Coach Peter Deborah was speechless when he entered the Golden Knights dressing room in Vegas on Monday after Game 5 of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals.
“I was not prepared to tell them anything tonight because I did not think we would lose,” he said.
The lost Golden Knights.
Dallas Stars Forward Denis GurianovAt 3 minutes, 36 seconds of overtime gave his team a 3-2 victory from behind and eliminated the Golden Knights from the post season. Dallas reaches the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000.
“We all think this is a wasted opportunity,” he said Reilly Smith, Golden Knight from the team’s first season in 2017-18. “This is the best, most talented team I’ve ever played for in my career. Winning the Stanley Cup is one of our goals. We wanted nothing less than that. It definitely feels like a loser.”
Vegas re-entered the NHL season with eyes on the cup. The Golden Knights topped the Pacific division. This season they aggressively increased their list, removing coach Gerard Gallant after a 24-19-6 start, hiring Coach DeBore, who beat them in Game 7 in the opening round last season, and traded for the Los Angeles Kings defenseman. Alec Martinez And Chicago BlackHawks goalie Robin Lehner Expired.
The Knights eliminated Chicago in five games in the quarterfinals, then overtook the Vancouver Cancs – and excellent goal-scoring Thatcher Demco In the last three games of the series – Game 7 wins in the semifinals. They entered the Western Conference Finals against the Stars as unmatched in the sports books to win the Stanley Cup.
What went wrong?
“They scored goals in a timely manner, which was a tough series. Our team probably overcame them 90 percent, but it cost us: we didn’t score and they were,” Smith said. “The last eight games, we seemed to be cursed around the net. Nothing was going inside.”
The Coronavirus pandemic defeated the Knights of Dallas 9-8 in a series played in Edmonton, Alberta, as part of the League’s bubble.
“This game, like the rest of the series, we could not extend that next goal [the lead], “DeBore said. In Game 5, the Knights Center Chandler Stephenson Scored at 8:14 in the first period of the split for a 1-0 lead. Smith drops to shot height on Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin 15 seconds into the third period to give Vegas a 2-0 lead. The Knights were 10-2 in the playoffs when the first goal was scored. Between the regular season and the playoffs, the Knights were 36-1-4 when they were in the lead after two seasons.
But Dallas began to pick up pace in the third period, and that effort was clear Jamie BenAim at 9:54. Defenseman That’s it The net crossed the puck from behind, and it deflected from the winger Alexander Radulov And right to Ben who hit a wrist shot to cut the lead in half.
“There is no fear in that dressing room. We are a resilient group,” Ben said. “We enjoyed the challenge.”
The Stars tied the game ahead with Vegas Alex cloth In the penalty box for tripping. Defenseman John Klingberg The shot came through the traffic, Lehner saved and Joel Kiwiranta – Wins Game 7 over Colorado in hat-trick semifinals in overtime – Third returned home to tie the game at 16:13.
In overtime, the game launched a crucial and unfortunate mistake from the rookie defenseman Zach Whitecloud, He tried to bat the puck out of racing Dallas and accidentally sent it into the glass for a game delay at 2:15. Gurianov clinched the series a few moments later.
“I’m scared of the kid,” DeBore said. “It’s such a penalty to begin with. I do not understand that kind of penalty to decide the game. But for him, he has nothing to hang his head. He played with his ass” Here is a bright future ahead of him. “
In theory, the Knights do too. This is their second trip to the conference finals in three years. They lost to Washington in the Stanley Cup final early in the season. Along with a handful of unrestricted free agents – including Lehner he is expected to return – the Golden Knights list will remain intact for another run next season.
“The team’s goal is to win the Stanley Cup, they’re in that window,” DeBore said. “It’s the hardest trophy to win in hockey. It’s an incredibly tough road. We need to learn a few things about what works in the playoffs and how to score in the playoffs.”
This is especially true for the team’s top players. Dallas received production from stars such as Ben, Radulov and the like Joe Powellsky In the series. The same cannot be said for the Knights top scorers.
DeBore found a moment in the third period of Game 5 after Dallas reduced the lead to 2-1 and Vegas forward and leading scorer. Max Pasioretti – who has had a helping hand in his last eight playoff games – could not change the chance of splitting.
“We can never get that next goal to surpass the previous goal,” DeBore said. In the end, the lack of timely scoring makes the Golden Knights spend their most important goal.
“We were not happy to lose in the conference final,” DeBore said. “That was not the goal when we got here.”