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Will Reaves - Roussel feud be a factor in Golden Knights - Canucks playoff series?

Patrick Sharp and Keith Jones analyze how Antoine Roussel was trying to get under the skin of Ryan Reaves and the Golden Knights all game.

The Game 1 chirping between Ryan Reaves and Antoine Roussel during the Golden Knights’ 5-0 thrashing of the Canucks was certainly entertaining. There were even bawking chicken noises. But, if Roussel’s goal was to get the Golden Knights off of their games, it didn’t seem to do much.

That’s the challenge when it comes to a pest like Roussel. If you’re not sort of a new age pest like Brad Marchand or Matthew Tkachuk who pesters while being legitimate stars, you have to needle enough to make an impact. Can you draw a penalty out of frustration? Maybe make someone lose their focus?

Roussel was jawing at Robin Lehner, maybe or maybe not about the Marc-Andre Fleury drama. And while Lehner gave Roussel a love tap or two, Lehner also pitched a 26-save shutout.

Sure, it created a response, as Reaves delivered 11 hits (Roussel: seven). The Golden Knights didn’t find themselves killing a bunch of losing-your-cool penalties, though. There were hints of that self-destructive part of walking that pesky tightrope, too, as Roussel received a 10-minute misconduct for his shenanigans. Even then, no one received a power play, so it was really just a matter of the Canucks losing a supporting cast member when Game 1 was already well in hand for the Golden Knights.

Again, at minimum, it’s another bit of spice to a series that could be very entertaining (though it will need to be more competitive than Game 1 for this matter).

Side question: do you think Evander Kane feels left out after Reaves has a new rival? (Then again, Reaves and Kane might be mostly OK now, anyway.)

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks (VGK leads series 1-0)

Game 1: Golden Knights 5, Canucks 0 (recap)
Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 9:45 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 3: Thursday, Aug. 27, 9:45 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 4: Saturday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Game 5: Monday, Aug. 31 – TBD
*Game 6: Tuesday, Sept. 1 – TBD
*Game 7: Thursday, Sept. 3 – TBD

*if necessary

Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule
Bubble Wrap for Sunday’s games; Also for Saturday’s Stars-Avs Game 1

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.