3 things to watch as the Golden Knights return home against the Jets
The Golden Knights went away for a while, but now they’re back. Can they reignite the spark at home?
The Vegas Golden Knights were on the road for nine days and six games. During that span, the Golden Knights won just one game. They got a point out of another — a shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s still not great. Luckily, the Knights have proven to be much better at home.
Can the Golden Knights regain confidence?
Now that the Golden Knights are safely back home in Vegas, they should be trying to prove that they’re not the team that was seen for the last nine days. This starts against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Knights will try to spark their offense quickly. They scored 30 of their 52 goals at home, despite having played one more game on the road. Scoring early and often will be important to regaining the Knights’ confidence.
Which Lagace shows up?
Max Lagace will still be in net for the Golden Knights. Yes, Marc-Andre Fleury has returned to the ice, and that’s great news. But it will probably still be a while before he plays. Until Malcolm Subban, who does have a reliable timetable, is healthy, Lagace will be the backstop for Vegas.
So, which Lagace shows up to his first home game in a Golden Knights sweater? He allowed a few more goals than the Knights wanted against the Islanders, Rangers and Senators. But he also limited the Bruins, Maple Leafs and Canadiens. Which Lagace will show up? The answer remains to be seen.
Can the defense protect the paint?
Against Toronto and Montreal, a few of the goals came with traffic in front of the net. The Knights were better in the Canadiens game, but Montreal still got too close to the net. That’s not a problem Max Lagace alone can fix.
With plenty of rest, the defense will also look to get a new start on the season. That should include protecting the paint and getting opposing skaters out of the high-danger areas of the ice. If they do that and limit shots to the outside, it will make life easier on the Knights’ fourth-string goaltender.
Over the course of the road trip, every defenseman was at fault with one bad play or another. Each of them will need to prove themselves again, and it starts against the Jets. The Golden Knights’ defensemen will look to turn things around against a high-powered Jets offense. If they succeed, this could be yet another lopsided victory at home.