Golden Knights 5, Canucks 4: With a blown lead, there’s no way to beat the odds against a division powerhouse.

(Last Updated On: November 22, 2022)
Golden Knights 5, Canucks 4: With a blown lead, there’s no way to beat the odds against a division powerhouse.

The Golden Knights have held so many winning hands this season that their statistics are mind-boggling.

On Monday at Rogers Arena, the odds were stacked against the Vancouver Canucks like a towering stack of poker chips.

The Vegas Golden Knights have held so many winning hands in the National Hockey League this season that their record is simply mind-boggling.

However, what was more shocking was the manner in which the Canucks surrendered two goals in 49 seconds to fall behind 2-1 in the second period, but refused to fold in what would become a wild and crazy 5-4 loss.

In fact, Bo Horvat’s 15th goal of the season, a wrist shot from the slot in the third period, brought his team back into the contest. And less than four minutes later, with Dakota Joshua setting the stage, Luke Schenn’s shot off the wall was redirected into the goal.

And they were still not finished.

Elias Pettersson scored a rebound from his knees to increase the score to 4-2 on a subsequent wave. The Golden Knights did not, however, go quietly into the night.

Will Carrier was allowed to pounce on a loose puck 43 seconds later, before Reilly Smith jammed a puck into the side of the net.

And just as it appeared that Mark Stone had made the score 5-4, a clearing attempt by Oliver Ekman-Larsson punctured the camera housing glass, causing the protective outer lens to fall onto the ice. It demanded a stoppage. And it did.

You cannot make up such absurdity.

Alex Pietrangelo subsequently ended the drama by backhanding Demko.

The Canucks have blown multiple-goal leads for the seventh time this season, and their most recent loss was a gut-punch for being too passive defensively, especially in the low zones.

Horvat stated, “We came out so strong in the third, and when we went up by two, we shut it down again.” “We strayed from our game and simply allowed them to approach. They are among the best teams in the league for a reason, and we slowed down for too long.

This (Jack Eichel) line is dynamic, as each player is capable of making plays, and they protect the puck effectively. We dominated them in the first half of the game, but a couple of errors cost us in the second. But we fought back well in the third period and played in the offensive zone.

We deprived them of time and space and played quickly.

The camera lens non-goal presented an excellent opportunity to regroup and continue.

Horvat added, “Obviously the camera lens shouldn’t have been there, and we all stopped playing for a moment because we had no idea what the heck was going on.” That was our opportunity, and we should have taken advantage of it.

The Golden Knights improved to 15-4-1, have a current winning streak of 8-2-1, and are 9-1-1 on the road. The heavyweights of the Pacific Division are 11-2-0 when scoring first and 8-1-0 when leading after two periods.

In addition, they are third in goals per game, fourth in goals allowed, and third in penalty kill percentage.

However, their true strength lies in their ability to roll three dangerous lines, deny zone exits and entries, and demonstrate speed, balance, and composure. Only Eichel has surpassed the 10-goal mark.

Pettersson appeared at a loss to account for another night of blown leads.

“We are all trying to win, but I don’t know what the solution is,” he said. “We simply cannot allow that to occur, and it has occurred far too frequently this season. It’s simply aggravating. We must cherish these moments, and I believe we do, but it’s not good enough.”

Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau was buoyed by his team’s initial three-goal third period surge, but when the Golden Knights responded, the Canucks had no response.

“As we retreated, they attacked and scored three,” he explained. “These are the toughest games to endure because you believe your team plays hard and wants to win but receives no reward for their efforts.” It is very disheartening. We discuss playing aggressively and advancing without retreating.

“You wish that everything you’ve said were true. We have a large number of veterans, and this should not occur. We engage in daily defensive drills, and we need more from everyone.”

The Golden Knights’ 13-3-0 start to the season set a franchise record, but their coach was actually hoping for some adversity. True, Bruce Cassidy wanted something to go wrong to strengthen the team’s resolve for the postseason because so much has gone well.

Cassidy stated, “I’m hopeful that we’ll experience a brief lull.” “When adversity strikes, your true character is revealed. You don’t want to encounter (adversity) in Round 1.”

He saw it Monday.

Another pause, another objective
The Golden Knights can defeat you in numerous ways, so you should avoid defeating yourself.

The decisive second-period sequence required both skill and determination to erase the Canucks’ 1-0 lead. It explained in detail how winning teams win.

First, Stone positioned himself in the high slot to deflect an Eichel shot to Demko’s glove side. The Canucks sat back and allowed Eichel to dangle before Carrier scored the game-winning goal.

Against Vegas, zone exits and entries were not straightforward. Riley Stillman’s simple early D-zone rim exit was intercepted by Shea Theodore at the far point to keep play alive. And the O-zone was frequently defended by strong back pressure.

Boeser is getting better
The winger extended his point streak to seven games with his eighth point in that span (2-6) by displaying exquisite playmaking to start the second period scoring.

Hughes possessed the puck in the high slot before identifying Boeser at the far post. He shifted the puck to his backhand and passed it to Andrei Kuzmenko for the tip in the crease.

Schenn makes brief exit
The veteran defenseman, who led the league with 81 hits, was struck on the back of the helmet by a shot by Jonathan Marchessault late in the first period. It appeared frightening, but he returned for the second half.

Schenn entered precautionary concussion protocol between periods, stating, “I was in a state of shock because I had no idea what had happened.” “Without a doubt, I was lucky to be able to stand up. A minor cut, nothing to worry about. I needed stitches and a consultation with the doctor.”

Not only would it have disrupted the symmetry he shares with Hughes, but it could have reduced the Canucks to five defensemen, making them a tougher opponent for the opportunistic Golden Knights. But what truly frustrated Schenn was another night in which he was unable to defend low.

“Unacceptable,” he stated. “It has nothing to do with systems or what the coaches are telling us; it’s all about battle and competition, and we’re getting outmuscled in the frontcourt and in the blue paint.” There, we must be much tougher, and everyone must improve in front of Demmer.”

On a night when the Canucks could have used every goal, the early goal they did not score proved costly. Excellent effort by Joshua to get the puck to the front of the net for a Curtis Lazar jam job, but the offside challenge was successful for Vegas.

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