Last week we saw the season end for the Vegas Golden Knights and their downfall for the 20-21 NHL season. In game 6, the Golden Knights were defeated by the Canadiens 2-3 in OT. This game eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights from the playoffs. This also advanced the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Many thought this series was a lock in for the Golden Knights. In fact 13/15 ESPN experts picked Vegas to win this round. The moral of the story here is do not underestimate an underdog, especially one that gets hot at just the right time. There are a couple things the Golden Knights could have improved on and maybe the narrative would have been different.
Golden Knights Power Play Opportunities
0-for 15, despite the opportunities given on powerplays the Golden Knights were unable to convert on any of their chances this series. Going into the series they knew the Canadiens were the best team at penalty kills. Currently the Canadiens sit at 93.5% for this stat. We have learned this is the Golden Knights weakest area as it was not just this series that showed that. In postseason play the Golden Knights only converted on 4-for 43 opportunities. Playing a man up you would think the team could find its rhythm but they majorly fell short.
Mark Stone Downfall
The captain of the Vegas Golden Knights usually makes his presence known on the ice. He is on the top line, and in this postseason recorded 5 goals and 3 assists. Those stats though come before playing the Canadiens. In the semifinals Stone had 0 points and that top line was lacking.
Golden Knights finished 0-for-15 on the power play and Mark Stone did not have a point in the semifinal series. Those things can’t happen, and right there are two major reasons Vegas lost in six games
— Justin Emerson (@J15Emerson) June 25, 2021
This series we saw the Goalie Tandem come back in action. Game 4 brought Robin Lehner back in action due to Fleury showing some struggle. Fleury let in 7 goals through the first 3 games. Lehner came in and brought the team a victory. But come game 5 it was back to Fleury who then let in 4 goals this game. Due to this it was back to Lehner for game 6. Many remember the goalie controversy, this was a narrative and divide that was not needed again. In fact these goalies both have respect for each other.
Robin Lehner said Marc-Andre Fleury's daughters drew a picture of him to encourage him before a game.
"My girls love arts and crafts, and letters. As you've seen. Before Game 6 in Montreal they wanted to send one to Robin. I thought it was sweet of them."
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) June 26, 2021
There is a reason they won the Jennings Trophy this season. However some may say not having a solid goalie this series hurt the Golden Knights. Especially with Carey Price continuing his hot streak in postseason, he currently has a .934% save average.
Although the Golden Knights had yet another good Stanley Cup Postseason run their season has come to an end. Ultimately, the Montreal Canadiens proved to be the team to hand them their downfall. We will see how the Canadiens fair in the Stanley Cup Finals beginning tonight!
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~Josie Averitt (@JosieAve On Twitter).