The Vegas Golden Knights played what can easily be considered their worst game of the season Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks. They fell 5-1 as they debuted their reverse retro jerseys at T-Mobile Arena. The VGK will now start a four-game road trip out East, starting on Monday.
Here are our takeaways from the Golden Knight’s loss.
Golden Knights Takeaways
Penalty Kill Kills
The Canucks, who entered this game with the fifth-best powerplay in the NHL, scored three powerplay goals against the Golden Knights. Logan Thompson was left out to dry as the VGK chased for the majority of the game.
Some of the penalties were bad, such as a couple of high sticks and frustration penalties. But all teams, even the Golden Knights, who have taken the least amount of penalty minutes per game this season, take them. Penalty kills need to come up big for teams, and they did not for the VGK Saturday.
“I think we came out with a good start, and then special teams let us down. When you’re not able to get back any momentum on the penalty kill, it sucks. I think we really just kept on digging ourselves a bigger hole as the game went on,” said Golden Knights penalty killer Reilly Smith.
A Strange Thought
One more note on the penalty kill is a potentially controversial opinion I have.
I think the NHL, and hockey, in general, should change it so that players in the box get a minus when the opposition scores on their penalty. For instance, Nicolas Roy was in the box for two of the Canuck’s first-period powerplay goals. I think he should be a -2 for this.
Reverse Retro Thoughts
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Golden Knight’s new reverse retro jerseys, which debuted Saturday. They looked good on the ice, and the pregame intro was fun.
They didn’t glow in the dark as much as I expected them to, and I still am not a fan of wordmarks for logos, but they are an overall strong design that the Golden Knights will wear next on Dec. 9.
Stars Struck Nothing
In games like these, you need your star players to up their game and perform. I didn’t see this from any of the Golden Knight’s star players not named Jonathan Marchessault. Jack Eichel was silent, and Mark Stone had one of his worst games as a Golden Knight.
Marchessault, while the puck was not bouncing right for him either, did not quit all night and worked his butt off, coming only an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat-trick.
The Road Is Calling
The Golden Knights will turn their attention to a four-game Eastern Conference road trip where they will play the Blue Jackets, Penguins, Red Wings, and Bruins. So far this season, they have been better on the road than at home, with a 9-1-1 road record.
“I think sometimes when you go on the road again, you simplify the game. That’s something that we’ve had conversations about. So we got to use these next four games to really grab this thing together as a group and move forward,” said Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
The Golden Knights went 5-0 on their last road trip, defeating the Capitals, Canadiens, Senators, Maple Leafs, and Sabres. Perhaps a road trip will help the VGK get back into the rhythm of things.
“We’ve outscored some in most situations on the road. Maybe that’s what we need again; we seem to be able to produce better on the road than at home for whatever reason. So the road is calling us, so let’s hope we were able to do that,” said Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy.