this team stacks up against the top 15 NHL clubs.

        I am not taking anything away from this Coach or the team’s success. They earned the Stanley Cup last year by playing 60 minutes of hockey after the all star break all the way to the last game of the playoffs. The team came out red hot at the beginning of this season and then started to cruise in December.

        There are some big changes needed by the trade deadline. The VGK could even possibly find itself out of a playoff spot if the team continues to play .400 percentage hockey. Either way, we are going to likely see major moves. I like PP’s idea on Buchnevich .

        I think we may have seen the end of the line for Paul Cotter (still cannot believe that SinBin gave him a star last game), Miromanov, and at least one big name player.

        Is it possible that we might make a deal with Pittsburgh for Guentzel for Marchy? I hope not, but we’ve been shocked in the past by this FO.

        ThG is right. The trend isn’t looking good and the schedule isn’t very favorable.

    • PP – don’t be so sure there will be Vegas in the playoffs. I hope so but realistically speaking l have serious doubts. If you have noticed lately and /or paying attention you will see l am not alone in that thinking.

  14. JB

    I agree with much that has been said here. I have worried about the lack of physicality for some time now. Ever since Kolly got dropped with one punch he has disappeared as a physical force. We badly need a tuff aggressive D-man, a tuff scoring winger. But most of all we need our guys to play like they fuckin care! They better start tonight or leafs will blow us out!

  15. ThG

    meanwhile in real world
    Trump is running on make America Great Again , which is fixing
    all the train wreck of Genocide Joe who leaves one cow pie after another after another. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to make America great?

    And on other hand Dementia Joe is running on making depends (trade mark) great again !

  16. The playoffs will be made as there is too much of a cushion not to.. would seem we are trending to a 4th place finish which I guess would mean a first round matchup with whoever finishes first in the other division??

    Should be interesting… if that’s the right word for it lol.. what our lines will look like tonight and which AHL player will be moved way up in the lineup.., not an easy task tonight in front of an hostile crowd.. as I’m sure the Fortress will be inundated by leafs fans!!

    • JB

      WHY would we be intimidated by the Toronto fans? We simply have to PLAY! Fans will not decide this game. Players will! OUR players!

  17. Henderson Knights

    on Feb 22, 1980 the Miracle on Ice occurred.

    tonight, on Feb 22, 2024 it will take a miracle on ice for the VGK to beat the Toronto Matthews Leafs.

    No Stone, no Eichel
    oh, and Marchessault is a game time decision as well

    Golden Knights morning skate line rushes:



    like I said, a miracle on ice

  18. ThG

    change the name of team to the moldy knights

    slivold knights

    looking like AHL roster more and more

  19. ThG

    wow !!

    Frank Seravalli
    Sounds like #VGK Mark Stone is dealing with a lacerated spleen. Timeline is tough to pin down with an injury of that nature, but it’s obviously a significant one.…

  20. DeezNutz

    This team has been baby shit soft for 3 seasons now. Good luck beating a practically fully healthy Leafs team that has actual scoring talent. I’m pretty much done with most of this roster at this point. The cup was amazing but if Stone never plays another game in a VGK jersey I’m perfectly ok with that. There’s a reason why they haven’t extended Marchy and it’s because he’s likely gone and I have no problem with that also. Might as well dump Stephenson and Martinez also and just try to rebuild a team with younger players who aren’t injury prone and soft. I couldn’t imagine buying seasons tickets to this team only to watch the Henderson Silver Knights for 3 seasons now. Again, thanks for the cup boys but it’s time for most of you to move on and go sit on some other team’s IR moving forward. Boring ass team.

  21. Henderson Knights

    if it is a lacerated spleen, then Stone is out a minimum of 2 months, as that is the recovery time for 2 other pro hockey players who had a similar injury.

    so, McCrimmon would have an extra $9.5M of cap space to add a few deadline players, and then hope that Stone is ready for playoff game 1, just like last season. IF they make the playoffs, that is.

  22. You guys are living in a serious dream world if you think VGK is going to miss the playoffs…there just ain’t no way for that to happen… and yes I did see the 4 lines for tonight lol.. cause that’s all I coukd do was laugh out loud when I saw it.. but regardless.. please come in off the ledge and if need be take a chill pill.. thanks!

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