Go Knights Go!! I’m so happy to talk about last night’s game. Our boys really showed up and, once again, proved the naysayers wrong.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Not the best start. I wouldn’t say they were playing bad, but the Knights were a little sloppy with their passing and they seemed to lose sight of the puck a lot. I think they wanted to play with urgency, but ended up playing panicky.
Not all players had a bad start though. Nate Schmidt, who was on fire defensively all night, took it upon himself in the first few minutes to get the puck to the net. It’s not often that we see #88 skate around several players with the puck from one side of the rink to the other and get a shot on goal. And while his scoring attempts were unsuccessful, his desire to step out of his defensive box and play offensively did not go unnoticed.
And then there’s Reaves. I’ll admit, I’m not usually the biggest Reaves fan. While I appreciate his hits, he often leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to contributing with the puck. But not last night! Not only was he dishing out powerful hits, but he was fighting for the puck and forcing turnovers in both the neutral zone and the Jet’s defensive zone. He was also giving great passes that led to scoring chances. I’d say this may have been Reave’s best performance for the Knights thus far.
Everything changed when Tomas Tatar scored the first goal 6:37 into the first period. Suddenly the Knights got a little wind beneath their wings and started playing their game. When I say “their game,” I mean they were doing the things that they’re good at and that win them games no matter how tough the competition is. They played with speed, tiring out the other team. They had a strong forecheck, making it difficult for the Jets to keep the puck. They created turnovers in the neutral zone which allowed for breakaways and 2 on 1’s. And, my favorite, they fought for the puck no matter where it was on the ice. When the Knights are on their game, they don’t wait for the puck to get to them, they take it! This is what sets the Knights apart from other teams and this is what can win them the Cup!
Besides the normal awesomeness that we’ve come to know and love, there were a few extra bonuses to last night’s game that really helped seal the deal:
- They were HOT!
No I don’t mean their looks (though also true). I mean they weren’t going to take any crap from anyone! When our boys start fighting with the opposing team and a Knight has beef with someone, you know its going to be a good game cause they have all this pent-up anger and energy that they use to dominate the other team. While numerous players got into fights last night, it was McNabb who had a little extra fight in him and who helped make sure that the Jets weren’t going to have an easy time in our zone.
2. Smith made a mistake.
This seems like odd one to put as a bonus, but if you’ve paid attention to Reilly Smith this season, you’d know that Smith won’t allow a mistake to go uncorrected. After causing a turnover in the Knight’s defensive zone, Smith quickly redeemed himself by stealing back the puck, doing a give-and-go with Karlsson, racing down the offensive zone, and then perfectly passing the puck back to Marchessault to make the final goal of the game. Smith played fantastic all game, but this was a prime example of his desire for excellence in his own game. Watch the correction here.
3. Marchessault was on fire and incredibly accurate.
He may be called the Corsi God, but Marchessault isn’t known for his accuracy. Normally shooting with a Shot percentage of 10, Marchy had a fantastic game scoring 25% of his shots in game 2. His 2 goals helped quiet an energetic crowd and ensure the win for Vegas.
Game 3 will be at T-mobile Arena on Wednesday at 6pm PST. The crowd will be energetic and LOUD. You can expect the Golden Knights to feed on that energy and fight extra hard to make Vegas proud. As long as they stick to their game and fight the way they know how, this V will turn into a W and the Golden Knights will be one game closer to winning this series.