Vegas Golden Knights: Rest should be beneficial before Round 2

It is a waiting game for the Vegas Golden Knights right now.

After becoming the first team to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Vegas Golden Knights will get a chance to recharge the batteries before Round 2.

And that may not be such a bad thing.

While there is a fine line between rest and having too much time off that it halts any momentum built up from the previous round, the Golden Knights were banged up in Round 1.

Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Tomas Nosek all missed time in the series against the Chicago Blackhawks, with Nosek missing the last three games of Round 1.

So up to a week without a game will allow Pacioretty and Stastny to fully heal and get back up to speed and regain sharpness, while the extra time off should give Nosek every opportunity to be ready for the start of Game 2.

Another positive of having this time off is the fact that Head Coach Peter DeBoer can really get some work into his players, both on the practice ice and in the meeting room.

He can fine-tune any line combinations, get a closer and harder look at players in the Taxi Squad and work on ironing out any kinks from Round 1.

One of those kinks that needs plenty of work is the power play, which went a horrible 1/10 in Round 1 against the Blackhawks.

The PP will need to dramatically improve if the Golden Knights are to go on a deep run this year, and the extra time off will give DeBoer and his coaching staff the chance to really hone in on special teams play in practice.

And that could prove huge come Round 2.

Plus, with the Golden Knights knowing that they will now face either the St. Louis Blues or the Vancouver Canucks in the Second Round, they have a few extra days to make some adjustments and prepare specific game plans for those two teams.

Both are teams the Golden Knights know well from the regular season anyway, but a few extra practices to go over systems and line combinations could be the difference.

Now, granted, there is an extra caveat at play here in that being inside The Bubble can cause further complications.

For instance, players are limited to a routine of games, practice, meal times and then their rooms in Edmonton.

Nate Schmidt #88 and Chandler Stephenson #20 of the Vegas Golden Knights

Nate Schmidt #88 and Chandler Stephenson #20 of the Vegas Golden Knights smile during a training camp practice at City National Arena. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With no games, the Golden Knights will be spending a lot of time inside their hotel rooms and within the confines of the facility.

As such, some players could go a little bit crazy this week without a game to focus on but it will be up to the leaders and the veterans on the team, along with the coaching staff, to keep everyone focused and on task.

A structure will need to be put in place to ensure everyone remains committed to the cause this week, although that shouldn’t be a problem for this group given the hunger and the desire in that locker room.

After all, the Golden Knights were the first team to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and therefore have the advantage of having more time to prepare for Round 2.

You don’t want to pass up on that opportunity and there’s bound to be things put in place to ensure that the Knights are kept busy even after practices.

We have seen via social media that the players stage movie nights in the hotel, while there are excursions that the NHL will put on for teams on off days.

Overall, though, this week off from games should be much more of a benefit than a curse for the Vegas Golden Knights who are sitting pretty prior to Round 2.