The Vegas Golden Knights have long embraced their status as unheralded underdogs http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.co ... ews-jersey , from their very first game as an NHL expansion team in October through their stunning dismantling of Winnipeg in the Western Conference Final.
”We call ourselves the Golden Misfits for a reason,” winger Ryan Reaves said prior to the Stanley Cup Final series against Washington. ”We’ve proven everyone else wrong all season.”
Vegas entered the Final as favorites over the Capitals, who broke into the league in 1974 and are still in search of their first championship. The Golden Knights won the opener, but after dropping two in a row they find themselves playing a familiar role as they prepare for Game 4 on Monday night.
”We’re still underdogs,” left wing David Perron said. ”They’re a great team over there. Now the pressure is on them to keep going. We’re going to find a way to answer.”
The Capitals got caught up in a fast-paced, fire-at-will contest in Game 1, and Vegas rolled to a 6-4 victory. Washington made the adjustment in Game 2 and won 3-2, then gripped the defensive clamp even tighter Saturday night in a 3-1 win.
Now, mired in their initial losing streak of the playoffs and trailing 2-1 in games for the first time, the Golden Knights are desperate to become more effective pushing the puck toward the net.
”We get it out on our blue line and we try to make a cross-ice play and they’re picking it off,” Reaves said. ”Their transition game is good. We’re getting to their blue line and we’re trying get cute again instead of doing what works. With this team, that’s getting it in and then going to work.”
The Capitals know this, and they have taken great strides to shackle a team that averaged 3.31 goals per game during the regular season, tied for fourth in the NHL.
”Offensive teams have certain tendencies, certain routes that they take through the neutral zone, plays they like to make,” Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”So if you can be on top of them and turn over some pucks Authentic Oscar Lindberg Jersey , stifle them, make it hard for them to gain entry with possession, that frustrates skilled players.”
The Golden Knights mustered only 22 shots on goal in Game 3, with Tomas Nosek getting the lone score after Washington goaltender Braden Holtby did a miserable job of clearing the puck from behind his net.
”They defended well. We were getting clogged up a little bit,” Vegas winger James Neal said. ”They sit back. We’ve got to get pucks to the net. We didn’t have enough shots. We didn’t have enough bodies going to the net. They out-battled us. We’re going to look at that and fix it.”
That’s what Sunday’s skate was about. The Golden Knights understand the problem, and the task now is to correct the shortcoming.
”We’ve just got to get back to our game, getting pucks deep and getting in on the forecheck,” defenseman Derek Engelland said. ”It’s been our key all season long, the five-man forecheck and five-guy pressure all over the ice.”
Vegas doesn’t need a high-scoring, freestyle affair to win. The Golden Knights have a pair of 1-0 shutouts during the playoffs and have won twice when scoring only two goals.
The key is to cut down on the mistakes. Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Alex Ovechkin at the end of a 2-on-1 rush early in the game, but the Capitals converted an odd-man blitz in the second period for a 2-0 lead.
”Working hard to get down low, we just couldn’t hold onto it or make a big play, and the Capitals are going the other way,” Vegas center Ryan Carpenter said.
It’s not by accident. Washington coach Barry Trotz changed things up after Game 1, and the results were profound.
”There are things that they do that have given us some difficulties, and we’ve adjusted,” Trotz said. ”They’ll do the same.”
The Capitals have fortified their defense http://www.officiallightningprostore.co ... hev-jersey , and Vegas now must find a way to penetrate the barrier. If it can do that, then Fleury will happily do his part in to help bring the series back to Las Vegas tied a two games apiece.
”I have faith in these guys that they can do well, they can do what they’ve done for the past three rounds and all season long,” the goaltender said.
What they’ve done, more often than not, is win when few thought they could.
”We’ve been in situations like this before: adversity, have our backs against the wall a bit,” defenseman Luca Sbisa said. ”The belief in our group is still here. Just got to stick together.”
More Stanley Cup coverage: Ray Allen has enjoyed watching former teammate LeBron James lead Cleveland through the NBA playoffs. And it’s not much different than what Allen saw almost daily when the two were part of the Miami Heat’s run to a NBA title in 2013.
”He’s the main cog of what the Cavaliers are doing,” Allen said Monday. ”I don’t see him doing anything outside of his spectrum. He’s doing what he’s been doing most of his career. When we start talking playoff basketball and about the players who are good, we expect them to do their jobs when it’s time to do their jobs.”
For the two-time NBA champion in Allen, there’s no higher compliment.
Allen spent his stellar, 19-year career well prepared for whatever moment there was. He was a 10-time NBA all-star who helped a trophy-starved Boston to a championship in 2008, then joined James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Heat to capture the 2013 crown.
Allen, the son of an Air Force veteran, starred for Hillcrest High School in Dalzell, South Carolina Andrew Ladd Jersey , about an hour east of Columbia. He returned to the Palmetto State this week to be part of the newest group of inductees into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
”This is my first induction into any hall of fame,” Allen said, smiling.
Allen, 42, left the game after the 2014 season as the NBA leader in career 3-pointers made – more than 400 more than Reggie Miller in second place. Allen’s also known for several big moments on the court, including his seven 3-pointers in the sixth and final game of the 2008 title series to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers to help the Celtics win their first championship since 1986.
It was Allen’s 3-pointer from the right corner for the Heat in game six of the 2013 series with San Antonio that tied things at 95-all, a game Miami would go on to win in overtime before closing out the title run a game later.
Allen, who also played for Milwaukee and Seattle , prefers remembering the smaller moments, ones fans don’t see where teammates practice together and commit to let their talent and effort loose in games.
”The moments when the guys counted on me to come through for them,” he said. ”Just being accountable.”
That’s what Allen sees from James as much in a first-quarter blocked shot or box out as in a last-second banker to defeat Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
”It’s being a good teammate,” he said. ”The people see the big shots, but what we see is, `Man, he was a great teammate. He was always there.”’
As far as the all-time debate, Allen gives the edge to Michael Jordan over James. Playing against both of them, Allen said Jordan ”didn’t have any weaknesses. There was just no way that you could stop him.”
Allen is certain James Womens Saquon Barkley Jersey , especially with more playoff showings like this season, will make a stronger case for the top spot.
Allen missed Boston’s opening game conference finals win over Cleveland and James on Sunday as he had just returned from China where he was promoting the NBA. It’s a country hungry for more of the game, Allen said. He said he met one fan there who had his signature sneakers from his early days in Milwaukee.
He’s not pulling for the Celtics or Cavaliers, just more compelling playoff basketball.
And there should be plenty of that Tuesday night when Golden State plays at Houston, and when there should be plenty of 3-pointers being tossed up.
Allen, though one of the all-time great long-range shooters in the NBA, doesn’t enjoy talking about the role he played in the evolution of game, where 3-pointers are being shot in record numbers. Allen attempted 500 or more 3s just three times in 19 seasons. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have each done that for the Warriors the past six seasons.
”I just believe I did what I was supposed to do when I had my time,” Allen said. ”I try never to play those woulda, coulda, shouldas.”
Allen credited his time in South Carolina for learning to overcome adversity on being a military child mixing with civilian students who knew little about life on an air base.
”This is a place that grew me up as a young person,” Allen said. ”It’s where I got my start.”
New York Giants Customized Jerseys
Spam goes here
1 post • Page 1 of 1