The Vegas Golden Knights are heading to the Western Conference Final after a 4-2 series win eliminating the San Jose Sharks. In Game 6 of the second round, the Golden Knights defeated the Sharks 3-0. This is another impressive feat for the expansion team.
Vegas Golden Knights defeat San Jose Sharks in Six Games
Marc-Andre Fleury Stands on His Head Again
Marc-Andre Fleury needed to be on his game for the Golden Knights to have a chance in this series and luckily for them, he was more than up to the task. While Fleury gave up more goals in this series than he did in the four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Kings, he was still incredible. Fleury had two shutouts in this series and gave up 14 goals in the six-game series.
Martin Jones, on the other hand, did not play as well as the Sharks needed him to. Jones was pulled in two games and gave up 18 goals while he was in the net. Jones’ performance issues seemed to be due to a mix between the offensive pressure the Golden Knights put on him and lack of help defensively.
An Explosion of Offense
All three members of the Golden Knights first line had seven or more points in six games during this series: Jon Marchessault (8), Reilly Smith (7) and William Karlsson (7) for a total of 22 points. Vegas also got plenty of secondary scoring in the series, as three other players had five points in six games: Alex Tuch, James Neal and David Perron. The Golden Knights scored a total of 22 goals in six games.
The Sharks top line was quiet. They produced a combined total of just five points during this series. Evander Kane had one point, Joe Pavelski had three points and Joonas Donskoi had one point. The Sharks scored a total of 14 goals in six games. On average, the Golden Knights scored less than one goal per game more than the Sharks. The Sharks offence was good, but the Golden Knights offence was too much.
Ryan Reaves Made a Difference
While Ryan Reaves only made the lineup in Game 6 because of an injury to forward William Carrier, Reaves proved that he wants to be in this lineup. Reaves had eight hits and one shot on goal. It is arguable that Reaves presence on the ice helped secure the victory. The fourth line hemmed the Sharks in their own zone multiple times in the game, and really put a lot of pressure on the Sharks defence. He’s earned the right to play more in the next round.
What’s Next for The Golden Knights
The Golden Knights will take on the winner of the Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets series in the Western Conference Final. No matter which team wins, the Golden Knights will be facing their toughest opponent yet. This team that calls themselves the Golden Misfits has nothing to lose and everything to gain. They haven’t stopped giving it their all yet and they are not going to start now. The Western Conference Final are gearing up to be the most exciting series yet.
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