The Los Angeles Kings have become the second team this month to pass the Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division Standings. The Golden Knights (29-19-4) dropped an important matchup Friday night to the Arizona Coyotes (14-34-4), a struggling team that managed to defeat the Golden Knights.
“There wasn’t a lot to like. These are the games you can’t lose especially this time of year. It’s pretty costly. So we have to turn the page quick. We have an important one tomorrow,” said Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith who had a handful of quality chances against Scott Wedgewood and the Coyotes.
The story of the game basically boils down to the Golden Knights now being able to capitalize on their opportunities. “I think if we capitalize on half of our chances it’s a pretty different game,” said Chandler Stephenson.
Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer was looking for his 500th career win as a coach in the NHL but will have to wait. Here is DeBoer’s summary of Friday night’s game.
“We don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for ourselves. For me, the story of the game was that we played well defensively our goalie was good enough to win. We got one goal tonight from our fourth line. I thought the first period was probably the turning point I thought we had multiple chances to really put them in a hole with odd-man rushes, and two powerplays, but we let them hang around and that’s what happens when you let teams hang around.” said DeBoer
Takeaways From the Golden Knights 3-1 Loss to the Coyotes
They Can’t Score
Let’s start with the obvious one. The Golden Knights couldn’t score Friday night against Coyotes backup goaltender Scott Wedgewood. They registered 44 shots on the net but an inability to follow up on rebounds, and create traffic cost the team some goals.
Luck played a big part in it, as hockey is a game of inches and in an alternate reality this game could have been 7-0. But in our universe, the Golden Knights started the game going 0 for 2 against the Coyotes’ second-worst in the league penalty kill. They also couldn’t hit the net to save their lives.
Amadio Had a Lackluster Game
Not to single anyone out or anything but I really thought Michael Amadio struggled Friday night. He was thrust into the lineup due to Jonathan Marchessault being out with the flu. His turnovers were blatantly obvious such as one that led to a quality Shayne Ghostisbehere chance. He also looked like he was missing a step, taking an unnecessary penalty early in the game.
Personally, I don’t see what the Golden Knights see in Amadio, a waiver claim who they took the time to resign to a two-year contract. I think the Golden Knights simply have better options in their bottom-six with guys like Nolan Patrick, Brett Howden, Keegan Kolesar, and William Carrier.
At Least the Faceoff Battle Was Won
After the first period, the Golden Knights were leading in the faceoff department 17-2. This staggering number evened out over the course of the later two periods but it is still impressive nonetheless. The Golden Knights finished winning 60% of the game’s faceoffs. But clearly, this did nothing for the VGK.
The Fans Are Starting to Get Fed Up
I took a page out of Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s book and asked the Golden Knights fanbase to describe Friday night’s loss in one word. Here were some of the results; frustrating, annoying, embarrassing, disheartening, disappointing, and hideous.
The Golden Knights have only won one game since Jack Eichel has joined the team and Mark Stone was placed on long-term injured reserve.
For the Golden Knights, the best course of action moving forward is to completely forget about this game. They play the Colorado Avalanche at home Saturday in a hugely important matchup. The Avalanche are coming off a six-goal comeback game against the Winnipeg Jets where Nathan Mackinnon had 14 shots on goal.
Since the Golden Knights seem to not show up against inferior teams, perhaps they will against the Colorado Avalanche who continue to show the Golden Knights what a successful Western Conference team looks like. See you all at 7:00 pm tomorrow night at T-Mobile.
“We’ve had our fair share of time off in February. I think once we get in a groove and get our swagger back, we’ll get rolling a bit better,” said Stephenson.