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Knights on Ice — Vegas Returns to the Front of the Net and Creates the Missouri House of Blues
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, April 6, 2021


Over the last few games, the VGK have seemed to avoid the dirty areas of the ice and it showed in their goal production, especially in their last 3 games when they scored only 5 goals. Last night they found their way in front of St. Louis goaltender Ville Husso in their 6-1 win. Husso was tagged for 5 goals on 19 VGK shots before he was sent to the showers after playing just 29:07. Jordan Binnington played the final 30 minutes, but by the time Binnington arrived, Vegas was clearly in control of the game.

Fifteen different VGK players found their names on the scoresheet last night, a franchise record. Even Nic Hague, who has been on the scoresheet in a bunch of games for his numerous trips to the penalty box, found a way to not only avoid the penalty box, but also contributed to the 6-goal explosion.

The Blues are in a tailspin, losing 7 games in a row (0-6-1) and 12 of their last 14. St. Louis has also lost 8 games in a row on their home ice and are tied for the worst home record in the NHL (4-9-4). Thus, the Enterprise Center in St. Louis is the Missouri House of Blues, which should not be confused with the House of Blues here in Las Vegas, as that’s a fun place to go to.

Before you get too comfortable with this 6-1 victory, consider that in the first 5 minutes of the game, Robin Lehner had to be good and he was, as St. Louis was coming in waves. Robin has had some previous 1st period issues, giving up 12 of the 21 goals he has allowed just in the first period alone. But he stood tall. His only blemish of the night was when Tyler Bozak scored the only goal that St. Louis could muster with just 2:59 left in the first period. That cut the 2-0 deficit on first-period goals by Tomas Nosek and Alec Martinez to 2-1.
Vegas exploded for 4 goals in the 2nd period. With St. Louis managing to score 2 goals or fewer in 10 of the last 12 games and just 8 goals in the last 7 games, it was going to be an uphill fight. The VGK had scored 19 goals in the 4 previous games against St. Louis; they now have 25 in their 5 games played. They own a 4-0-1 record against the Blues this year. In their franchise history, St. Louis dominated the VGK and were 5-0-2 prior to this season; Vegas had never won a game in St. Louis. Now they’ve won all 3 games played there this year. Vegas has accumulated 9 points out of a possible 10 from St. Louis.

Speaking of getting to the front of the net, Coach DeBoer has been preaching it to his team recently. End-to-end rushes and toe-dragging goals around defensemen are great for ESPN highlights, but in order to win consistently in the NHL, a team must be willing to pay the price by going to the dirty areas of the ice, creating havoc in front of the net and screening the goaltender’s vision. Last night, 3 goals were scored from the blue line and one was scored from behind the goal line. These types of goals aren’t flashy or worthy of airtime on ESPN, but they win games.

Well, maybe Jonathan Marchessault’s goal will make a highlight reel as he scored from behind the goal line with a well-placed shot off of Husso’s shoulder, who left a small opening between his shoulder/helmet and the crossbar.

Three of the 6 goals were scored by defensemen. Alec Martinez had 2 goals, numbers 6 and 7, and Nic Hague scored his 5th of the season. The 26 goals by VGK defensemen lead the NHL.

Tomas Nosek is the lowest-paid veteran on the team with his measly $1 million salary, but he’s been their best player recently, scoring 10 points in the last 11 games. It’s easy racking up points in the midst of a winning streak; Nosek has been doing this despite the 3-game losing streak.

Other notes. The 2 first period goals by Vegas comprised their first multi-goal first period since March 19 vs. the L.A. Kings. Vegas scored 3 goals in just 1:59 in the 2nd period. Robin Lehner won his 7th game in 10 starts (7-1-2) this season and is 10-1-2 as a VGK.

My 3 Stars of the Game
1) Alec Martinez (2G, including the GWG)
2) Robin Lehner (31 saves on 32 shots and was the savior during the Blues first-period push)
3) William Carrier (1G, 1A; Will gives the team 110% on every shift in every game. If you had a team of 18 William Carriers, you might not score a ton of goals every night, but you’d have a winning and playoff-contending team)

Next game is tomorrow vs. the Blues at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. Please note that Wednesday’s game starts one hour later than last night’s game.

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.

Nosek’s opening goal

Marchessault’s perfectly placed shot

Martinez GWG

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