For the second time in 2020, the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the St. Louis Blues after erasing a deficit in the 3rd period at home. And just like in January, the Golden Knights got the win in overtime. This time it was Jonathan Marchessault who scored on the power-play to deliver another hard loss for the Blues.
It’s a big win for the Golden Knights as they have to keep pace in the Pacific or risk falling out of playoff contention. Despite the win over the Blues, the same issues in net plagued the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury was not responsible for the shoddy 5-goal performance, but he hasn’t been too better than Malcolm Subban recently.
The death of his father may still be fresh on his mind and he hasn’t been playing with a clear mind, but Fleury hasn’t consistently been performing for Vegas. The Golden Knights are just going to have to continue to roll the dice with Fleury in the crease and hope he gets hot, which is still very possible. They don’t have any other reliable options to put in the crease. God forbid if Fleury gets injured. On the other side, the Islanders love to rotate Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss.
Behind Fleury, Subban is not going to provide much of a chance for the Golden Knights to win important games. There are plenty of teams that have the luxury of going to two goaltenders, but the Golden Knights are not one of them. Subban is only good for giving Fleury a break when he needs it. Other than that, Subban’s is playing like a guy who might be struggling to find a backup job in the league soon.
That has been the bad news for the Golden Knights lately, but there has been good news when it comes to their offensive output lately. It is clicking for them and has to be because of the leaky play in the defensive zone. Without Fleury turning his game around, I don’t see the Golden Knights as a contender, but if he does happen to flip the switch, then it’s possible that they are a team to look out for. A tough matchup against the Islanders awaits them tonight. Head below for our free Islanders vs. Golden Knights pick.
N.Y. Islanders vs. Vegas Golden Knights Betting Odds:
Islanders vs. Golden Knights Prediction:
Fleury heads into Saturday with a 2.87 GAA and 0.904 save percentage. It’s not very Fleury like as he’s well off the pace of his 2.57 GAA and 0.913 save percentage set throughout his career. He finished with a 3.02 GAA and 0.909 save percentage in his final year with the Penguins in 2016-17. This season has felt much like that. Everyone seemed to believe he was over the hill at that point, hence the Penguins letting him go free to the Golden Knights while retaining Matt Murray.
As a result of Fleury’s difficulties in net, the Golden Knights have gotten touched up for 3.07 goals per game for 17th in the league. He was fine before leaving for a personal leave, though. Fleury has allowed 9 goals in his last three starts, and at least 3 goals against in ten appearances in 2020. In the Golden Knights’ last ten outings, they’ve yielded 3.2 goals per contest, which includes a total of 16 goals allowed in just their last three games.
And no, T-Mobile Arena hasn’t helped them out at all defensively.
Vegas has given up 3.31 goals per game, but have kept things entertaining at least, with an average of 3.41 goals scored. The offence has been able to keep them afloat recently as well. With just five wins in ten games, the Golden Knights have had to rely on their offence to earn that. Vegas has registered an impressive 3.7 goals a game in their last ten outings. That should be enough to produce more than five wins, but Fleury has to step up.
The Islanders have become known for their defensive prowess since Barry Trotz took over as head coach. However, while they have been good this season, they have not been as effective defensively in 2019-20. Part of that can be attributed to Robin Lehner leaving Long Island for Chicago to play for the Blackhawks, though there have been defensive lapses that we didn’t see last season.
The Islanders are 7th in the NHL with 2.75 goals against per game. Last season they gave up only 2.33 goals a game to lead the league. In their last ten games, the Isles have been out of sorts, allowing 3.3 goals per contest. They may run into some problems against a Vegas team playing really fast under new head coach Peter DeBoer. Expect to see a quality game tonight that should get OVER the total on Saturday.