The second year of crisis hit early. The Gold Riders of Las Vegas, a year removed from a miraculous inaugural season with a trip to the finals, are 1-3-0 and do not score. This is a problem against any team, but especially when trying to keep up with an attack like the reigning champions. "
The Capitals have passed the 5-2 Golden Knights in a rematch of the Cup final, and if You do not want to read too much from the slow start of Las Vegas in the result of a single game, you might notice that Evgeny Kuznetsov is red and seems to have the number of Knights.He had eight points in the Cup final of five games and seven points in the first three Caps's games this season after Thursday's four-point night on Thursday
Kuznetsov had a goal and three assists, including this patient beauty, taking both VGK Defenders out of the game by simply holding the record long enough, creating Alex Ovechkin for once.
There is no shame in losing to the Caps, even if it is not as if things become simpler ici tonight, with an appointment in Pittsburgh.
"It's a long year and we have to understand things quickly," said defender Shea Theodore. "Our goal is to start from this road trip to become a team of .500, and when we play this way it will not happen, we absolutely have to solve some things and find our game."
It's actually a long year, but this is relatively new for a team that opened last season by winning eight out of nine, did not lose the third game until Halloween and did not have a 1-3-0 stretch after November. One theory:
Another potential cause: the gold knights do not simply score goals. They scored exactly two in every game this season (even in a 2-1 win against Minnesota). Since we are talking about a very small sample size, perhaps there is nothing, but the case. The coach Gerard Gallant spoke of a lack of "puck luck", and goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury noted that Vegas has hit four posts in this game.
"Looks like we've had a couple of nights like this so far this season," Fleury said. "It's a good sign: to have chances, to get kicked in the net, at a certain point we'll hit the mark."
But what if there was something else? It seems silly to ask about a lack of offensive chemistry when, of course, this team set playing time together when he snatched a bunch of wins to start last season. And at first glance, the team is not that different from last year: David Perron and James Neal (and, uh, Tomas Tatar, I think) are out, and Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty are inside. But there have been complications. Stastny was injured on Monday and will miss for at least the remainder of this road trip, and perhaps for a long time yet. Alex Tuch is injured and did not appear in a match. Cody Eakin made his debut only last night. Nate Schmidt, a defender who moves on the puck and who does a lot of things going on the other side, is serving a 20-game PED suspension. The gold knights are not as profound or talented as they will be when everyone is in a row, and the composition of their second and third rows are in an unfamiliar flow because of this. Considering the number of Knights skaters who have performed for most of the best of their career over the past few seasons, chemistry matters.
The score is not the concern here, in the long run. This would be the defense, which was and continues to represent the Knight's weakness, and in fact Vegas allowed 15 goals in four games. Again, I would like to point out that four games are just four games, so I will not say that this team is condemned or anything (Knights fan: please do not send emails!). But this is one of the adversities of the first season of a kind that the franchise has never known.