The Holiday break could not have come at a better time for the Vegas Golden Knights. But the Holiday break stretched into the first period of Wednesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.
The first period was far from what coach Bruce Cassidy and the Golden Knights had in mind. The Ducks scored four first-period goals on Logan Thompson and the Golden Knights. This was Thompson’s first start after missing two games due to an upper-body injury. The theme of the first period was poor puck management and the Golden Knights being caught flat-footed.
It was not a great period for Thompson but the score deficit did not 100% fall on Thompson.
Have you ever been to a baseball game when the pitcher has a no-hitter through six innings and gets shelled in the seventh inning? John Gibson has had the hockey equivalent of that baseball reference several times against the Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights had a much better start in the second period. Goals by Alec Martinez and Mark Stone (PPG) gave the Golden Knights hope. Brett Leason took some of that hope away when he scored his second goal of the game with 2:15 remaining in the period.
A 5-2 deficit is much better than a 4-0 deficit. The Golden Knights began the third period with 1:56 remaining on the powerplay.
The Golden Knights had a fine third period, but they could not find a way to score on the Ducks who deployed a “bend but do not break defensive scheme” in the third period.
There were some positives buried in the filth of a 5-2 loss to the seventh-place team in the Pacific Division. Pavel Dorofeyev was noticeable. Dorofeyev might have been the most noticeable forward for the Golden Knights and did everything he could to bring the team back into the game.
Thompson finished the game and appeared to be healthy. It was not his best performance, but finishing this game healthy is a step in the right direction.
“I just didn’t think we were ready to play, myself included.” Alec Martinez and what led to the poor start. “We got to figure this out as a team. Look at the last four, five, six games. We are giving up four or more goals, that is not what we do.”
“Too many turnovers, the first few shifts we were not ready to play.” Nic Roy on the loss. “We know we are a good team, we proved it in the past.”
“You need saves, right now there is an opportunity for Logan Thompson and Jiri Patera to step up.” Coach Cassidy on the goaltending situation. “We need them (goalies) to play better, we need them to get back to form. I do not want this to turn into a shit all over the goalies post-game, that is not what it is.”
Next up is a tough matchup against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night in Vegas.
Gawlik’s Three Stars
First Star: Brett Leason, two goals
Second Star: Mason McTavish, three assists
Third Star: John Gibson, 30 saves on 32 shots
Leason from Fowler and Henrique 3:23
Drysdale from McTavish and Strome 8:23
Vatrano from McTavish and Lyubushkin 11:38
Terry from Killorn and Zegras 12:18
Martinez from Cotter 7:23
Stone (PPG) from Karlsson and Marchessault 12:34
Leason from McTavish and Fowler 17:45