It’s December and once again the Golden Knights are red hot. They’re coming home from a four-game road trip with eight points in hand, wins in eight of the last nine, and the top spot in the Pacific Divison.
Here’s the crazy part… they still aren’t playing close to as well as they can, and they know it.
It was a big road trip. We got some lucky bounces. We didn’t necessarily play our best games the past few games, but tonight I thought we played pretty well. It was probably tonight and that game in Boston that were our best two games of the trip. -Jonathan Marchessault
The Golden Knights used 3rd period comebacks to rescue both games against the teams from New York and then won each game in shootout. They struggled in the 2nd period in each of the games, fighting turnover problems which led to much less puck possession than they prefer.
However, the resilience of this group continues to shine through.
We just stuck with it, and that’s the way the Golden Knights play. We’re a resilient team, we’re never satisfied and we won’t quit in any game and we’re trying to stay in the fight always. -Marchessault
No matter what it looks like, and it sure looked bad there late in the 3rd with the Golden Knights conceding, getting it called back on a challenge, and then conceding again, there’s never a hole too deep to climb out of.
I think our game was starting to come around prior to the trip. I like how we were playing, we were starting to get healthy. I don’t think anyone ever predicts you can sweep a four-game road trip, especially through these four cities. It doesn’t just happen like that though, I think you build into it and I think our game was starting to trend in the right direction. -Pete DeBoer
The next step in the building process is to eliminate the need for lucky bounces, 3rd period comebacks, and shootouts to beat teams like the Islanders. Clearly, the Golden Knights are one of the elite teams in the NHL, no one is debating that, but the goal for this team isn’t to be one of the best, it’s to be the best.
Obviously, it’s not going to happen every night. No one expects this team, or any team, to win every time they step on the ice, but their willingness to strive for even more is encouraging.
How many teams sweep a four-game road trip and have their leading goal scorer talking about lucky bounces? How many teams win eight of nine and have their coach talking about building and “starting” to trend in the right direction?
This should be music to the ears of Vegas fans. The Golden Knights are winning regularly and they are still not satisfied. They want to dominate every time out and they know they are good enough to do it. Until they get there, it won’t be enough.
That’s the mark of a team with a championship mentality. This version of the Golden Knights has it.