Let’s start this postgame off with some facts. Let this be a reality check for the Vegas Golden Knights.
The team has lost ten of their last fourteen games played. They have gone from first in the Pacific Division standings in early 2022 to the second Wild Card position in the Western Conference. They are in danger of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
“We need a little bit more emotion right now. With this time of year heading into the playoffs we need that emotion,” said Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
They have ten players out of the lineup due to injuries and COVID-19. They are 4-9-1 since acquiring Jack Eichel and placing captain Mark Stone on LTIR. The Golden Knights have more than $43 million in currently injured/unavailable players.
Tuesday night they finished a five-game road trip where they lost every game and allowed 17 goals in the final three games of the trip. This is the most significant losing streak in Golden Knights history given that previous five-game losing streaks had some games that went to overtime.
Takeaways From Another Golden Knights Loss
1- Rough Night for LB & LT
In his return to Canadian Life Center, Laurent Brossoit struggled to say the least. He was pulled in the third period after stopping only 9 saves on 13 shots. Getting pulled against your former team is not ideal and this is the third straight game in which Brossoit had allowed 4+ goals.
Logan Thompson then came in and allowed three more as the Jets offense was simply on fire. But some of these goals could have been stopped looking back on then. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer addressed his team’s goaltending after Tuesday’s game.
“He just didn’t get in front of enough pucks. It’s pretty simple. I am not a goaltending expert but you have to get in front of a couple,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.
2- “Good Starts” Usually Feature Goals
It seems like for every game on this road trip we looked at the Golden Knights first say ten minutes of play and saw some positives. For instance against the Jets, the Golden Knights led in shots 6-0 midway through the first. They didn’t allow the Jets a shot until 9:25 was left in the period.
But as much as this is a step in the right direction the team has to score. Blake Wheeler’s goal marked the fifth-straight time the Golden Knights gave up the first goal of the game. We could be talking about a completely different story had the Golden Knights cashed in on some of their early opportunities.
“If we can have a game where we are not down after the first it is going to give us a huge advantage,” said Golden Knights forward William Karlsson.
3- Marchessault With Another Bad Penalty
This is the third time on the road trip where we are discussing Jonathan Marchessault’s behavior. Just as when it seemed like the Golden Knights were about to mount a comeback all momentum died as Marchessault slashed Nikolaj Ehlers and got both and a ten-minute penalty.
This simply cannot happen, especially from one of the leaders on the team who is looked to even more with Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, Robin Lehner, and Brayden McNabb all out.
— Owen Krepps (@OKrepps85) March 16, 2022
4- Kyle Connor is so Underrated
Switching sides here real quick to close things out Kyle Connor might be the most underrated player in the NHL. He now has ten goals in ten career games against the Golden Knights. This season he leads the Jets in scoring with 38 goals, 34 assists, and 72 points.
The Jets will be in a dogfight with the Golden Knights to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the VGK, Connor is a player to watch out for as these two teams will meet again in one week.
The Golden Knights will look to turn things around Thursday as they play the red-hot Florida Panthers. This game could come as either a curse or a blessing in disguise for the Golden Knights given the success of the Panthers this season. The VGK could upset the Panthers to get back on track or get spanked by the leagues-best offense. We will see Thursday night at The Fortress.
“We’re in that spot where we need everything firing on all cylinders. Our goaltender has to be good, our special teams need to be good and our five-on-five has to be good and if one of those areas are off we are not going to win,” said DeBoer.