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Vegas Golden Knights Weekly Recap: Week 2

Vegas Golden Knights Weekly Review: Week 2

The start of the 21-22 season has gone from bad to worse for the Vegas Golden Knights. After two weeks, the Golden Knights sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a record of (1-4-0).

Injuries and on-ice issues for Vegas continue to prevent them from getting their second win of the season. They have gone on to lose four out of four games since their win against Seattle to start the season.

Game one of the week

The first game of the week came on Oct. 20 against the undefeated St. Louis Blues.  It was a close and low-scoring game, though it ultimately resulted in a loss.

Vegas took the lead early in the game with a William Karlsson goal. St. Louis equalized in the second period after a defensive breakdown.

Though a theme that has been consistent throughout the season was present during this game.  Vegas turning over the puck in critical areas of the ice. One such turnover came when Alex Pietrangelo sent a blind pass to center ice where it was intercepted and ultimately scored by St. Louis. The game ended 3-1 with an empty-net goal for St. Louis.

Robin Lehner stood on his head for a majority of the game, stopping several chances from the Blues. However, the rest of the team failed to provide the goal support needed to get the win he deserved.

Game two of the week

Vegas’ second game of the week came on Oct. 22 against another undefeated team in the Edmonton Oilers. This was another close game as well, with Vegas striking first after Nic Roy tipped in a goal.

Edmonton soon answered with a powerplay goal to equalize. In the second period, Vegas went ahead after Nolan Patrick with another tip-in, scored his first as a Golden Knights.

Poor defensive coverage led to Edmonton’s second equalizer of the game. Shortly after that, Edmonton scored again for their first lead of the game, after Vegas’ defensemen couldn’t clear a rebound.

Early in the third period Nic Hague equalized the game again with a bomb from the point. Shortly after his goal, however, he had one of his passes picked off which Edmonton was able to convert into a goal. The rest of the third period went scoreless until Edmonton sealed the game off with an empty-netter. The final result was 5-3 Edmonton.

Game three of the week

Vegas’ third and final game of the week was on Oct. 24 where they faced off against the New York Islanders. This was a game that showed making mistakes in the NHL often leads to getting scored on by the other team.

Early in the first period, the Golden Knights failed to clear the puck from their zone.  The Islanders were able to get a shot on net which rebounded after Lehner saved it. The rebound landed on the stick of another Islander player who buried it in the net.

Halfway through the third, another turnover by Vegas in their own zone led to the ever-impressive Matthew Barzal getting possession of the puck. Despite being at a sharp angle, Barzal was able to score via a small gap above Lehner’s left shoulder.

Though they had been scored on twice, Vegas had more offensive efforts than their opponents. The Golden Knights would end the game with 42 shots on net. Despite this they would score no goals of their own, getting shutout by Ilya Sorokin and his fantastic performance.

Closing Thoughts

The injuries to several important roster players this early in the season are starting to wear on the Vegas Golden Knights.

The team’s injured list currently stands as: Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Alex Tuch, Alec Martinez, Zach Whitecloud and Nolan Patrick. The situation is getting to its critical stages for the Golden Knights.

Though it is still very early in the season, several of the team’s injured players are going to be out for an extended period of time.  The rest of the season is going to be an uphill battle for the team as a whole, and they have yet to show that they are capable of carrying on without their star players.

The lack of offense is abundantly clear. Nobody on the team has yet shown that they are capable of making up for Vegas’ lost offensive production. If this continues, Vegas management will need to make some important decisions. Should they look to trade for offensive help, or do they need to consider sticking to the hand they were dealt and see if something changes organically?

Even when the injured Vegas players eventually return, it might be too far into the season for any realistic playoff chances. If those players end up being out longer than it initially appeared, management needs to decide if they should keep pushing for a small playoff chance or begin working towards future efforts.

 

 

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