There’s a certain style that the Kings use to throw off the Golden Knights. Whenever these two play, Los Angeles plays at their tempo, choosing to let Vegas commit its own mistakes. That leads to good opportunities and scoring chances, causing frustration for the team in gold.
That’s proven by the fact that Los Angeles has the fourth-fewest penalty minutes in the NHL (190). Todd McClellan’s squad plays disciplined hockey that lets their opponents hurt themselves. The result? Scoring chances that translate into goals.
There’s also the scoring depth featured by the Kings. Like a star-studded Hollywood premiere, Los Angeles likes to roll out the red carpet in front of the net. Last season, they had 11 players that were in double digits in goals scored.
Another pleasant surprise for Hollywood’s hockey stars has been Cam Talbot. The former Oiler has posted spectacular stats so far (second in the NHL in GAA with 1.96 and tied for third in the NHL in save percentage with .930), making him an underrated pickup.
So how do you beat this pesky group of royalty? For one, you must stick to your game plan. As mentioned earlier, Bruce Cassidy’s game plan revolves around the forecheck. You take away the middle of the ice, along with any shooting lanes. After that, you attack.
Wearing down your opponent goes a long way in swinging the game in your favor. Take Vegas’s game against Edmonton on November 28 as an example. The Golden Knights were down 4-2 heading into the third period, yet they didn’t play desperation hockey. Instead, they stuck to their plan and got a point out of the game (they lost 5-4 in a shootout).
Los Angeles has scoring depth that will test the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division. However, McClellan has never been the type of coach to elevate his team to the next level. Luckily, Cassidy has, which is how he won the Stanley Cup for Sin City.