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Golden Knights Notebook: First 10 Minutes Craze, Trapping McDavid



Connor McDavid, Vegas Golden Knights

There are only a few home ice advantages equal to the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. The fortress has proven to be an asset for the Golden Knights, even as they had 15 regulation home losses this season. After a subpar Game 1 in Round One, the Golden Knights have won five games in a row.

Three of those five have been at home.

“The first 10 minutes at home, we feed off of that energy,” William Carrier said. “So that home ice advantage, we have it big time from the fans, the energy the building. So, the last few games, our first 10 minutes have been great, so we’ve got to keep the momentum.”

If the crowd isn’t an advantage, the last change for coach Bruce Cassidy will be a significant factor in this series. Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft doesn’t have many cards in the deck, but he has a pair of aces with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

At home, Cassidy gets to pick his matchup.

In Game 1, Chandler Stephenson’s line took the bulk of time against Connor McDavid in the first half of the game. In the second half, the fourth-line with Nicolas Roy, Keegan Kolesar, and winger William Carrier blanketed the superstar.

Stephenson’s goal later in the third proved crucial.

The Golden Knights had success at 5v5 and forced McDavid into a few turnovers, too. The Golden Knights’ bottom six limited McDavid and held him in check.

I think it’s nice that he shows a lot of confidence in our group,” Roy said. ” try to bring energy on the first shift and make a couple of hits, it’s fun.

Connor McDavid

The Vegas Golden Knights essentially hogtied the elite center, at least 5v5. From the start of the game, often the first time coach Bruce Cassidy puts Roy’s line out there.

The entire Oilers team had just one high-danger scoring chance in the first two periods.

I think we did a good job. Obviously, we had a couple of meetings. You’re never going to take away all of their offense. He and Draisaitl are so good,” Roy told VHN. “They’re going to make some plays out there, at some point. But I think overall, five-on-five. we did a great job trying to keep them (to the) outside. And I think we’ve been a good group defensively the whole year 5v5, so we’ve got to keep doing that.”

The Edmonton Oilers are not a deep team when Draisaitl skates with McDavid and Evander Kane. Edmonton’s second-line center is journeyman Nick Bjugstad, whom they acquired before the NHL trade deadline. Bjugstad has recent stops in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Arizona after spending his first seven seasons with the Florida Panthers. He makes only $700,000.

“A lot of lines that are good puck possession lines don’t necessarily score. They don’t have top-end finishers. It’s hard to put them all on one line,” said Cassidy. “…If they can wear the other team down, leave (the puck) in a good place for the next line going over the boards, that’s a win for us.”

The Golden Knights had a lot of those wins in Game 1.

First 10 Minutes:

The first 10 or so minutes of practice were closed to the public and media at City National Arena. The black shades were drawn over the windows to prevent onlookers from knowing the contents of the practice. VHN learned Cassidy wanted to work on the power play, but the adjustments, or wrinkles in their game, were secret.

So, we’ll find out together what Cassidy has planned in Game 2.

Remember, Game 2 was moved to 4 p.m. local time.

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