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What It’ll Take To Break The Recent Scoring Slump

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Scoring droughts are the worst. It’s the most frustrating thing a player or a team can go through and the Golden Knights are mired in a pretty difficult one right now. Vegas has been shutout in three of the last six games and have scored more than two goals in just three of the last nine games.

It’s especially challenging for this version of the Golden Knights for multiple reasons. First, because they know they just went through nearly a full 82-game stretch from the All Star break to the first month of this season where they never struggled to score for more than a game or two. But second, and more importantly, the scoring chances have been there and they simply haven’t put them in the net.

We showed a lot of the scoring chances on our road trip. We had five road games and we probably had 30 scoring chances, most of those were Grade A’s and we only scored one. Are we going to get down because we’re not scoring or are we going to get excited because we are getting the opportunities and eventually we will score? -Bruce Cassidy

On the practice day before heading off for the three-game road trip starting tonight in Calgary, the Golden Knights focused on skills work rather than their normal system-oriented drills. The idea is that the team needs to work on finishing plays rather than generating them and a few extra touches in practice could be what they need to get their confidence back.

That being said, it’s not just as easy as finishing the chances they get, and the Golden Knights know it. Cassidy has a few theories on what has been going wrong, and one is regarding the start of games.

Maybe it was the first five minutes of the game and we weren’t quite mentally into it. So that’s maybe where we need to change our approach to be a little more drilled down. Get into that uber-focused mode so we can play with some leads and then play to our strength which is using everybody all night. -Cassidy

The other theory, and it’s one that isn’t new to the Golden Knights, is about getting to the front of the goal more often.

Sometimes you have to come back to the basics. For me, when I go through slumps I have to go towards the net and get some goals there. There’s some loose change in front of the net and those goals are a little bit easier than opening up for a one-timer. So it’s on me to be a little more predictable and get to the hard area. -Marchessault

While effort is often a buzzword when a team isn’t scoring, Cassidy believes it’s more about what happens before the puck is on any player’s stick than what they do once they have it.

You can try harder to get to areas to score. Try harder to get to the inside, try harder to fight for a rebound, try harder to be the first on pucks on the forecheck to create the next play. It’s leading up to the process (of finishing) where we can try harder. Try harder to work back for a puck, try harder to be available for an outlet. -Cassidy

The hot start built the Golden Knights enough of a cushion to deal with a stretch just like this. Despite losing six of their last nine games, Vegas still holds a one-point lead in the division. But, that lead is shrinking, and in fact, by points percentage, the Golden Knights are no longer on top of the Pacific.

This swing through Western Canada is as important a stretch as the team has had to face this year. Win a couple and they’ll come home in a perfect place without much pressure at all. Lose them all though, and the pressure will start to ramp up rapidly.

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27 Comments

  1. Tim

    What will break the slump answer a sniper. People have asked what I mean about a sniper well here goes. A sniper is a player with a wicked shot that starts on the ice and the projectory lands in the higher part of the net. We get 34 shots last game right into the goalies chest or shinguards and you wonder why we don’t score. Our goalies and defense have been outstanding but if you can’t score 3 goals a game your not going to win it’s that simple. We have good offensive players but were missing that one element to be a great team. I realize snipers don’t grow on trees so it’s a dilemma. Sports is an entertainment business and the games we’ve been playing since the Colorado blowout have not been entertaining to say the least. Like I’ve said we won the Cup this is all gravy but by the love of god give us something to cheer about win or lose. I love the comment were going to work on our offense these guys have been playing hockey since they were 4 if they haven’t figured out how to put the puck in the net they never will. Kolasar although big and strong and plays hard couldn’t put the puck in a empty net if he tried. You know the old saying keep doing the same thing when it’s not working is a death sentence.

    • Emmanuel

      Thats why I said re-signing Barbashev was a mistake. Sure he’s decent in the playoffs but nothing to write home about in the regular season. That $ should have been used to trade for/sign a 25G guy. Dont forget getting Barbie also cost VGK Smith.

    • Jailbird

      Tim, you are wrong about Kolly. His shooting has improved drastically over last couple years. And you’re forgetting he had a couple big goals in the playoffs. As far as this sniper talk. We have guys who can snipe with the best of them. Look at Marchy in playoffs. He was amazing putting pucks by the goalies. Jack, Theo, Stoney, Stevie and even Hager have big shots and pick corners a lot. One current slump does not take these skills away. I told you puck luck will even out during the year. It always does.

  2. TS

    Tim, it’s absolutely about shot placement..how many times I’ve hollered to the TV, ” Are you AIMING for their goalie?? Granted, the bigger the goalie, the less open space at net to score. But, the Big goalies ALSO can be caught out of position, caught off- guard, caught on their backs, so there IS opportunity. And what happened to getting those greasy goals?? ARGH!
    If the team is pacing itself this season, hoping to avoid early injury, idk if it worked….

  3. former season ticket holder

    Tim, right on!! These scoring droughts have happened in the past few years in exactly the same way…. Granted, the Yote Goalie was really focused in and a bit psychic on the few great chances we had…but yes….we would have those 40+ shots / game, right into the goalies chest…….
    It is top shelf, top corners boys!! that’s how you shake those goalies out of their confident states!

  4. Sorvino

    Y’all make great points, but this is the same roster that just won the Stanley Cup. Just sayin.

  5. knights fan in minny

    well said sorvino 21 games in is no time to push the panic button all teams go in slumps

  6. I’m not one to point fingers… but.. if I were it would surprisingly not be pointed at the engine that makes VGK go… meaning Eichel…rather it would be to last years All Star Stephenson…he’s in a contract year and for whatever reason he refuses to try and shoot the puck…not to mention his terrific speed has led to very few man advantage rushes.. not to mention all the breakaway opportunities he once had.. if we can get him going many of our offensive woes will be solved!

  7. Jailbird

    Settle the F down. You panic button people are amazing. Won the SC. 20 games into new season, in first place. What the F do you want? A scoring slump happens. Most team face it on occasion. Just friggin relax!

    • Pistol Pete

      Jailbird how right you are. Figure a good season is something like north of 50 wins and 25 regulation losses. 52-25-5 = 109 pts more than enough to make the playoffs. Scoring slumps are inevitable. 25 regulation losses generally means enduring losing streaks along the way.

    • TS

      Well, the article today WAS about the scoring slump, so….I offered my 2 cents
      ! No panic yet, but I am concerned. The right lines and mojo tonight?

  8. Pistol Pete

    Per NHL.com lineups:

    Stephenson-Eichel-Stone
    Barbashev-Karlsson-Marchessault
    Cotter-Roy-Amadio
    Carrier-Howden-Kolesar

    Hague-Pietrangelo
    McNabb-Whitecloud
    Hutton-Korczak

    Hill

    As I recall when Eichel came on board in 2022 he played with Stephenson and Stone when Stone was healthy. I think that went pretty well. I know when Eichel was acquired I wanted Stone to play with him whereas others wanted Stone on a different line for the depth. We’ll see how it goes reuniting them. It’s been a while.

    • Sorvino

      Love it. While I completely understand the logic in splitting Eichel and Stone up, they were pretty dynamic when they played together early last year.

      And again, I’m on side with Pistol Pete, Jailbird, knights fan in minny. I don’t understand the panic. Just won the cup and they are in first place. And who cares if they finish the season in third place in their division. It’s all about being ready for the playoffs.

    • knights fan in minny

      some times you have to try newthings

    • Jailbird

      Mixed feelings on all these changes, but you never know. This is the time of season to experiment a little . We’ll see. Should be fun to watch tonight!

  9. Pistol Pete

    Waiting with bated breath for Kane to make up his mind. He needs to realize he won’t get more than $1.5m tops to finish this season, 1 mil is more like it. VGK would only have to waive Dorofeyev to have the space to sign Kane and hopefully Dorofeyev would clear waivers though that is a risk that McCrimmon may not be willing to take. I would like to see Kane in a VGK uniform. Yes he is 35 and it’s not known if he can even perform after his hip resurfacing procedure but assuming he can the guy can score. Detroit is the one with all the cap space but to commit multi year for bigger money would be a mistake imo.

  10. LVsc

    so, line changes all around and Korzcak replaces Pachal.

    Hey, I guess Cassidy is a “sky is falling guy” too. 🙂
    Thanks for confirming my post yesterday to a T, Bruce.

    I said line changes would be the first domino to fall.

  11. ThG

    VGK have no cap space for a “sniper”

    last “sniper” we had , in patches didn’t work out so well.

    most , if not all ,snipers don’t play D, which means they don’t fit in the VGK
    style of play

    no. 81 is a sniper, time to get moving

  12. goalie trade

    need more net front type-ers

    both Marchy and Cassidy said that is what needs to happen.

  13. ThG

    What It’ll Take To Break The Recent Scoring Slump?

    crossing borders will prove to be key in exorcising the “Biden Curse”.

    https://giphy.com/gifs/CatholicConnect-satan-catholic-exorcist-QA7TBOueUoyVRq5TQi

  14. ThG

    maybe a bit of stoning will help ??

  15. goalie trade

    breaking—

    coaching change. Minny fires Dean Evason, and hires John Hynes

    • knights fan in minny

      wild have no talent kaprizov can not do it alone the first mistake was letting fiala go over dumba when the mild do win they win on hard work evenson is a good coach

      • ThG

        wild
        flames
        jets
        all gutted their teams

        jets doing reasonable.

        all thanks to pantyhose bettman’s silly socialist sal cap bull shit rules coupled with Canada’s high taxes.

        will we see a CAnadian based team with Stanley Cup ever again in our lifetime ?

        ???

        exorcise the socialist and neo fascist sCUm (bags) !! NOW !

    • LVsc

      I heard it came down to Hynes, Telly Savalas, and Yul Brynner.

      Hynes won it by a hair.

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