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Knights on Ice — Spanked, or Was It an Old-Fashioned Butt-Kicking?
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Friday, March 26, 2021


It doesn’t matter what you call it. The VGK, who exploded for 3 goals on Monday night vs. St. Louis in the third period, had the Colorado Avalanche explode on them in the 2nd period with 4 goals and one more in the 3rd for a 5-1 win. Five unanswered goals against a team that they’ll most likely have to beat to advance out of the Western Division? This is not a good sign.

The game started off on some positive notes. One was the return of Max Pacioretty, the team’s leading goal scorer, who had missed the last 2 games. The second happened just 40 seconds in, when Max beat Philipp Grubauer with a backhander on the first shot of the game for a quick 1-0 lead. The VGK’s scoring first was a good indication that the boys were off and running, after having 2 days off in a season that doesn’t have many off days. Vegas was 18-0-1 when scoring first. They were 14-0-0 when starting the second period with a lead, which they did, when Max’s goal was the only score of the first period. That all came to an end last night as Vegas took 3 penalties in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd period and were pretty much dominated for an entire a period that they’d like a mulligan on. Vegas managed only 5 SOG in the 2nd period, while Colorado had 16 on Marc-Andre Fleury. I’m not sure if this was the worst game Vegas has played so far this season, but for sure it was the worst 2nd period of their first 30 games.

Grubauer was perfect after the Pacioretty goal, but he really didn’t have much to face, as Vegas could only muster 19 shots for the entire 60 minutes — second lowest shots on goal in team history.

Both teams came into the game on heaters, as Vegas had won 6 of their last 7 games and Colorado had won 7 of their last 8. This 8-game stretch for Colorado has seen them go from 4th place in the Honda West Division to a first-place tie with Vegas at 45 points each. Vegas mathematically maintains the rights to first place, based on having played 1 less game than Colorado.

In my last post, I wrote about the resiliency of Vegas playing in back-to-back games and last night it appeared that the much-needed 2 days off wasn’t friendly to the entire team. They didn’t seem to be in sync. Or was it that Colorado is now firing on all cylinders, which made Vegas look slow and out of step? I guess this question will be answered tomorrow when they complete this 2-game road trip to Colorado before they return for their next 4 games at T-Mobile, 2 vs. the Kings and 2 against the Wild.

The VGK have feasted on the bottom 4 teams and have to hold their own against the 3 top teams in their remaining games. Their 22-8-1 record and 45 points for the most part have come at the expense of the bottom 4 teams so far. Their cushion of multiple-point leads for 1st place is now in jeopardy, especially if they blow another game tomorrow.

Mark Stone, who seems to have strong words for his team after a disappointing performance, was tepid last night in his post-game comments to the media. What he said privately to the team in the locker room we will never know, but he hasn’t been shy about calling out the team when they lay an egg and last night there were enough eggs to go around for all who wanted an omelet.

My 3 stars of the Game: JT Compher (1G, 1A; his goal was the eventual game winner), Gabriel Landeskog (1G, 1A), Cale Makar (1G, 1A)

Next game is tomorrow vs. Colorado 12 noon Pacific Time.

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.

The only VGK highlight last night Pacioretty’s goal

JT Compher GWG

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