VGK Starting to Get Back on Track: According to the morning skate report, Laurent Brossoit was to be the expected starter in net. Captain Mark Stone made a huge return as he’s been injured twice this season, as well as many other Vegas players. The Golden Knights have had many injuries this season, requiring many players from the Henderson Silver Knights to be brought up. HSK players like Kaedan Korczak and Jiri Patera have played back and forth between the affiliate lines. For round one, the VGK are facing the Winnipeg Jets.
Going into Last Knight’s Game: The Golden Knights (51-22-9) finished the regular 2022-23 season as Pacific Division champs with 111 points. The Winnipeg Jets (46-33-3) finished just behind the Seattle Kraken and got the second wildcard. Currently leading the VGK in points are Jack Eichel (66), Chandler Stephenson (65), Jonathan Marchessault (57), Reilly Smith (56), and Alex Pietrangelo (54). Chandler Stevenson leads the team in goals with 49, Pietrangelo behind him with 43, and Eichel and Karlsson following with 39. With Laurent Brossoit starting in goal, the Golden Knights’ goaltending shouldn’t have been the biggest of concerns for Vegas. What they mainly needed to focus on are two main things: good defense and taking smart shots.
Round One, Game One – Vegas Suffers Defeat: Given the final score in favor of Winnipeg 5-1, the Golden Knights struggled severely. Only scoring one goal and allowing five goes to show the main areas they need to work on: defense and knowing when and where to shoot. The first period ended without either team scoring, showing that the VGK were not off to a horrible start defensively, even though they did give the Jets two power plays. William Karlsson was the only one to score for the Knights, assisted by Ivan Barbashev and Jonathan Marchessault at 15:49 into the second. The Golden Knights even lost in shots 17-31 by the end of the game. One of the only good things to come from this first match in round one is that a Vegas player made the third star of the game: William Karlsson – the only one to score.
What Happened in Vegas: The Golden Knights have played outstanding this season, and last night’s game does not reflect their potential. One of the only wins the Knights had during the game was the majority of the faceoff wins. Both teams had three power plays, and Winnipeg was the only team to score on at least one of them. Not one player on the team managed to finish the game with a positive number on their plus / minus rating for the game. The good thing is that the players and Coach Bruce Cassidy were all able to admit what went wrong, and hopefully, they will build on that in practice. Their next game in round one will take place tomorrow, once again at home. Let us hope the VGK can win at least one of their round one games with the home advantage.
The VGK play again at home tomorrow at 7:00 PT
They will next play Saturday at 1:00 PT
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