Reflections after 6 Games and keys for Tonight’s Game vs the Nashville Predators

Joe Dias

The Vegas Golden Knights began this season on an emotional roller coaster.  The NHL chose to try and capitalize on the budding intense hatred/rivalry between the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks by pitting them in a Home and Home series to open up the Season.  The Golden Knights Aced that test by destroying the Sharks 4-1 in Vegas and 5-1 in San Jose.  After the 2 Emotional games vs San Jose the Golden Knights welcomed the Defending Eastern Conference Champs to their building.  The Golden Knights started off strong and ended with a flurry but in the middle of the game had a 4 Minute span in which Boston Scored 3 Goals to seize control.   Next up the Golden Knights traveled to face a young and improving Arizona Coyotes Team.  The Golden Knights after 3 Tough and emotional games looked a little fatigued vs a hungry Coyotes team looking for their 1st win of the season.  The Coyotes feasted on some bad turnovers to the tune of a 4-1 decision.  At the end of the 1st Period Malcolm Subban was injured.

The Golden Knights got a jolt of energy when Cody Eakin returned to play his 1st game of the season in Game #5.  The Golden Knights switched up their Lines by placing Paul Stastny back with Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty on Line 2.  Line 3 now consisted of Cody Glass, Cody Eakin and Valentin Zykov.  The jolt of the line switch and the crowd at home got the Golden Knights off to a fast start when Tomas Nosek scored at 3.24 of the 1st Period.  Calgary scored 2 Goals 33 Seconds apart in the early 2nd Period to take a 2-1 lead.  The Golden Knights then seemed to get very comfortable and dominated the next 5 Periods of Hockey.  Scoring 5 Unanswered goals vs Calgary to win 6-2.  Then the next Night Dominating the Los Angeles Kings on the road 5-2.

After a night off the Golden Knights (4-2-0)  return to the Fortress tonight to play the Nashville Predators (3-2-0).  The Nashville Predators are led on Offense by Matt Duchene (2 G 7 A 9 Pts)  Filip Forsberg (4 G 3 A 7 Pts) and Ryan Johansen (2 G 5 A 7 Pts).   The Goaltending Duo is an interesting one,  Pekka Rinne is 3-0 with a 3.00 GAA along with a .894 SV % and Juuse Saros (who has always played very well vs the Golden Knights) is 0-2 with a 5.10 GAA along with a .844 Save %.

Keys to Tonights Game…………..

1.  Special Teams
The Golden Knights 30% Power Play Unit vs the Predators 71.4% Penalty Kill Unit
The Golden Knights 95.5% Penalty Kill Unit vs the Predators 23.5% Power Play Unit

2 Limiting Turnovers in our own end…….
During the Golden Knights 2 Losses, they have had bad turnovers that led directly to 2 on 1 breakaways and to open net shots.  Essentially leaving the Goaltender out to dry.  If the Golden Knights limit those odd man chances they will be able to create more opportunities in their own zone as they would not be chasing after the puck.

3.   Feed off the Crowds Emotion
Each time the Golden Knights play Nashville the crowd is extra loud as they are trying to make sure Nashville knows that Vegas has the Best Fans and Crowd Experience.  So Expect another very load and energetic crowd tonight.