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“We’re A Second-Effort Team”

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s not surprising that the defending Stanley Cup champs have a clear identity of how they look when they are at their best. On Opening Night, it took a little while for that style of play to show up, but once it did, the Golden Knights did what they seem to always do against the Seattle Kraken, win by multiple goals.

After the game, Bruce Cassidy used a term that perfectly describes the VGK style that has been so successful.

If it doesn’t work the first time, we’re a second-effort team. That’s what I loved about our team last year. We can be a second-effort team in the O-zone yet we still make plays like Stephenson’s goal off the rush. -Cassidy

Second effort team. What he means by that is the Golden Knights are constantly working to get themselves into a position to keep putting pressure on the opposition, especially in Vegas’ attacking zone.

Work above the puck, work to the puck, support if someone else is going to the puck, put pressure on the puck all over the ice. Your routes to get there should be heading back your way after you lose it. You can’t cheat, so to speak, and get caught behind the net all the time. When everyone’s doing it, it allows our D to stay up in the play and that’s when we’re at our best. -Cassidy

Cassidy harps on “reloads” a lot, so much so that we even made a video about it last year. The reason he does is because when the team is doing it consistently, it generates offense against every style an opposition throws at them.

A good example is the wacky goal by Jonathan Marchessault against Seattle. What looks like a goofy deflection off a boneheaded decision by Brandon Tanev is actually created by both Marchessault and William Karlsson working from below the goal line back toward the turned-over puck.

This particular play happens because of countless other ones that made Tanev feel like he was under pressure with the puck. He panics and slides it towards his own goal where Marchessault, who is headed back up the ice, tips it into the open cage.

That’s the league, if you don’t have second-effort then you better have all the best players because you’re going to have to execute the first time and I don’t think it works that way. -Cassidy

Becoming a second-effort team didn’t happen overnight for the Golden Knights. Cassidy recognized it as an area for improvement quickly after arriving in Vegas, and he altered practices to instill it into the Golden Knights’ game.

In practice, I noticed a lot of the drills we were doing, after the initial rush we just went back into line, so we started playing it out until you hear a whistle. That way it becomes a bit of a mindset that you are not done, just because you didn’t score, you’re not done. -Cassidy

Now, it’s the lifeblood of the Golden Knights offense. Sure, they can make highly skilled plays both off the rush and in the zone, but when those dry up, there’s always something else to rely on.


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  1. Summerlin Andy B

    Another solid “taek”, Ken.

    At the game, I did notice that Barbashev had a load of second and third efforts to solidify the cause with gusto.

    • John W

      I know it’s early, but the top line sure looks complete with Barby. (And formidable with a “200 foot” Eichel, and the reigning Conn Smythe winner)

      • knights fan in minny

        so far so good barber plays a heavy game with skill always in front of the net

  2. former season ticket holder

    Steveie’s flying thru the air goal ignited the bomb that blew Seattle away. What an effort, what a goal we were screaming at the TV for that one! What a way to begin the season!!

  3. Emmanuel

    The first ‘real” test will be against the Stars……

  4. Jake

    Spittin Chiclets:

    “Good is one thing and it is great but being good AND a beast on a top line is a whole other thing. You just can’t find guys like that!”


  5. Jailbird

    We’ll see what kind of effort the boys come out with tonight against the lowly sharks tonight. Looks like Pavo and another will get their first starts, with will and howie out. I expect LT in the net.

  6. Pistol Pete

    My prediction (fwiw):


    Now if Demek has to play cuz he’s listed on the roster vs. calling up Rondbjerg from Henderson so be it. Personally I still expect good things from Pav. Cotter got the Kraken start because he was on the roster first last year and it’s a way Cassidy can force him to deliver if he does not want to give the spot to Dorofeyev.

    • Pistol Pete

      To clarify I meant starting Cotter over Dorofeyev is Cassidy applying pressure for Cotter to improve in areas he needs work some of them being areas some of us think Dorofeyev is already more skilled. Cotter needs to deliver if he is to play over Pav.

    • Pistol Pete

      According to my projected lineup is correct.

      For now Cotter plays with Stephenson and Stone above Dorofeyev. If Pav does well I predict he stays
      on the Karlsson line after Howden returns moving Cotter down to the 4th until Carrier returns. This is Pav’s chance to permanently replace Reilly Smith.

  7. Josh

    Anyone know if the regional broadcast is available on YouTube TV?

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