Are the Golden Knights Done?

Patrick Brown
June 06, 2018 - 5:54 pm

If you are here to read me talk about how well the team I root for is playing, you would be correct. However, I have to talk about the Golden Knights’ performance in this series. You see a lot of people are saying that the Stanley Cup is going to be won by the Washington Capitals. I don’t believe it should be written off that easily, especially with the way the Golden Knights have been playing. I went back and watched every single game of this series over again to see if there was a major difference in the way the Capitals and the Golden Knights have played from game to game in the series. The answer, not a lot has changed.

Before you go and complain to me on twitter, “Oh but if there isn’t that much that has changed then why do the Capitals lead the series 3-1,” let me explain. There hasn’t been much change in the style of play from both teams. Vegas has been playing with passion and their line to line defense is something that could take any hockey fan’s breath away. Capitals do what they do best, wait things out, get a short man advantage and they will either crash the net or kick it outside for a one timer. The teams’ identities are in tact, but something is missing that the Capitals have. For a while I could not figure out what that was, but then I watched game two.

Game two, Vegas were loud and they were ready. Vegas scored first, they were feeling good knowing that they were 11-1 at that point in the postseason when scoring first. Then the Capitals scored three straight goals in the second period: one on a 4v4, one on a Power Play, and one of a freak deflection. Knights score on their own Power Play to make it 3-2. Going into the third, I thought that the Knights had a lot of momentum their way and was looking for a strong third to take a 2-0 series lead. Then Holtby reminded us all of how amazing he can be. Two minutes to go in the third, score remains the same, Knights fly in a puck that takes a weird bounce off the corner of the rink. Puck skates by Holtby and meets a waiting Eakin who dumps a beautiful pass to Husk who has a wide open goal, until Holtby dives for it, stick and all to save the game and the series for the Capitals.

So why is the save so important? I challenge everyone to go watch the save and you will notice three things that happened after that. First, the Knights could not believe what happened. They had an easy chance to send the game to overtime and could have easily won the game, but missed the chance. Two, the crowd was taken out of it. After that one play, something came over the Golden Knights fans in attendance that hasn’t been felt all season, doubt. They didn’t know how that didn’t go in, even though their goaltender has been doing saves like that all post season. Third, after that one play, the Capitals started believing in themselves. They have carried that feeling into the last two games at home, where they hadn’t had the most success in the playoffs, and won easily.

The one thing that changed from game one to now going into game five is nothing more than confidence. Looking at game four, the Knights looked like a shell of their former selves. They had two easy chances to score in the first period but missed their targets both time. After that, instead of shaking it off they just looked like they were defeated and it showed when the Caps scored their first goal. After Oshie scored, Noesk for the Knights buried his head in his arms behind the goal. It was a moment that most of the commentators laughed off saying that he is upset that because he missed his man. That wasn’t what I was seeing. Instead I saw a guy asking himself what do we need to do. The Knights looked defeated. The only thing that gives me hope for the Knights is that they did score two goals and got some of their frustrations out, but they are going to have to play three perfect games in order to get back in this series and hoist the Stanley Cup. Can they do it? Well they have been going against the odds all year, so why the hell should now be any different. The Knights aren’t done and Ovi’s name isn’t on the cup yet so time will tell how the series will end. Strap up, it is going to be a ride that we will not want to forget.

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