The Vegas Golden Knights have lost yet another game to a team that is eons worse than them on paper, in the standings, and overall.
“We didn’t score enough to win the game” Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer wisely said postgame.
Let’s get straight into why this team lost, as I am sure most Golden Knights fans are frustrated right now. Just as it seemed as if the team was turning the corner they gave the Philadelphia Flyers only their fifth win in 2022.
Five Reasons the Golden Knights Lost
1- Their Scoring Has Fallen and It Get It Up
Even when the Golden Knights have Evgenii Dadonov snap an 18-game goalless drought the team still cannot break free offensively. Just when it seems like the team is turning the corner they make yet another goaltender look like a Vezina candidate.
Carter Hart made 47 saves Tuesday night. That’s a lot of saves, but most of these shots were not challenging enough for the young goaltender.
“I feel like we always do this as a team. We run into hot goalies. I don’t know what to do really but we need to switch that luck around. It’s not good enough for our group we can’t be losing and missing on points like that at this time of year,” said Golden Knights leading goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault.
2- One and Done Offensive Exit
Jack Eichel mentioned the other day in a media scrum how the Golden Knights offense had too many one-and-done chances in the offensive zone. This was essentially the entire third period for the Golden Knights as it seemed like every time the VGK got a shot or a chance the Flyers would clear and then the whole process would repeat itself.
Outside of the powerplay, there was no sustained pressure from the Golden Knights Tuesday night. They simply went back and forth shooting on Hart and retrieving the puck for what feels like the entire game.
“We have been pointing fingers at things. Like our O-zone or our powerplay, it is always something. We just have to stop thinking about that and play hockey and let our natural instincts take over,” said Marchessault.
3- Robin Lehner Fell Asleep
The Golden Knight’s biggest issue Tuesday night was their inability to score. But at the other end of the ice things weren’t too hot either. You can’t win all games 1-0, but Robin Lehner had some hiccups against the Flyers.
The first goal is embarrassing. There was no traffic or deflection in front of Lehner but he still failed to make the save. This was the Flyers’ first shot on net of the game let me remind you.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 9, 2022
He seems to be playing out of his net to make himself bigger, which is odd, coming from a 6-foot-4, 240-pound goaltender. His movement in the crease is off, which we saw in the second goal where Oskar Lindblom tucked one in on a wraparound.
Again, this game is not singlehandedly Lehner’s fault. Especially since his team only put up one goal. But he needs to be better for the Golden Knights.
4- Penalties Disrupted the Flow
There were nine penalties Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center. The referees seemed to be calling everything. But at least they were consistent in their calls. The Golden Knights had five powerplay chances and scored on one with Dadonov’s goal being the only one for the VGK on the night.
When you have nine penalties in a game, especially in this case where none of them overlapped, it disrupts the flow of the game. Guys who don’t play powerplay or penalty kill minutes are left sitting on the bench and their legs go cold. It’s not an excuse, but it is part of the reason the VGK lost Tuesday.
5- The Golden Knights are Procrastinators
With a history of late-game goals such as Eichel’s buzzer-beater goal the other night, the Golden Knights seem to only truly pressure when the clock is nearing zero.
They once again lacked a spark in the third period. A big hit from somebody like Brayden McNabb (who is not playing) or a fight from Mark Stone (who is also not playing) would have done measures to get the Golden Knights momentum kicked into high gear.
See you Thursday in Buffalo.