A week ago, it was certain that the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights would wrap up their respective Round 2 series very nicely and meet in the Western Conference finals after a pair of great performances. All in all, both clubs took a 3-1 lead in the Edmonton bubble after taking quick action against their challengers and trying to close things down in every five games.
But … when things got a little different.
Nathan McKinnon and Colorado Avalanche stepped back and bought the stars before fixing the overtime score of the Dallas Game Over for the unexpected hero of Finland forward Joel Kiwirant. The biggest hero of the Golden Knights ’second round series, already in the other team. Behind the incredible efforts of the Vegas Vancouver Canucks, Thatcher went into an almost incredible brick wall called Demco.
It took three extra games but the Stars and Golden Knights each came to correct their mistakes, correct their trajectories and climb to the top. The two clubs have now met for the Western Conference final, which we expected a week ago – just a few extra games, a few more injuries, and a bit more fighting – and suddenly he seems to find himself well aware of it. aware on the verge of going home
(Mark Stone has seen some things))
Mark Stone’s response to Thatcher Demco is my response to everything in 2020 pic pic.twitter.com/zKdNWsCb3R
– (@Dalter) September 5, 2020
Deborah – “I need a drink after the last three games before I think about Dallas” “#VegasBurn
– Jesse Granger (@JC Granger_) September 5, 2020
With a berth in the Stanley Cup final on the line, they bowed their heads and now is their new beginning. Here’s a preview of how to match the best in the West:
5-on-5 playoffs through natural stat tricks
Dallas: 48.21 cf%, 48.53 GF%, 90.67 SV%, 9.04 SH%, 0.997 PDO
Vegas: 60.59 CF%, 59.65 GF%, 91.42 SV%, 7.78 SH%, 0.992 PDO
Team Stats (Post-Season)
Dallas: 28.3 pp%, 82.3 pk%, 53 gf, 56 gA
Vegas: 20.5 pp%, 87.8 pk%, 49 GF, 35 GA
How did Dallas get here
* Google’s Joel Kivirant *
After moving to Dallas’ second-round series vs. Colorado vs. Overtime, it started to feel a bit … familiar. A year ago, the Stars lost an overtime battle against the Blues and were embarrassed to stop the historic Stanley Cup run in St. Louis. Released on Friday night, more than a year after last spring’s heartbreak, thanks to an incredible performance from Kiwirant, who completed his first career NHL hat-trick with an overtime winner to throw their ghosts at Dallas and after a disappointing Western Conference final. A 3-1 series lead and dangerously close to a total collapse.
The Dallas team is now landing in the Western Conference Final, a clearly different club than the whole season and even a month earlier. Throughout 2012-2017 the stars continued to score falls – which they did not. They managed just 178 markers in the regular season, only finishing 29th in the top division of the King and Red Wings and averaging the sixth-worst 2.58 goals per game. Leading the top four, Miro Hyscanen, John Klingberg, Essa Lindell and Jamie Oleksiak, it is a great achievement for their top defense that they were still able to finish fourth in the Western Conference with a farewell in Round 1 and a strong goal from Tandem Ben Bishop and Anton Khud.
The tandem of that regular season, however, has now come down drastically – and Khushobin, who was on 14 of the stars’ 16 games to win, while Bishop was out of the team’s ineligible-to-play list. Khudobin has risen to prominence in a number of situations and is no doubt a big part of the team’s success, but as a statistic (2.94 goals – compared to the average, 999 percent saves, no shotouts) he continues to star, not sail.
Unable to lean too heavily in goal setting, the stars have been forced to play a much more aggressive-minded game. The days when they could win 1-0 and 2-1 games – the stars needed five goals for their four wins against Colorado, were second in all playoff teams for a total of goals (they were just 53 behind the club, 16 per game. Finished fourth and finished with a game (3.31).
How did Vegas get here
Coming out of the round robin as the top seed and working fast for the lottery-tied Chicago Blackhawks, Goliath didn’t really test until the middle of the second round series against the Golden Knights Vancouver. It was only when Kankos taught them two very important lessons that they must keep them together if they want to continue this show against Dallas.
The first is to never judge opponents, considering where they sit in regular-season stands or how many games you have in the series. Vegas got into trouble in Game 5 by 3-1 and outsourcing Vancouver 15-8 – and her name was Thatcher Demco. Suddenly Vancouver really put their elite two-way drama to the test, their high-volume shooting has fallen far short of the quality potential of Canucks. Demco almost single-handedly sent packing to the Golden Knights, trailing by just one goal in Game 5, shutting them down in Game 6, and then almost repeating the feat in the seventh.
Here is the second lesson: If you are not successful at first, try again and then again. And then keep trying. Seriously, just keep shooting the puck, this is your only option. The amount of Golden Knights’ high shots wasn’t much clearer than when none of those shots actually entered the Games. Both goals came from the stick of defender and top scorer Shea Theodore.
The heroism of Theodore’s late-game is finally getting the Golden Knights as their toughest opponent – and that’s what saved head coach Pete Deborah’s impressive game streak.
Pete Deborah becomes the first coach to go 5-0 at Gate 7S
– Tom Galiti (@TomGulTNHL) September 5, 2020
X-factor of stars: Miro Highscann. Kiwirant was Game 7 hero, but it was Finn Heiskenen’s comrade who became the biggest driving force for Dallas this season. If you didn’t know more about smooth-skating defenders before this summer, you do now. The 21-year-old has registered at least one point in seven games in Round 2 and reached the conference final in a series of eight-game points. He leads all the stars in assists (1), points (21) and ice time (25:54 per game) and sits second in league-wide in consecutive races next season.
22-year-old #GoStars Miro Heiskenen: Most of a defender’s playoff points before turning 25
Glenn Wesley: 24
Paul Coffee: 23
– SportsNet Stats (@SNStats) September 5, 2020
Golden Nights X-Factor: Shia Theodore When we talk about the Golden Nights we talk about Mark Stone and Max Pacquiao and Riley Smith and the elite two-way players about their powerful offense. We also talk about Theodore and as Vegas moves forward he is going to become a bigger talking point. Like Dallas, the top scorer in Vegas is their best young defender. Theodore is not only a beast of the blue line, he also threatens to score regularly every time he climbs on the ice. His shots from the point are deadly, and no Golden Knight has shot more than 25-year-old () 4) in the opponent’s net this season. As a result of that perseverance. Theodore – and only Theodore – who managed to score in Phenom, stopped Demco during the series against Canucks.
“I thought it was over 98. I thought it was a few hundred.”
– # Vegasorn hero Shea Theodore, who scored the winning goal in a 2-0 series-clinching Game 7 win, when # Scans goalkeeper Thatcher Demco stopped 98 consecutive shots before his scheduled series.
– Mike Gisberger (jisberger) September 5, 2020
Dallas wins if: They can continue their offensive firepower.
… Round? To win? Groundbreaking.
As much as you can appreciate their newly discovered high-scoring approach, it has an alarming counter-status: 5 – – They have allowed the following season this season, which is one mile away at the top of the league and 21 more, much more than Vegas, of course. Khudobin has only faced the league’s strongest offense and is still standing, but he faces another shot from the Golden Knights, with an average of 3.3 shots fired in the game, just above the Colorado mark. It’s hard for the stars to face any low-scoring wins in the future, which means they’ll have to continue this offense if they keep up with the Golden Knights.
If Vegas wins: Robin Lehner remains as Robin Lehner. Despite little controversy at the crease involving any Photoshop sword you have now undoubtedly seen, goalgate has become a real source of power for Vegas. All of Lehner’s three wins over Vancouver were shutouts (Mark-Andre Flurry trailed them to win their Game 4) and locked the crease until the end if they continue to lift the cup, will make the difference.
Robin Lehner is the eleventh goalie in history to record three shutouts in a single series.
– SportsNet Stats (@SNStats) September 5, 2020