Script doesn’t go to plan as Holtby, Fleury struggle in Game 1

Marc-Andre Fleury called it the beauty of sport, how that which is unforeseen can deliver the most entertaining of results.

It’s easy to find the charm in such things when your side is victorious.

I have a feeling the Washington Capitals aren’t so chipper about it.

The hockey world descended upon Las Vegas on Monday evening and the season-long amazing run of the Golden Knights continued its pursuit of the not-so-impossible any more, as Vegas beat the Capitals 6-4 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.

Michael Buffer introduced the starting lineups and those wild pregame ceremonies included the hometown Knight being aided by more flaming spears and a few high-tech cannon balls to destroy those representing the Capitals on ice.

So, yeah, the usual craziness played to form.

But what the announced gathering of 18,575 inside T-Mobile Arena and thousands more at watch parties across Southern Nevada and a television audience then witnessed wasn’t in any manner the best of either team, a feeling-out process that was more sloppy than stellar, more imperfect than impressive.

Fleury is spot-on, though, about sport having this devilish way of altering a perceived narrative, and in this sense, Game 1 hardly played out as most envisioned.

The talk was about how goaltenders would define whoever emerged champion between the Knights and Capitals, and that certainly could still prove correct.

But for openers, Fleury and counterpart Braden Holtby weren’t sharp, certainly not to the level each performed earlier in the playoffs.

“As a goalie, you don’t want to give up so much on both sides, but some nights it’s going to go that way,” said Fleury, who faced 28 shots to 33 against Holtby. “You’ve got try to be able to stay with it, try to make the next save. I have a lot of confidence in our guys.

“It was a little too exciting for the goalies. It was a little too interesting. It doesn’t matter what number (of game) it is in the series. Nothing is over, right?”

Fleury entered the final amid a deserved buzz of Conn Smythe chatter, playing at a playoff MVP level while offering a 1.68 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

Holtby wasn’t even a first-round starter, but then grabbed hold tight of the spot and posted shutouts in Games 6 and 7 against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Final.

He hadn’t allowed a goal in 159 minutes, 27 seconds entering Monday.

So it went that those defending in front of Fleury were better than those aiding Holtby, although no portion of either team was outstanding sans the fourth line of Vegas, a central reason Washington didn’t steal home ice in Game 1.

Vegas had some bad luck when Fleury accidentally kicked a puck into his net for a Washington goal to make it 4-3 Capitals early in the third, and then some incredible fortune when Lars Eller missed an open net in front (with the aid of Brayden McNabb’s defensive stick) that would have tied the game in the waning seconds after Holtby had been pulled for an extra skater.

“Both teams will say there was some rust and I think both believe they can take it to another level,” said Capitals coach Barry Trotz. “I know we can. I think you look at what they have done defensively and what Marc-Andre has done (coming in), but we had a good plan. We didn’t win the game. I would have rather gotten five or six (goals) against him than four.”

Both sides will watch tape and tighten things up and be better in Game 2 on Wednesday, but if this is even close to a preview of what is to come, alert the faint of heart to view with caution.

Exciting doesn’t always translate to crisp play.

Sometimes, it’s just exciting.

Sometimes, what you think might occur doesn’t come close to being so.

“Obviously it’s not what was expected of both of us, or what I want,” Fleury said of himself and Holtby. “It’s not gonna go perfect every night. I put (one) in my net by myself. It happens. It’ll happen again at some point in my career. You just gotta brush it off, forget about it, and try to stop the next one.”

You just have to understand that sport can be devilish this way.

One side thought it beautiful Monday.

The other, not so much.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights Fall to Devils 5-4 in OT
The Golden Knights surrendered a 3-0 lead as the New Jersey Devils comeback to win 5-4. David Schoen discusses the game.
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Golden Knights Outshine Stars 4-2
The Golden Knights take down the Dallas Stars for their 8th win in their last 10 games. David Schoen discusses the victory.
Golden Knights prepare for road trip after 4-2 win over Stars
Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant and team players talk about carrying the momentum off their 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars into their 4-game road trip.
Golden Knights Suffer Heavy Loss To Kings - Golden Edge
Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Los Angeles Kings 5-1. Review-Journal sports writer Adam Hill goes over the Knights loss.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant On Loss To Kings
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to media about the Knights 5-1 loss to the Kings.
Golden Knights on their 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks
Players from the Vegas Golden Knights reflect on their third period surge and what else led them to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Deryk Engelland at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was a new experience for Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland on Wednesday night. He said he was looking forward to spending time with family and going for a skate, as well as lighting the Christmas tree for fans.
Golden Edge: Ryan Reaves will face no further penalty for hit
The Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves will not be suspended following a hit on the Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson on Tuesday night. David Schoen and Adam Hill report from team practice at City National Arena.
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Golden Knights Avenge Final Loss, Top Caps 5-3 - Golden Edge
The Golden Knights rally to defeat the Washington Capitals in a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final. David Schoen and Adam Hill discuss the win and Ryan Reaves big hit on Tom Wilson.
Golden Knights, Schmidt on their emotional win over the Capitals
The Vegas Golden Knights talk about their emotional victory and playing physical against their 2018 Stanley Cup opponent, the Washington Capitals.
Golden Knights head coach happy with team's effort in win over Capitals
Vegas Golden Knights' head coach Gerard Gallant says he was happy with the team's effort in their 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals, the 2018 Stanley Cup winners.
Golden Knights License Plate Sales
Twenty-Five year Las Vegas resident, Bernard Turner, loves the Golden Knights and couldn’t wait to get the team-inspired specialty license plate on his new vehicle. Over 11,000 of the plates have been ordered since becoming available in October, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Fall to Oilers 2-1
The Golden Knights come up short in Edmonton against the Oilers. David Schoen discusses the game.
Alex Tuch on Golden Knights' 2nd line
Alex Tuch talks about the chemistry between players on the Golden Knights' second line. (David Schone/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Win Five Games Straight, Beat Canucks 4-3
Golden Knights win five games straight after beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights win.
Gerard Gallant on Marc-Andre Fleury
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about Marc-Andre Fleury af the Knights win in Vancouver. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Reaves faceoffs 3
Reaves faceoffs 2
Reaves faceoffs 1
Gallant pre Vancouver
Golden Edge: Knights Have Strong Game Against Chicago
Golden Knights get strong win over the Chicago Blackhawks with an 8-3 victory. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen breaks down the knights fourth straight victory in a row.
Golden Edge Mailbag
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all your burning Vegas Golden Knights questions and comments
Golden Edge: Golden Knights defeat Sharks 6-0 for 2nd straight shutout
William Karlsson scored the fastest goal in franchise history, and the Knights finally looked like the team that advanced to last year’s Stanley Cup Final with a 6-0 shellacking of first-place San Jose. Adam Hill and Dave Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena.
William Carrier Talks About the Knight's Win
Golden Knight's forward William Carrier scored his fourth goal of the season to help the team beat San Jose 6-0.
Marc-Andre Fleury Speaks After Shutout
Golden Knight's goalie Marc-Andre Fleury puts up his second shutout in back to back games. The Knights defeated the Sharks 6-0.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Shut out Calgary
Golden Knights shutout the Calgary Flames 2-0 after coming home from their three game road trip. Adam Hill and David Schoen recap the Knights victory over the Flames at T-Mobile Arena.
Gerard Gallant says team's play is improving after win over Flames
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the team's play and credits Marc-Andre Fleury's performance in their 2-0 shutout win against the Calgary Flames.
Golden Knights talk about their 2-0 win over the Flames
Vegas Golden Knights Nate Schmidt, Colin Miller, Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Tuch discuss the team's 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames.
James Neal Talks About Being Back In Vegas
Former Golden Knights forward James Neal talks to media about playing his former team in Las Vegas.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty and Knights Come Away with Two
Max Pacioretty scored his second goal of the night in overtime to defeat the Arizona Coyotes as the team takes two points. They got 3 of 4 points overall on this road trip putting them at 21 for the season. Adam Hill reports from Arizona.
Coach Gallant Talks with Media After Win
The Golden Knights defeated the Arizona Coyotes in overtime with a Max Pacioretty game-winner. Coach Gerard Gallant speaks on the teams performance.
Max Pacioretty Talks After Scoring Game Winner
Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty scores in overtime to defeat the Coyotes.
Golden Edge: Knights In Flames After Loss To Calgary
Golden Knights fall to 7-2 to the Calgary Flames. Review-Journal sports writer Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney go over the Knights loss before heading to Arizona to play against the Coyotes.
Golden Knights Forward Reilly Smith On 7-2 Loss
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith talks to media about loss to the Calgary Flames.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant On Loss To Calgary
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media after their 7-2 loss against Calgary.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Have Stellar Second Period Against Oilers
Golden Knights have stellar second period against the Edmonton Oilers on the road. Review-Journal sports writers Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney break down the Knights 6-3 win over the Oilers.
Golden Knights Assistant Coach On Win In Edmonton
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like