3. Still Kinks To Be Ironed Out
This was a huge win for the Vegas Golden Knights but the game itself was not a work of art by any stretch of the imagination.
While the Golden Knights finally played hard from the first drop of the puck, they nearly ruined their good work in the first period.
After building a two-goal lead in the opening frame, the Knights added to their lead early in the second thanks to Max Pacioretty’s power play goal.
But a breakdown led to Milan Lucic skating in on an odd-man rush before squeezing a shot past Robin Lehner, and that led to a collapse.
Both Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk took advantage of poor play in the defensive zone to make it a tied game with minutes remaining.
It took some heroics from Shea Theodore to bail out the Golden Knights before Jonathan Marchessault iced the game with an empty-netter, but that can’t gloss over some clear flaws.
It is abundantly clear that Vegas is still incapable of playing a 60-minute game, while Head Coach Peter DeBoer’s desire for his defense to play aggressive backfired when Nick Holden was caught with a poor pinch in the lead-up to Lucic’s goal.
The penalty kill also remains a major concern after the Knights went 0-for-1, the third straight power play goal they had allowed and the fifth in eight attempts.
The PK is ranked 28th in the NHL and that isn’t going to get the job done down the stretch or in the postseason.
So, as good as a win as it was last night in Calgary, the Vegas Golden Knights still have a few things they need to tidy up if they want to be a major contender in the postseason.