Vegas is scary fast
Throughout the game, the Caps struggled to contain the speed of the Golden Knights. The answer for the Caps is not to try and execute a neutral zone trap game, like they did in Game Six against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rather, Washington should inject more speed into the lineup. Devante Smith-Pelly had a bad game, most notably not clearing the puck leading to Vegas’ fifth goal. Do not be surprised if Nathan Walker is in the lineup for Game Two.
Vegas has a dangerous forecheck
Throughout the game, the Golden Knights forecheck was too much for Washington to handle. In Game Two, the Caps will need to make quicker decisions with the puck and move it quicker. There isn’t much of answer to how the Caps can fix this on Wednesday, other than make quicker decisions.
Missed calls on both sides
To put it lightly, this game’s officiating was not the best. There were many missed calls throughout the game, including one that led directly to a goal. While I normally don’t say officials decide games, it is hard to argue that they didn’t have a part in this one. The NHL claims that the officials in the Stanley Cup Final are the best, on Monday, it seemed like some of the worst.
Playing a full 60
Despite the losing effort, the Capitals played a good, full 60-minute game. Even when Vegas took the lead, and tied the game, and took the lead again, there was never a lull for the Caps. It seemed like they had fight and energy in them throughout the game. In the end, you could sense a Capitals goal coming, but there was just not enough time left on the clock.
Game One of the Stanley Cup Final was an entertaining one. It was a very winnable game for the Caps, they could just not pull it off. If Wilson is suspended for his hit, that will be a huge blow for Washington. They will need him in this series.