Vegas Golden Knights Make a Huge Statement Against the Dallas Stars

With all the pieces in place, the Vegas Golden Knights took Game 1. Could this be a sign of bigger things to come?
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game One
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game One / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

What does a team like the Vegas Golden Knights do when nearly everyone picks against them in a playoff series? Do they cower and hide in a corner? Do they freak out and stand like a deer in the headlights? Or do they light the lamp and continue their dominant ways?

For the Golden Knights, it was the latter, as they defeated the Dallas Stars in Game 1, 4-3. Behind a returning Mark Stone scoring with Jack Eichel's two assists, the defending champions showed why they won the Stanley Cup last season.

So what stood out for the Golden Knights in their quest to repeat? What are some things they can improve for a more decisive victory? It's impossible to be perfect. However, tonight's Game 1 victory was a good start.

Where the Vegas Golden Knights Thrived

First, the power play continues to improve. With two more power play goals tonight, the Vegas Golden Knights continue to become deadlier on the man advantage. With a returning Stone and the newest Golden Knight, Tomas Hertl, each having a power play goal, the Golden Knights let the man advantage propel them to victory.

In fact, the special teams altogether was phenomenal for Vegas. The Golden Knights killed off both penalties, giving Logan Thompson enough breathing room to operate. Saying the Golden Knights won because of special teams, specifically the power play, is something you don't hear often. But it helped them steal Game 1 on the road.

Where the Golden Knights Can Improve

Being doubled up on shots is something that must change for the Vegas Golden Knights (30-15 shot advantage for Dallas). The Stars weren't afraid to attack Vegas all night, creating an endless array of scoring opportunities. Luckily, the Golden Knights blocked 20 shots in Game 1, making life easier for Logan Thompson.

Speaking of Thompson, his third goal allowed was soft. With Mason Marchment entering the offensive zone for Dallas late in the third period, he fired a puck at the net. Thompson misjudged the puck, putting the Stars closer. Therefore, it was time for the Golden Knights to bear down.

However, this was the first playoff game for the Calgary native. Therefore, a little slack will be cut. However, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by an offensive juggernaut in Dallas. That's especially true if they're on the man advantage, where they're devastating (24.2 PP%, sixth-best in the NHL this regular season).

How Many Flamingos?

Overall, this game was 3.5 flamingos out of five. There are some areas that can be improved, such as not giving the puck away in the slot. Thompson also has some room to grow after his first playoff game.

However, the Vegas Golden Knights showed what they can do at full capacity. With the offensive firepower on full display in Dallas, the Golden Knights proved they can repeat as the Stanley Cup champions.