Frustration is a huge part of hockey. No matter how well a team is playing, there will come points in every season where a game just does not seem to be going the right way. The Golden Knights faced that last night as they fell behind the Philadelphia Flyers and couldn’t seem to find their way back.
At the end of the 2nd period, Vegas had attempted 43 shots yet only 15 made it to the goalie. They were struggling to navigate a gummed-up neutral zone, and the Flyers’ physical brand of hockey was forcing a much tighter game than the Golden Knights had been used to early this season.
However, these Golden Knights aren’t like most teams in the NHL. As reigning Stanley Cup champions, they’ve seen it all, and a few tough periods will not discourage them.
We trust our game. Sometimes we get away from it but we are a veteran group and we’ve been together long enough that we know when to pull it in and get back to what we do best. We’ve done a good job of that these first seven games. -Brayden McNabb
3rd period dominance has been a theme as Vegas has raced out to the best start as a defending champion in NHL history. Last night, they made a few adjustments in the final intermission, came out, and started applying endless pressure on the Philadephia net until the dam eventually broke.
The 2-0 3rd period score ups VGK’s goal differential to +8 in the final frame over seven games. The Golden Knights have outscored their opponents in six of the first seven 3rd periods with the lone outlier a 1-1 tie against Dallas.
You just keep pushing and you believe you are going to come back even when you are down. We just trust it because there’s no crystal ball telling you what’s going to happen so you just have to do what we do best and it’s worked out so far. -McNabb
A huge reason why it has worked out is the variety of players Vegas has seen step up in the 3rd period of games. Brayden Pachal, Jonas Rondbjerg, Nic Roy, and now Paul Cotter have all scored late-game goals to help the Golden Knights win. Sure, Jack Eichel and William Karlsson have come up with a few big ones too, but it truly can be anyone on any night for this team.
Sometimes you need one guy to go in and make a move like that and it’s pretty on par with what he’s done in practice so it’s great to see him get it done. -Theodore on Cotter’s goal
The train keeps rolling on Friday afternoon with a rematch with the feisty Chicago Blackhawks. There may not be a crystal ball to tell us the outcome of that game, but if the Golden Knights keep playing like they have in the 3rd period, we may not need one to know.