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Will Vegas Solve Montreal’s Stingy Defense

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s possible in Game 1 the Golden Knights defeated a Canadiens team that didn’t play to their full identity. Clearly, Vegas executed theirs by pressuring Montreal resulting in four goals scored against goaltender Carey Price. However, things were different in Game 2 and likely for the remainder of the Semifinals series.

Everybody who was supposed to be who they are identity wise for the Montreal Canadiens played to their role. And it got Vegas uncomfortable. Where Vegas hasn’t been uncomfortable before. -Aaron Ward, Former defenseman and TSN analyst

Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry was absent for Game 1 but his presence on Wednesday allowed the Original Six franchise to clean up their endzone coverage and move the puck effectively. In their second matchup, the Canadiens pushed Vegas shooters wider than they had in Game 1. The Golden Knights had only eight low-quality attempts on net as opposed to 11 in Game 2.

This postseason with Petry in the lineup the Canadiens allow 2.20 goals per game and given up 3.00 without him.

My best asset is my legs my skating ability. Just focusing on that and closing quickly. -Jeff Petry, MTL defenseman

Tonight, Vegas will need to find ways to utilize the traffic in front of Montreal’s net. 13 of the 32 goals the Canadiens have allowed in the playoffs were from defenseman, including five in six periods from Golden Knights blueliners. Alex Pietrangelo’s goal in Game 2 was a great example how to get around Montreal’s stingy defense. The former Cup winner patiently waited for a screen to develop and slipped a shot through Petry’s legs and past Price. There’s not much an elite goaltender can do when he can’t see the puck.

The Golden Knights have scored on mobile defenseman this postseason but neither of their prior opponents were as big as the Canadiens defensive unit. To combat that, Vegas can match with their own size to jam, screen, and stuff in front of the goaltender. And of course taking advantage of rebounds, loose pucks, and all the grease that occurs in the playoffs.

Since their Game 6 loss against Minnesota, Vegas has responded well after a playoff loss. There’s no reason to believe they won’t tonight for Game 3 in Montreal. Sure, with a full deck the Canadiens will be more difficult to break through but Vegas has the creativity, size, and skill to neutralize any club’s defense. Price can’t bail his teammates out the entire series.

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11 Comments

  1. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Good job Jason!

    The Knights simply have to play complete games from now on.

    If they want it, they can go get it.

    It’s tuff if #20 is not in there, but all teams face injury and the like.

    We can talk about “strategy”, but all that really matters, this time of year, is EFFORT!

    No more time to wait around. The boys have to go out and TAKE IT!

    I’m still calm …. tick, tick, tick. ha

  2. Richard Santomauro

    It is interesting that Petry states his most valuable asset is his legs. Well, then – make sure that we are hitting him as much as possible and hard.

  3. Elliot

    Good game Vegas excluding the holding, tripping , obstructing and Boarding call the refs didn’t call. Seems like the NHL want’s us the (VGK ) to win it all 🙂 let’s get this done and move on to the finals.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    “Everybody who was supposed to be who they are identity wise for the Montreal Canadiens played to their role. And it got Vegas uncomfortable. Where Vegas hasn’t been uncomfortable before. -Aaron Ward, Former defenseman and TSN analyst”

    I guess this clown missed the Wild and AVs games.

    Back east press is totally BIASED.

    VGK can beat this team made up of has beens and up n comers if they skate and start banging them into the boards. Play fast, play smart, take the body, circle the wagons, crash the net, cycle low, stick handle, pass the puck, move their legs, roll their lines, get the flow moving.

    EVERY LINE IS THE FOURTH LINE !!
    every line is the fourth line
    EVERY
    LINE
    is
    THE FOURTH LINE

    SAY IT and
    DO IT !

  5. Thg – all they have to do is play hockey nothing magic the basic stuff you listed is all that’s needed. Nothing fancy put their purses aside pick up their stick and use it effective. Shouldn’t be to much to ask given that is what they are paid to do. They are professional check in the mirror and be sure a winning attitude is present and go get it done. Check someone beat them up a little forget about Wednesday night that’s history hope you learned what’s necessary to collect your pay. 60 minute effort – it’s time to put on your big boy pants.

  6. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    I guess this stuff is what I said early, in fewer words! 🙂

  7. Thg – Not sure fewer words didn’t count them
    but the message is the same. A Win tonight would bea good start.

  8. Mike

    I wonder who hair Reaves is gonna pull this series lol

  9. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    STAY IN THE F’ING NET !

    We had it.

    Now OT. Christ!

  10. Abdullah

    Missed that call on Perry! How can the officials swallow their whistle on that double minor.

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