VGK vs Stars
Photo Credit: Knights on Ice

Preview: Golden Knights vs Stars – 3rd Round – Game 1


The Vegas Golden Knights will take on the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals.  Both teams survived comeback attempts by their respective opponents in game seven.


Vegas Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Reaves has been suspended for one game for his hit in game seven. VGK and Dallas met at TMobile on February 26th, 2019. Here are some post-game quotes from the team and coaching staff. “He had an impact on the game, but I think he has an impact every game,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “Knows his role, plays it really well.”

“He was running out there, he was doing his job,” defenseman Roman Polak said. “Before the game, I talked to the guys; I tell them, ‘Just be aware when he’s out there’ and talk. He’s good at what he does.” 


“That’s what I told Miro [Heiskanen] before the game, ‘If he’s going to dump it in your corner, just let him go first,’” Polak said. “It’s not worth to go there and get hit.”


Goaltender Ben Bishop said: “He’s a huge body out there. He’s a middle linebacker on skates. You don’t want to get hit by that guy. I played with him in minors and St. Louis, and he’s a strong individual. He’s pretty much a linebacker on skates.” 

It is also important to note that Reaves played the second-fewest minutes of any Golden Knights player in that game. That is quite the impact, especially for a player that logged such few minutes. Reaves affects any game he plays, and it is clear that he is already in the heads of the Dallas Stars.

Similar to Vegas, Dallas got out to a three games to one lead over the Colorado Avalanche, and the series got stretched out to seven games. Dallas scored a total of twenty-eight goals and gave up twenty-nine goals in their series against the Avalanche. It is important to note that the Avalanche were down to their third-string goalie and had numerous injury issues.

VGK scored nineteen goals and gave up just eleven goals in their series against the Canucks. VGK’s total goals scored stat is a bit skewed due to the fantastic play of Caunucks’ goalie Thatcher Demko. The point being, VGK will be a much tougher match on both sides of the rink for the Stars. VGK can keep up should a game turn into a track meet.  I expect any game that is a defensive battle to also fall VGK’s way.


We must spend a bit more time discussing Mr. DeBoer.


Everyone in Vegas was calling for MarcAndre Fleury to start game seven. Lehner had just started the night prior, and Fleury was fresh. Lehner has an abysmal record in the back end of back to backs. Fleury has great game seven stats. Mr. DeBoer went with Lehner.


VGK vs Stars
Photo Credit: USA Today

Mr. DeBoer also shook up the forward lines and swapped Nick Cousins for Tomas Nosek. Imagine how Vegas would have treated Mr. DeBoer if Lehner had given up a couple of soft goals, and VGK was eliminated?  That is a prime example of laying it all on the line. Peter DeBoer had to know the consequences and how the Vegas faithful would respond if his lineup decisions did not pan out. That is the person I want to coach my team. Mr. DeBoer stayed the course, and as a result, VGK is in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in just three years…of existence!

Dallas will pose a different challenge than Chicago and Vancouver, but Vegas should make quick work of this series. Vegas in five. Side note, it would be fantastic if Mr. DeBoer starts Fleury in game one of the Western Conference Finals.

The New York Islanders needed all seven games of their series to eliminate the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning will now travel from Toronto to join the Edmonton bubble.

Tampa looked great in the Eastern Conference Finals as it took them five games to eliminate the Boston Bruins. The Islanders have had a great postseason, but Tampa will be a bit too much to handle.  Tampa in six.


Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars TV and Series schedule:


Game 1 – Tonight – 5 p.m. – (NBC)

Game 2 – Tuesday – 5 p.m.  (NBCSN)

Game 3 – Thursday – 5 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 4 – Saturday – 5 p.m.  (NBC)

*Game 5 – Sept. 14 – 5 p.m.  (NBCSN)

*Game 6 – Sept. 16 – 5 p.m.  (NBCSN)

*Game 7 – Sept. 18 – 6 p.m.  (NBCSN)

*If necessary


The Golden Knights magic number to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup is at 8!



Watch the game tonight on NBC at 5:00 pm



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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

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