The Golden Knights started week three of the NHL season with back-to-back games on the road. First playing in Colorado against the Avalanche on Tuesday, Oct. 26 and then in Dallas against the Stars on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The Golden Knights then returned home to face-off against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, Oct. 29. Chandler Stephenson and company helped Vegas turn over a new leaf as the team returned to a .500 record by the end of the week. The entire Vegas squad seemed to be galvanized by the performance of players such as Stephenson and the misfits line.
As the week came to a close, rumors around Jack Eichel began to resurface. With several reputable NHL insiders commenting on Vegas being touted as heavy favorites in obtaining the Buffalo’s Sabres star. This week also saw yet another injury, a contract extension, and new roster acquisitions.
Game one of the week
For the first leg of their back-to-back earlier in the week, the Golden Knights took on the Colorado Avalanche in Colorado. Despite the injuries for Vegas, they played a very strong game, taking it to the Avalanche.
With first-period goals from Chandler Stephenson and William Karlsson, Vegas seemed to take early control of the game.
Colorado’s Cale Makar scored in the late stages of the second period to make it 2-1 heading into the third.
Despite pushes by both teams in the final frame, an empty-net goal for Vegas was the only goal of the period. Vegas really needed a result like this to stop the four-game skid they had been on. The misfits’ line played very well, as did Stephenson, had a two-point night. Robin Lehner saved 26 out of 27 shots, earning himself a .963 SV%.
Game two of the week
For the second leg of the back-to-back, the Golden Knights traveled to Texas to face the Dallas Stars. This was a game Vegas had no business winning. Throughout the game, Dallas outclassed them in almost every important statistic, other than goaltending.
In his first start for the Golden Knights, Laurent Brossoit carried the team on his back. He only gave up two goals to Dallas, who, in the first period, had tripled Vegas’ shots on net 15-5. Despite Vegas being completely dominated in the first period, he only gave up one goal in the first.
In the second period, the play was a continuation of that of the first. Dallas took the lead halfway marker, and maintained it for the duration of the middle frame.
For the majority of the third period, Vegas struggled to create offensive pressure. However, with just over a minute left in the game, Jonathan Marchessault scored the tying goal which sent the game to overtime.
Two minutes into overtime, Nic Roy’s heavy forecheck in Dallas’ zone created a turnover that led to a goal by Evgenii Dadonov to end it.
Looking at the game’s shots and face-off statistics, it’s easy to see how much Dallas dominated Vegas. The shot total at the end of the game was 34-21. They completely controlled the face-off circle with a FO% of 71%. Dallas led in hits and blocked shots by the end as well.
Despite all of this, Vegas left Dallas with an unlikely two points.
Game three of the Week
In their final game of the week, Vegas hosted the Anaheim Ducks at T-mobile arena in a wild affair.
By the 15 minute mark of the third period, the Golden Knights had dominated the Ducks. Reilly Smith, Nic Hague, Chandler Stephenson and William Carrier had all scored by that point giving Vegas a commanding 4-1 lead.
Anaheim proceeded to rally and tied the game up with three consecutive third-period goals. Taking the game to extra time, where the Golden Knights eventually won in the shootout.
This win drew Vegas exactly even, with a record of (4-4-0).
The Jack Eichel saga
Several hockey insiders have cited the Vegas Golden Knights as one of many bidders throughout the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. Early in the week, however, they reported Vegas as the front runner, saying talks were heating up between the two teams.
The indication made by several of these insider reports was that an Eichel to Vegas trade seemed imminent. Yet after several days of vague and conflicting reports, insiders appeared to stray away from the topic. The rumors, in regards to the timeliness of a possible transaction, have essentially ended up being red herrings.
Vegas’ injury bug continues
News came out on Tuesday, November 2 that William Karlsson had sustained a lower-body injury in the game against Anaheim. His injury, which was revealed to be a broken foot, will keep Karlsson out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks.
This is yet another massive blow to a Vegas team that has already been ravaged by injury.
An extension for Zach Whitecloud
Zach Whitecloud penned an extension with the Golden Knights for six years at an AAV of $2.75 million. Though currently injured, VGK management made sure to tie him up long-term as they see him as being a part of their future plans. This extension will keep Whitecloud in Vegas(barring a trade) until the 2027-2028 season when he’ll be 30 years old.
The defenseman took to different social media platforms such as twitter and Instagram to express his excitement about the extension.
New faces in new places
The Vegas Golden Knights made a couple of acquisitions this week. the Golden Knights likely did this to help bolster the team’s defense as the injury bug continues to plague the team.
Vegas signed free agent, defenseman Ben Hutton to a one-year contract valued at $750,000. The 28-year-old will serve as a decent option for Vegas’ blueline while defensemen, such as Whitecloud, recover from their injuries.
Vegas also claimed Mike Amadio from the Toronto Maple Leafs after they placed him on waivers. Similar to Hutton, Amadio is also meant to serve as an option in the absence of several injured forwards.
Featured image courtesy of the NHL
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