Where Is the Vegas Golden Knights's Urgency?

After another listless loss by the Vegas Golden Knights, there are concerns about the team's motivation.
Vegas Golden Knights v Edmonton Oilers
Vegas Golden Knights v Edmonton Oilers / Leila Devlin/GettyImages

After losing to the Edmonton Oilers, 5-1, there seems to be growing anger and concern among Vegas Golden Knights fans. With the looming St. Louis Blues taking care of business against the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis is only three points behind the Golden Knights for the final playoff spot.

Some might say this was a brutal road trip for the defending champions, starting with the third-period collapse against the Arizona (soon-to-be Utah) Coyotes. After all, they faced off against playoff teams in the other two games. However, there might be more than meets the eye for the Golden Knights and why they're not playing like, well, defending champions.

The Problem(s) With the Vegas Golden Knights Now

Offensively, there's no bite to the Vegas Golden Knights. One can point at the Arizona Coyotes game and say, "well, they scored four goals in that game! They had some bite."

Here's a cold reality, dear reader. The Golden Knights only mustered three shots in the first period that game, getting outshot by a total of 32-24. In Monday's game against Vancouver, it was the same story: get outshot by a Canucks team crashing the net (30-23) and lose the game.

The Golden Knights's game against Edmonton was no different, with Vegas getting outshot, 26-19. Granted, Adin Hill was coming back from a lower-body injury. However, the goaltender is only a part of the equation, especially when the Vegas Golden Knights can't control the puck (or don't care).

Defensively, they're another kind of mess that must be immediately addressed. On the other side of the shots spectrum, the Golden Knights have been outshot by 22 shots in the three-game road trip. Not filling the gaps and taking away shooting lanes has led to opposing offenses taking control in their zone.

No More Free Giveaways

It doesn't help matters when the Golden Knights have given the puck away 25 times during the road trip. Costly turnovers have led to momentum-shifting goals, with the Arizona game being a perfect example.

Look at the second third-period goal of that game. Brett Howden loses a stick battle in the offensive zone, causing Arizona to come back in transition. With a line change, the result was a 4-3 game with the Coyotes coming back to add four more.

Not battling for pucks and being careless is what has hurt the Golden Knights the past three games. It makes them look like they don't care about the playoffs. If they're not careful, they might not make it with their careless puck handling and battles.

Should Vegas Golden Knights Fans Worry?

The good news for Golden Knights fans is the Vegas Golden Knights can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Friday against the now-eliminated Minnesota Wild and a St. Louis loss against Carolina. That seems like a more favorable scenario for the Golden Knights given the Hurricanes are a playoff team.

However, the Golden Knights can't continue to act like they've earned anything. April hockey can be just as unpredictable as May hockey or in the earlier months. If Vegas isn't careful with their play for the rest of the season, they might be on the golf course by the end of the month.