Frank Seravalli was joined by Mike McKenna to discuss the Vegas Golden Knights’ sixth win over the Edmonton Oilers on the latest episode of Daily face-to-face live.
Frank Seravalli: Let’s start with the Vegas Golden Knights advancing to their fourth Western Conference Finals in six seasons as an NHL franchise. By virtue of their 5-2 win over the Oilers on Sunday night. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl go out like a lamp instead of a lion. And Mike, when you watch this series, I think what stands out for me is that the Golden Knights were clearly the better team over time.
Mike McKenna: They were better for me pretty much the whole series and a lot of it was 5-on-5 hockey. And look how Vegas played, four lines, six Ds, they had to draw Ben Hutton when Alex Pietrangelo been suspended. It pissed them off when Pietrangelo was suspended and they played better in Game 6 because of it. And they got better goalkeepers.
So, did Edmonton do some things right? Yeah, on the power play and about a line and a half was pretty usable, but Vegas just kept coming. They stuck to their game plan and Bruce Cassidy did a great job on the show, especially for Game 5, he took Nic Roy to the third line, brought in Teddy Blueger, sat Michael Amadio. That move really paid off and solidified their fourth line and their system was so tight in Vegas.
Eleven games in the playoffs so far and they’ve only allowed Frank 5-on-5 10 high-risk chances twice, which is why they’re winning. At 5-on-5, Vegas is an absolute wheel and showed it against the Oilers.
Frank Seravalli: Yeah, and they also win with their third goalie in goal at Adin Hill. I don’t know if it’s fair or unfair to say it, but if you look at the record of the season, I think Logan Thompson is the best goaltender if he’s healthy. Laurent Brossoit started the playoffs, he is out. Hill arrives and after allowing two goals on the first two shots of Game 6, he was absolutely unfazed for the Golden Knights.
Mike, I have to ask, there are still five teams chasing the Lord Stanley Prize, are they the best team still standing?
Mike McKenna: I guess it would be tough to take that title away from Carolina and of course we still have to see what happens between Dallas and the Kraken. They get contributions from everyone in Vegas. They are on the power play, it’s ok, the power play is very good but again 5 against 5 really good and I loved Adin Hill’s game, he was good over time, he got injured but he plays the most patient I’ve seen. Much of what Vegas can do will come down to whether Hill can maintain that level of play, whether he stays healthy, and whether those lines can continue.
Jack Eichel was even better in the playoffs than he was in the regular season, he was phenomenal for Vegas on a line with Marchessault and Barbashev, they had their fingerprints all over the place last night in Game 6 with Marchessault having a hat trick.
You can watch the rest of the episode here…