Knights finished with Game 4 loss
June 05, 2018 3:00 AM
by Alan Berg
By the time this article hits the stands, the Vegas Golden Knights will be all tied up 2-2 with the Washington Capitals or will need three straight wins to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are an amazing thing. All it takes is for one series to completely change the outlook from before the puck drop of Game 1. Against the Winnipeg Jets, the Knights relied on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to carry the club into the Stanley Cup Final. The Washington Capitals have come back from a 2-0 and 3-2 deficit in the East and have finally played up to their potential after multiple years of playoff heartache.
After three games, the Knights just don’t look like they have it. Equal parts the play of the Caps and Vegas just not working as hard. Hopefully in Game 4 they will have finally arrived in the Stanley Cup Final. Game 1 the Knights still weren’t good on defense, leaving Fleury hung out to dry multiple times in a 6-4 win. Game 2 showed the defense allowing cross ice passes, giving Fleury little time to adjust to make the save. Game 3 was marred by Knights defensive turnovers, lack of getting after it through physicality and sacrificing the body to block shots.
If Vegas was unable to win Game 4, I am afraid the series is over and Washington will be hoisting the Cup inside of T-Mobile Arena in Game 5. My gut will officially say the Caps just want it more. The story of Washington’s playoffs struggles is something the Golden Knights just don’t have in comparison to the Capitals. Maybe that’s the X factor that everyone who liked Vegas missed.
As a fan, I hope I am wrong, just like when I believed the Jets would have too much for them. The odds for Vegas to win the Stanley Cup were against them prior to Game 4, can they find the magic before it’s too late?
Washington at Vegas
Here’s the thing, if Washington has a 3-1 lead, as I said, it’s over, take the Capitals to close out the series here. However, if the Knights have uncovered what has made them sluggish and can match Washington to even the series in Game 4, I will have a tough time reading this series. If it’s all tied up go with the total. OVER (If tied 2-2) CAPITALS (if Washington up 3-1)
Game 6 (if necessary)
Vegas at Washington
Now the situation is Washington up 3-2 or Vegas up 3-2. The Capitals still have to get the monkey off their back as being chokers. If the Knights are down I can see them forcing Game 7. If Washington is down, I can see the Caps forcing Game 7. However, I will lean to a tight game with the team having the lead wanting to play physical defense and protect the lead. UNDER
A Game 7 pick will be chosen for the next issue or we will have a Knights season wrap up column.