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Knights on Ice — Make That Three Losses in the Last Four Games
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Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, April 8, 2021

 

This team needs a lot of help if they intend to make any noise in the playoffs. Their current play is inconsistent, their power play is as bad as it could possibly be. They’re currently 0-18 on the power play, 2nd longest drought in their history. Last night the power play went 0-4. They were playing a team in a complete free fall and they let them get back on their feet with 2 first-period goals in their 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

To make matters worse, unlike Monday night where Robin Lehner held the Blues at bay early in the first period until Vegas got going, that was not the case last night. For the 3rd time this season, the opposition scored a goal in the first minute of the game and for the 5th time, the opposing team scored on their very first shot.

The VGK once again had to play the game with one less skater. Alec Martinez was missing his first game as a VGK and because of the salary-cap gymnastics that this team has been playing since January 14th they had only 5 defensemen. It showed, especially on the first goal of the game as Nic Hague waved his stick at Viadimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko just blew by Hague straight down the middle of the ice and fired the puck past Fleury for the early lead. What Hague was doing so close to the boards is beyond me. If someone is going to beat you, let him beat you going wide, not down the middle of the ice between the faceoff dots. This angle gives the shooter more options to beat the goaltender. If you force the shooter toward the boards, his options are limited. Tarasenko had another clean breakaway minutes later on Fleury, who this time made a glove save that prevented a complete first period blowout.

The first period ended with the Blues ahead 2-0 when Sammy Blais scored at the 7:21 mark of the first on just the 5th shot of the game for St. Louis.

With only 5 skaters on defense, Pietrangelo logged an incredible 31 minutes of ice time. Theodore had 30:42

The 2 first-period goals were all that St. Louis needed to break their losing streak. Vegas had been averaging 5 goals a game against the Blues this year, but could manage one meaningless goal by Nicolas Roy with just 4:16 left in the game. Even with a late power play and Fleury pulled for an extra skater creating a 6 on 4, the power play came up empty once again.

Four days from now is the NHL trade deadline and I’ll be completely shocked if the VGK as you know them today is the same VGK that takes the ice against the L.A. Kings on Monday in Los Angeles.
Jordan Binnington made 50 saves on 51 VGK shots, the most shots an opposing teams goaltender has faced from the VGK. Fleury stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced.

My 3 Stars of the Game
1) Jordan Binnington (50 saves on 51 shots, which included 10 saves on 10 power-play shots)
2) Sammy Blais (1G, the GWG)
3) Craig Berube (head coach of St. Louis, who pretty much undressed his team publicly after their Monday night performance. He embarrassed them and they responded.)

Next game is tomorrow vs. Arizona at T-Mobile at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

If you want to hear and see more VGK content please check out the podcast I do with Eddie Rivkin on YouTube it’s called Hockey Nights in Vegas. Here is a link to our previous podcast.

Your comments and opinions are welcome here at Las Vegas Advisor or you may contact me directly at [email protected] or on my Facebook page or the Facebook page of Vegas Hockey Guy or on Twitter @TheRealJoePane

One other note: If you’re reading this blog from Facebook or Twitter and would like to access it earlier in the morning before I share it on social media, it’s usually published by 8 a.m. the morning after a game on LasVegasAdvisor.com. What better way is there to enjoy your morning coffee than reading my take on last night’s VGK game.

Tarasenko’s opening goal

Blais’ winning goal

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