Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Vegas Golden Knights Need To Find Answers Quickly

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

There are moments in the playoffs when a coach has to coach, and moments when he has to psychoanalyze. Times when your players aren’t in the right places, which you can fix, and times when they’re positioned perfectly but not making the plays they are accustomed to making.

The latter describes the Vegas Golden Knights, a favourite in this Stanley Cup semifinal that is watching the life get squeezed out of them by the strangulating Montreal Canadiens.

Their power play — dead last in the NHL and goalless in this series — looks like five guys who just met at the 10 a.m. 40-and-over pickup game down at the community centre. And their execution — simple passes and plays they’ve made routinely until now — is as bad as the ice on which they skated Tuesday night in Vegas.

After being routed 4-1 in Game 5 in their own building by the Habs, we wondered if head coach Peter DeBoer will be using a whiteboard at Wednesday’s practice? Or a couch and a notepad?

Do his players need fresh strategy? Or do they need Bob Newhart?

“We’re searching for those answers. That’s our job here: to turn over every stone,” DeBoer said. “Is there some X-and-O answers? The moments in this series where we’ve had success, we’re doing certain things. But we’re not doing them for long enough stretches, and with enough participants.

“I don’t have a clear answer for you,” he decided, sort of. “We’ve been in this spot before, we’ve had adversity and responded the right way every time with this group. I’m confident we’ll be ready to go in Game 6.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights


SYF's avatar

To me, the answer is simple:  the Habs bench is a mile longer than VGK’s.  Even when Ducharme is out due to a nebulous COVID19 testing irregularity, the substitute coaches seemingly did a fine job of managing their bench.

VGK’s apparent weakness is that fourth line of Reaves, Kolesar, and whoever centers them now, and they overcompensate by putting Pietrangelo and Martinez to back them up.  When all that that line is does check and check and check and no set play for them to play offense when they do have the puck in the offensive zone, they don’t know where to go and what to do.  As a result, they have to put more pressure and log more ice time on their top three lines to score the goals.

The Habs have ZERO qualms about putting any line out there because each line can score and play defense.  Kind-a like the Wings in the Cup years, right?

If VGK loses this series, they should really, really look into building a better fourth line.  I like Reaves, but even Shanny knew he’d get nowhere just being a thug so he developed his hands to score.  And what can we say about D-Mac and his memorable goals against Roy as well as his ‘97 Cup winner?  Reaves and Kolesar need to evolve…and soon.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 06/24/21 at 12:41 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com