Logan Thompson Can Only Do So Much

Logan Thompson had a spectacular Game 3 for the Vegas Golden Knights. Why the Golden Knights need to do more.
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Three
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Three / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Game 3 was supposed to be a blowout in favor of the Dallas Stars. The Stars obliterated the Vegas Golden Knights in high-danger chances, 21-3, and outshot Vegas, 34-17, heading into overtime. On top of that, the expected goals were 3.96-0.89 in favor of the Western Conference's best regular season team before the extra period. However, one man kept the game close: Logan Thompson.

After all, he was the talk of the town, impressing the hockey world with every save. Hockey fans were in awe of Thompson's performance, watching him stop breakaways and make ridiculous saves. Stopping 43 shots can do that for a man.

Despite his best efforts, the Golden Knights lost to the Stars, 3-2. It was a tough loss for the defending champions after they came back from a 2-0 deficit. All night, the Golden Knights were struggling offensively, failing to move past the neutral zone. The game should've been a blowout, with the Stars winning handily.

Still, the Vegas Golden Knights need to make some adjustments for their sake--and Logan Thompson's sake. What must the Golden Knights do to come back stronger in Game 4 against the Dallas Stars? How can they make Logan Thompson's life much easier throughout the series?

Give Logan Thompson More Cushion

The Golden Knights struggled to push the puck past the neutral zone all night, with the Stars dominating the area. It led to numerous rushes and high-danger chances for Dallas, creating more shots and scoring opportunities.

In turn, it also got Dallas out to an early 2-0 lead, with Vegas needing to dig themselves out of a hole. They did tie the game in the second period, thanks to a Brayden McNabb goal and a Jack Eichel short-handed goal. However, the second period was the only time they generated any offense in Game 3. As a result, the Stars just went back to dominating the neutral zone.

The Golden Knights must take back the neutral zone and re-establish themselves in their game. That starts with not letting the Stars move up and down the ice, pushing the puck to Dallas's defensive end. That way, the Stars play a 200-ft. game and will eventually expire on the ice.

Vegas must learn that Logan Thompson can't also score goals while tending the net. They needed as much offensive zone time in overtime as possible. Instead, they got stuck in the neutral zone, where the Stars attacked the crease and generated countless scoring opportunities. In turn, the Golden Knights were worn down and Wyatt Johnston finished the game.

Be Better With the Puck

The Vegas Golden Knights also gave away the puck 10 times, catalyzing why the Dallas Stars had 46 shots on goal. If the Stars spend too much time in the offensive zone, pucks will eventually slip in, causing trouble for the defending champions. The Stars are a dangerous team offensively, which can be problematic for Vegas.

Part of the Stars peppering Logan Thompson with shots stem from a lack of care with the puck. Errant passes and clogged lanes led to numerous rushes and scoring opportunities for Dallas, leaving Vegas tired and without an offensive spark.

Of course, this has been an issue at times for the Golden Knights periodically. Carelessness and rushed plays, whether they're at even strength or on the man advantage, have doomed Vegas in games. Slowing the game down and taking care of the puck will reduce the opportunities Dallas has.

The good news is Vegas is still leading the series, 2-1. There's still some cushion for Logan Thompson and the Golden Knights to operate. However, the goaltender can't be the only star for Vegas throughout the series. The rest of the team must pick up the pace. Otherwise, the momentum will shift back to the Stars.