Knights pause to reflect on sudden turn in Stanley Cup Final

Updated June 3, 2018 - 5:08 pm

ARLINGTON, Va. — It rained in the nation’s capital on Sunday.

Actually, it has rained every day since the Golden Knights cruised in via the Beltway to resume the Stanley Cup Final against fellow upstart Washington. But this was the first day the weather matched the team’s mood:

Lots of low pressure. Mostly socked in.

For the second time in four nights, the Knights were outplayed by the Capitals on Saturday. They lost 3-1, and trail the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Low pressure for sure.

That will become a much higher pressure if Vegas doesn’t get sorted out in Monday’s Game 4 at Capital One Arena.

The Knights seem to know this. This is the first time they’ve lost two in a row since the battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup commenced, and while their backs aren’t exactly pressed to the wall, the wall is getting closer.

Judging from their postgame quotes, and the utterances of the few who addressed the media on Sunday Soggy Sunday, this is a team struggling to explain how something that has gone so right for so long could go so wrong so fast.

Like the song from the old Rodgers and Hart musical, the Knights sounded bewitched, bothered and bewildered as they offered possible explanations for the Capitals having turned the series around.

Explainin’ to do

Not enough shots? “We have to get more pucks on net. Twenty-two shots isn’t going to win you many games,” said bewitched Ryan Reaves.

Not enough effort? “I think everybody knows what’s at stake right now. We have to find ways to come back in games, keep battling. It’s the finals. I don’t think anybody needs a reminder to play hard,” said bothered Marc-Andre Fleury.

Not enough rest? “We had twice as much time off as they have in the playoffs. We should have a lot in the tank. Just gotta dig down and go harder,” said bewildered Deryk Engelland.

Not enough production from the second forward line? “We’ve got to improve for sure. Definitely our line being minus-3 is not a good performance,” said bewitched David Perron.

Too many mistakes by Shea Theodore leading to Washington goals? “I don’t get what you’re saying. I thought he was fine. He’s been great all year,” said bothered James Neal.

Too much broken stick? “On that play, I tried to keep the puck in (the attacking zone) the best I can. When you don’t have a stick, it’s tough to back out, especially on an odd-man rush. That’s one I’d like to have back,” said bewildered Shea Theodore.

Too many Capitals standing tall on the blue line? “We saw that before, in the Tampa series. They clogged them up, a skill team. You think you can make a play, have some room to skate, and then it gets clogged up pretty quick.” added Neal, a little bewitched.

Too much dependence on Marc-Andre Fleury? “Our goalie’s been bailing us out with huge saves, and we have to bear down and be better for him,” added Engelland, a little bothered.

Too much adversity? “Yeah. We haven’t lost two in a row. We’ve only been down for a game. It’s not like we haven’t been here.” Reaves again. A lot bewildered.

Too much trust in the weatherman, or in time-honored axioms? “It’s frustrating to lose. We would like to win every game. But tomorrow the sun will rise again.”

That was Fleury, trying to be optimistic.

The sun did not rise again on Sunday in the District of Columbia. Apparently when the Knights’ netminder was channel surfing, the Weather Channel was showing the forecast for Bora Bora.

Far from out of it

If somebody put up a dartboard listing all the reasons that could cause a team to lose a hockey game, the Knights might have hit every spot on the cork. Except, perhaps, the bull’s-eye.

Despite all the frustration and anxiety and the wailing and gnashing of teeth and denture plates among his players, it was Gerard Gallant who may have come closest to hitting it. The Knights’ coach offered a succinct reply when asked how the team could recapture the magic that has gotten it this far.

“We win (Monday).

“We come out and play our best game of the series. After (Monday) night, hopefully you guys are asking me, ‘Well, you’re 2-2 and you’re going back (to Las Vegas) and you get home ice.

“That’s all it is. We’re down 2-1. You have to lose four games before you lose the Stanley Cup, and we’re far from out of it.”

Monday’s forecast in the nation’s capital is for mostly sunny skies with a high of 80 degrees and only a 10-percent chance of more rain.

Things already are looking up.

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

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Eakin Scores Winning Goal During Final Road Trip Game
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights final game of the road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers
Would the NFL be accepted abroad?
Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney takes to the streets of London, England, ahead of the Oakland Raiders facing the Seattle Seahawks to find out if the NFL is accepted, if the game is understood and what its fan base is like outside of the United States.
Golden Edge: Phil Kessel Has Hat Trick in Win Over Knights
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Pittsburgh.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose First Stanley Cup Rematch
The Golden Knights lose 5-2 against the Washington Capitals and fall to 1-3 on the season. David Schoen and Ben Gotz report from Washington.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 9, 2018
Adam Hill is joined by Ben Gotz via skype from Washington, D.C. to answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Gallant on Washington Capitals rematch
Golden Knights Coach Gerard Gallant plays down the connection between Wednesday's game against the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup Final results last season.
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 Edge: Knights Fall to Sabres 4-2
The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights 4-2 with 3 goals in the second period. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Buffalo.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Wild In Shootout
Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights comeback win against the Minnesota Wild. The Knights won 2-1 in a shootout against the Minnesota Wild. (October 7, 2018)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall In Season Opener
Elaine Wilson, Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener. (Videographer: Heidi Fang, Edited By: Nathan Asselin)
Golden Knights React To Season Opener Loss
Golden Knights react to their 5-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gold Carpet Before Golden Knights Season Opener
John Katsilometes is on the gold carpet before the Golden Knights season opener.
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Last Practice Before Season Opener
Adam Hill and David Schoen at City National Arena during the Golden Knights' morning skate and media day before the opener Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Media Day: Gerard Gallant and George McPhee Presser
Head coach Gerard Gallant and GM George McPhee talk about Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin, Nate Schmidt, and the start of season number two for the franchise.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 2, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
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)
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Kings 2-0
Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena after the Knights beat the Kings 2-0.
Golden Edge: Shea Theodore Returns to Practice
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and David Schoen are at the Golden Knight's practice where Shea Thedore is suited back up for the first time this season.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 25, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3, but re-sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio while Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena on the Knights preseason game vs. the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3 but Re-Sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio and Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile arena on the Knights preseason game vs the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Rally To Win During Shootout
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights shootout win against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Third Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen go over the Knights 7-2 win over the L.A. Kings.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Golden Edge: Vegas Fans Show their Love at Fan Fest
Bryan Salmond is on the red carpet at the downtown Las Vegas Events Center as the 2018-2019 Golden Knights show up for Fan Fest.
Golden Edge: Knights Back From Colorado
Golden Knights reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz talk about Knights preseason training camp and how Max Pacioretty is fitting in with the Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 17, 2018
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Win First Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, David Schoen, Ben Gotz and Adam hill recap the Golden Knights first preseason game win against the Arizona Coyotes.
Golden Edge: First Practice
Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss the first day of practice for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Presser Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty speaks about his first impressions coming to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights' fans about recent roster changes.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rookies Faceoff Against The Sharks Good
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond breaks down the 5-4 loss the Golden Knights rookies had against the San Jose Sharks.
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Golden Edge: Deryk Engelland Rides With Kurt Busch
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond heads to city national arena and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see Kurt Busch attempt to learn how to play hockey, and Deryk Engelland hop in a race car.
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like