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Golden Knights Analysis

Vegas Golden Knights Game 36 vs. Anaheim Ducks; Pluses/Minuses, Coach Cassidy Makes the Minus Column



Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights head coach (Photo- Owen Krepps, Vegas Hockey Now)

It was not easy finding positives from Wednesday’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The Vegas Golden Knights did not start on time nor had enough in them to mount a four-goal comeback. Here are the pluses and minuses of the game.

– Coach Bruce Cassidy’s Post-Game Comments

Here is what coach Cassidy had to say about the goaltending as of late. “You need saves, right now there is an opportunity for Logan Thompson and Jiri Patera to step up. 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.”

Time to acknowledge reality. Thompson went from playing 40% of the games to nearly all the games. It was clear that Thompson suffered a lower-body injury against the Ottawa Senators and it is fair to assume Thompson may have exited that game had it not led to an emergency goalie coming in. Thompson suffered a new injury after losing to the Carolina Hurricanes just two days later that led to him missing two games.

Coach Cassidy was a bit harsh, whether it was directed at Thompson or not, towards the goaltenders. If Thompson continues to struggle for a few games, then it will be hard to protect Thompson. Coach Cassidy was a bit too “honest” on a goaltender who suffered injuries in two of his last three appearances.

– Extended Holiday Break Into the First Period

“I just don’t think we were ready to play, myself included.” Alec Martinez on the first period. It is a fair criticism by the 36-year-old. The Golden Knights came into Wednesday’s game losers of three straight which one would assume would have led to more urgency and better play.

+ Pavel Dorofeyev

Dorofeyev’s skill was on display for most of the game. He was the driver of the second line with Chandler Stephenson and Jonathan Marchessault. The NHL game is starting to slow down for Dorofeyev and he might develop into the team’s most lethal scorer. It may not happen this year, but there is a good chance that it will happen in the not-so-distant future.

– Too Many Passengers

What is lost on Wednesday’s storylines is the amount of passengers who were caught out of position as Anaheim scored at will.  Alec Martinez turned a puck over and failed to follow his player to the net on the first goal. Dorofeyev was coasting the length of the ice on the second goal. Chandler Stephenson and Marchessault did nothing to stop the third goal. Mark Stone was flat-footed and left the slot wide open on the fifth goal.

Do not mistake this for defending Thompson’s performance by any means. The team in front of Thompson did not do any favors for the goaltending Wednesday night.

+ Logan Thompson Finished the Game Healthy

Thompson got through the start which is about the only positive to take away. Onward and upward.

+ Second and Third Periods

The Golden Knights had a pulse, which is about the only positive after the first period. The fifth goal of the game for the Ducks with 2:15 remaining in the second period was a back-breaker.