Why the Golden Knights Lost
By Patrick Hoffman
While the Washington Capitals more than deserved to win their first Cup in franchise history, the Vegas Golden Knights simply did not play the way they needed to in order to win this series.
For starters, there were way too many defensive lapses. From not covering Alex Ovechkin from his favorite spot on the power play, to missing assignments in front of the net, the puck went in their net way too much in this series.
It was clear that Golden Knights' netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was not at his best in this series. He was leaky and despite making some unbelievable saves in this series, he did not stop enough pucks to help his team capture the Cup.
The team also struggled to put the puck in the net consistently in this series. Even though they scored six goals in Game 1 and three tonight, the team's offense went quiet in Games 2, 3, and 4 when they scored a combined five goals.
Another area that the team struggled in was on the penalty kill. The Capitals scored four goals with the man advantage in this series and when you have guys like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Carlson, and Kuznetsov, you really need to stay out of the box, which is something that they did not do consistently in this series.
Lastly, the Golden Knights simply could not match the depth that the Caps had. Capitals' forwards Devante Smith-Pelly and Lars Eller each came up big in this series and the Golden Knights simply could not counter.
Again, this was a well earned Cup for the Capitals. They did everything right in this series from getting scoring from bot their big guns and depth guys, getting solid goaltending from Braden Holtby, and doing the little things right.
With that said, the Knights should have been a lot better and they weren't. As a result, their magical season ended and now, they will have to think about what could have been.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.