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Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knights Game 41 Plus/Minus: Patera Strong, Poor Special Teams



Adin Hill, Vegas Golden Knights

Adin Hill was supposed to make his first start since re-injuring himself in December, but something happened before the game that prevented that from happening. That was just one of the hat trick of bad news the Vegas Golden Knights delivered just 30 minutes before Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche started.

A surprising amount of items made today’s plus column despite the Golden Knights being blanked 3-0 by the Avalanche.

+ Jiri Patera’s Best Game of the Season

Perhaps Patera saw my tweet earlier in the day? Patera had a strong effort with a depleted lineup in front of him. The rookie looked the part. Patera was confident and played in control for most of the game. It is unlikely we see Hill anytime soon, perhaps coach Bruce Cassidy will even out the starts a bit between Patera and Logan Thompson.

– This Post by the Golden Knights

The post is fine, it gave crucial updates before the game started. The timing was fine as the team wanted to wait as long as possible to give up a competitive advantage to the Avalanche. The content within the post is why it made the minus column. The injury bug will not leave the Golden Knights alone, ever.

– Special Teams

The Golden Knights lost the special teams battle by a score of 2-0. The first goal given up was a breakdown from the faceoff. It took the Avalanche 10 seconds to win a faceoff, execute four passes, and score. All of that happened without a Golden Knights player getting close to making a play on the puck. Nicolas Roy, Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo, and Brayden McNabb were on the ice for the Golden Knights.

The Avalanche had brilliant passing that led to their second powerplay goal. You just have to tip your hat to the Avalanche on their second powerplay goal.

+ Five on Five Play

The Golden Knights looked good for large pockets of the game at even strength. The Avalanche might be one of the fastest teams in the NHL and the Golden Knights were able to match their speed. The Golden Knights had a good rush game that created scoring chances.

– Something Was Missing

Something was off for the Golden Knights. They looked deflated at times, which is permissible as long as it does not last. This is largely the same team that won a Stanley Cup over the summer and the same team that had a great start to the season. The Golden Knights found ways to win despite being at their best for many games this season. Now, the Golden Knights need to be at their best to win games.

+ The Game Never Got Away from the Golden Knights

Mark Stone was an inch away from scoring, Brett Howden hit a post, and there were other high-danger chances that did not find the back of the net. If one of those goes in, we could be talking about a better outcome.

+ Adversity is Making the Golden Knights Stronger

Despite the late goaltending change and playing with an untraditional lineup; the Golden Knights played a decent game. Remember when the Golden Knights had a healthy lineup and last played the Avalanche? The Golden Knights defeated the Avalanche 7-0.

+ The Season is Only Halfway Over

The Golden Knights have 41 games to get healthy and figure out their special teams. Bad stretches of hockey happen to all teams, but the Golden Knights were pretty good this season when fully healthy.

– The Season is Already Halfway Over

The trade deadline is just 22 games away and the Golden Knights need to string some victories. Otherwise this could be a very different looking team in March.