The Vegas Golden Knights are expecting a fast pace when they kick off their Western Conference Second Round series against the San Jose Sharks.
“Veteran guys who have been around for a while,” Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “I think they’re a quicker team than the [Los Angeles Kings] and can create more offensively.”
“I would assume it’ll be more fast-paced, more open hockey,” Fleury said. “I think L.A. played well defensively, but maybe they didn’t create more offensively. With these guys, you’ve got to play a little more up and down.”
It won’t be easy for the Sharks, as Vegas allowed only 3 goals in a 4-game sweep of the Los Angeles Kings in the 1st round.
“We have to make sure, with our defensemen, that we do the same thing we did with L.A.: tightening our gaps and limiting their speed,” Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt said.
One of the keys for Vegas will be to neutralize defenseman Brent Burns.
“He’s been a really good weapon for them in the [offensive] zone,” Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said.
The Golden Knights have won their fair share of tight games, but their offense has been a concern. Nonetheless, the team is looking at the victories in the tight games as a benefit.
“Just knowing you have that in your game,” Schmidt said.
“And knowing that [Fleury] is back there, that’s the all-time calming factor. It’s helped us because we haven’t been in that situation most of the year. It’s not good to have it until the playoffs, but good to have success with it in the playoffs.”