Opinion: Ryan Reaves Shot His Team In the Foot In Game 4

When the Golden Knights acquired Ryan Reaves from the Penguins just before the trade deadline, most viewed it as a cap-dump for the Penguins to acquire Derrick Brassard from the Senators. However, Reaves proved to be quite handy for Vegas this post-season, chipping in a couple goals at critical times in the playoffs. But in game 4 of the cup finals, he shot his team in the foot and is a big reason the Golden Knights are going home down 3-1 in the series.

After the 2nd period, Vegas was trailing by a score of 4-0, and most thought the game was over before the 3rd period even started. However a pair of goals from James Neal and Reilly Smith had them only 2 goals down with 7:30 left to go. Plenty of time for Vegas to score 2 more and complete the comeback.

Insert Ryan Reaves...

It was very visible right from the face-off when Reaves and Tom Wilson are shoving and hitting each other before the puck is even dropped, someone was getting a penalty. 30 seconds later, and the 2 of them got off-setting minors for roughing, putting the teams at 4-on-4. 36 seconds in, and Michal Kempny scores to make it 5-2.

Now, the question on everyone's mind, what was Reaves thinking? His team had momentum on their side, had just scored a pair and had over 7 minutes to score 2 more, and he takes a penalty. His actions would make sense if it were still a 4-0 game.

I would not be surprised if Reaves is scratched for game 5, or at least shown very limited ice time during similar situations if they come up.

Of course the loss isn't entirely his fault, the team as a whole could've been a lot better... at scoring on wide open nets *cough* James Neal *cough*, and Fleury did not have a great game in net either. But it's very interesting to imagine the last few minutes of game 4 if Reaves does not take that penalty.

Do you agree? Comment below.

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