Following a 4-1 shellacking over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights are hopeful the recent victory isn’t a fluke in what is a crucial part of the season. Winning only two of their last five contests, the Golden Knights are struggling to find their late-season momentum. Although this team has made an impressive run with minimal time in the league, this 2022 roster seems to be lacking. Sitting at second place in the Pacific Division, the sin city skaters are in familiar territory in the month of February. But if you asked Vegas fans as of late, the team seems to be missing the moxie they once had.
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With players like Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, and William Karlsson, Vegas was expected to flourish on the ice. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights haven’t followed suit. Seeing players like Karlsson only scoring a lone goal in his past nine gives reason for Vegas faithful to become concerned.
Dropping their third straight loss to the Los Angeles Kings in OT on Friday, Vegas was looking for any clues. ” I think we have got to get used to the fact that we are in a race here for the positioning to the finish line and everybody we are playing has that hunger that you have got to bring this time of year,” Coach Peter DeBoer said of his stumbling roster. Sunday’s victory may prove to be some much-needed fuel for this club. As the post-season creeps closer, some adjustments will be necessary if Vegas wants to be on the ice in May.
The 2022 Golden Knights have become a shadow of what they once were. Known in the past as intimidators who could open up the ice, Vegas’ blue line now seems timid and uncertain. The Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and Kings all proved to be the higher-class organization during their recent matchups. If the defense can improve and help finish games in which they hold the late lead, Vegas still has a chance at playoff seeding. Closing games out seems to be their worst enemy in this recent stretch. Every game is becoming a must-win for the Golden Knights, as they’ve put themselves in an uncomfortable position lately. Look for the Vegas blue line to find their identity again and help push this team towards post-season placement.
Understandably, bigger names on the roster are receiving backlash for lack of production. Aside from minimal tallies coming from top guys, a playoff hockey roster needs solid bottom-line production as well. Mattias Janmark, who has shown some promise in his time with Vegas is looking to get off the schneid. Without a goal in his last 13 games, the 29-year-old Swede needs to find the back of the net soon. Nic Roy has only one assist in his last five games and no goals in his last 15.
Safe to say the Golden Knights have gone dark on the offensive side of the ice. If this team wants to sniff another playoff run this spring, the entire roster will need a tectonic shift in their approach to the 60 minutes spent inside the glass. Expects adjustments to be made, and quickly for a club that knows how to roam deep into the post-season.
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