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.”