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Golden Knights focused on recouping defensive prowess vs. Oilers – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-10-22 05:00:00 –

Steve marcus

William Carlson (71) of the Vegas Golden Knights Center packs with Ryan O’Reilly (90) of the St. Louis Bruce Center during the third NHL hockey game at the T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. I will fight.

Entering the season, the Golden Knights were a betting favorite to win the NHL Pacific Division.

Tonight’s opponent, the Oilers, wasn’t too late. So, with Vegas struggling and Edmonton soaring, is this season’s fourth game too early to call this clash a big game? Yes and no.

In the ranking, this is one of the 79 games left on the schedule. Split games have a bit of extra weight, but you can earn the same two points just like any other game.

The Golden Knights see this as a big game for the best teams they’ve ever seen, at least in paper, in terms of fixing flaws early in the season.

“This is a big game in that we want to take a new step here in our own game,” said Pete Devoa. “For me, results are less important than getting the process or game back.”

The discussion about the Oilers begins and ends with the last two league MVPs, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They both work on regular tricks, scoring 8 points each in the first three games. This means that seven Vegas have scored more goals than they have scored in three games.

This is a test that comes at a crucial moment in the defense of the Golden Knights and has produced two worst performances in the last two games since DeBoer took over as coach in January 2020. This is a chance for Vegas to stand up on this occasion. Blockade defense efforts can serve as a starting point for the rest of the season.

“We gave up too many scoring opportunities (Wednesday), and if we gave up that many scoring opportunities (tonight), it would be a high-scoring game,” said Forward William Career. Told. “We want to stop it. It’s okay for 1-1 or 2-1 games.”

The defense situation facing the biggest challenges of the season is still unknown. Top pair blueliner Alec Martinez left with a clear injury in the third period of the match on Wednesday and never returned. DeBoer said Thursday that Martinez is testing and another update will be made today.

Golden Knights aren’t optimistic about Martinez availability if Thursday’s practice gives clues. On his behalf, Nicholas Hague partnered with Alex Pietrangero to bring a trickle-down effect to the entire lineup. The Hague’s usual partner, Zack Whitecloud, has teamed up with Shay Theodore, and Braden McNab has teamed up with Dylan Koran.

Had Vegas believed Martinez would play, he wouldn’t have reconstructed all three pairs. It’s interesting that The Hague hits the top pair with Pietrangero. It is Pietrangero who will protect McDavid tonight. It offers The Hague one of the biggest challenges in his three-year career.

“I think the biggest compliment a young player can have is when a veteran guy wants to play with you,” Deboa said. “When talking to (Pietrangero), if (Martinez) isn’t playing, The Hague is the guy he wants the opportunity to play with. Nick Hague’s potential when such a guy wants to play with him. I’m talking a lot about you. “

As for the ranking, there are still 78 games left from tonight, and it is unlikely that the results of the Oilers will affect the division race.

What’s more, winning the division makes a lot of sense. DeBoer pointed out that he led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals as the sixth seed twice in New Jersey in 2012 and in San Jose in 2016.

Then, watching last season when the Golden Knights finished second, they defeated the Colorado team, which was behind in the second round of the playoffs. He then lost to the bottom seed in the playoffs in Montreal.

“Is it a big game? I don’t know,” Devoa said. “I think it’s too early to talk about these types of goals. I want to put the game in the right place right now.”

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