TEMPE— One step forward, two steps backward. After a strong 6-2 showing against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, the Vegas Golden Knights dropped their Sunday matchup against the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. They will embark on their annual New York trip next starting in New Jersey on Tuesday.
Golden Knights Takeaways
Cover the Slot
It's ironic that a team from Las Vegas had problems with slots. In all three of the Coyotes' goals, the VGK defense either didn't defend well enough, or allowed Coyotes players to stand in front of Logan Thompson for multiple goals.
"What should have happened today is that we should have been better defensively. That way you don't put so much pressure on yourself because you're still winning even though you're not scoring. It could have easily been a 2-1 if we protected the slot right," said head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Lack of Offense
This problem was at both ends of the ice, as the VGK had their offensive chances, but couldn't foot Karel Vejmelka, with no bodies out in front of him.
"We got through the neutral zone decently but maybe didn't get enough traffic. They played well and had good sticks. We generated some weird pushes, but didn't capitalize," said defensemen Brayden McNabb.
The only goal of the game for the VGK came on the powerplay, with Phil Kessel scoring.
The Arizona Coyotes play in undoubtedly the strangest arena in all of the NHL. With their new arena construction situation in limbo, they are currently playing at Arizona State University's Mullett Arena in Tempe, a college arena that seats 5,000.
It's a temporary fix to a larger problem. But it gives us some unique scenarios that we will (hopefully) never see again.
"It brings you back to the college days; it's nice here. The game center here is awesome; the campus looked pretty nice. It's a different vibe, but it's cool. I saw the student section when we went into the barn there, and it put a little smile on my face and brought back some good memories of playing at Maine," said Golden Knights defensemen Ben Hutton.
Only a four-hour drive from Las Vegas, many Golden Knights fans showed up to support their team on the road. One could argue they out-contested the Coyotes fans in attendance as several "Go, Knights, Go" chants echoed Mullett Arena.
"I think on the road, we have had good support from Golden Knights fans and a traveling fanbase. That is always nice to have a few people in the crowd to give us a spark," said Cassidy. Unfortuntely for them, they witness a VGK loss.