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Tag: Cody Eakin

0 For 16 On The Power Play

At Friday’s practice, the Golden Knights spent a majority of their time working on the power play, specifically five on four. Obviously, we thought it was because Vegas was unsuccessful on their last 16 PP chances, but when asked, head coach Gerard Gallant disagreed.

It was planned, three or four days ago. So it wasn’t because we were 0 for 7 last night. -Gerard Gallant

The key word after Thursday’s preseason loss to Colorado was “simplify.”

We have to find our niche and simplify and have that five on five mentality. Sometimes when you’re unfamiliar you have to simplify and shoot the puck instead of making the extra pass.- Cody Eakin

Gallant agrees.

We tried to make the fancy plays, the crossing plays, and we weren’t shooting the puck. The last two or three power plays we started getting some point shots through and getting some rebounds. When you do that and establish a point shot, some of those seams open up later on. But it was slow, we weren’t attacking a lot on the power play. -Gallant

Gallant mentioned making the fancy play, or the extra, unnecessary pass. Eakin used the word cute to describe the same thing. And, Reilly Smith used another synonym.

In preseason you want to work on it, and try and make pretty plays. You do have to practice good habits, and sometimes just get the puck to he net and get those ugly goals. You’re not always going to have pretty ones. -Reilly Smith

This didn’t happen on the power play. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

So let’s sum this up. Cute + Fancy + Pretty = 0 for 16.

Simple + Ugly = Goals

While, it’s only preseason, and man-advantages are opportunities for teams to work on things, going scoreless on 16 straight power plays is a bad trend heading into the regular season.

Only in hockey can words like cute, fancy, or pretty imply something bad. Weirdos.

Cody Eakin Staking Claim To Mr. Reliable Role

Just how reliable is Golden Knights center Cody Eakin? Is winning 79% of his faceoffs reliable enough for you?

Cody is a veteran player and I think that he can do very well for us. He’s definitely going to be one of our top center men for us in the faceoff circle. He’s an important player and we just want to give him confidence and keep going in this game. -Gerard Gallant

Bet you Eakin won this one too. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

I could argue he was the biggest takeaway, and maybe even the best player on the ice, from last night’s 4-2 loss. Eakin saw a total of 20:06 minutes on the ice, and 9:12 of that was on special teams.

Last night, Eakin’s impact was felt in both zones. Offensively, the center was +1 with a beautiful assist on the Theodore goal and played 6:12 of PP. Defensively, Eakin led the team with three takeaways, and played 3:00 on the Enough Said Call Ed penalty kill.

I don’t think Cody played a lot of power play time in Dallas, but he’s going to get some of that with us. He’s definitely going to be one of our top four guys going out on the penalty kill all the time. -Gallant

It’s clear Gallant considers Eakin a player he can rely on. He sent out #21 for twenty-four shifts last night, and had him take several situational draws.

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Faceoff Circle Continuing To Haunt Many Golden Knights

As we watched last night, a hockey game is a story of three periods… and sometimes an extra :12 seconds.

Hockey Fact: 3 for 18 on draws is not good. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Forget the outcome, one storyline of the game was first-period faceoffs. Specifically, losing them. After the first 20 minutes, Vegas lost over 80% of the draws. The Golden Knights did get better as the game went on, but overall they won 25, and lost 32 faceoffs. Based off last year’s stats, the Golden Knight’s 43% FOW would be way below the league average. Okay, now is about the time I give the disclaimer… It’s only preseason. But we still had to ask.

Yeah, they were bad in the first period, obviously, you pride yourself from winning faceoffs. We had a tough time in the first period on faceoffs. Again, I thought we played a good eight or 10 minutes of that first period really well. After that we fell asleep for about 25 minutes in the middle part of the game… – Gerard Gallant

He later acknowledged that his players settled in, and improved their FOW percentage.

The faceoffs got better as the night went on. I think it’s just about guys going in there and battling and winning one-on-one battles in the faceoff circle, we didn’t start out real well.” -Gallant

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Golden Knights Might Actually Have More Scoring Than Expected

With a new team comes new opportunity. Whether that means more goal scoring chances, greater opportunity, more ice time, or even simply a spot on an NHL roster, every player under Golden Knights control has a chance to take a major step forward statistically in their careers.

Projecting the future is impossible, no matter what our article explaining PDO says. So, all we can really go off is what we've seen from players in the past. Here's a look at the highest goal, assist, and point total each Golden Knight has had in their career.

PlayerGoalsAssistsPoints
James Neal404181
Jonathan Marchessault302151
David Perron283557
Reilly Smith253151
Cody Eakin192140
Jason Garrison162633
Erik Haula152034
Oscar Lindberg131528
William Karlsson91925
Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare7714
Deryk Engelland61317
Teemu Pulkkinen6612
Colin Miller61316
Luca Sbisa51924
William Carrier538
Nate Schmidt31417
Shea Theodore379
Brayden McNabb22224
Jon Merrill21214
Clayton Stoner21010
Brendan Leipsic123
Griffin Reinhart011

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Tangible Evidence Of Cody Eakin’s Intangibles

It’s the intangibles of size, strength, hockey sense, winning battles versus losing battles. That encompasses it. It’s not one thing, it’s everything. -Bruce Boudreau, Capitals Head Coach

That was Boudreau back in 2011 when he was the Capitals head coach under George McPhee. The coach spoke with D.C. media about the type of player the organization wanted. One of the players mentioned was then Caps rookie Cody Eakin. The intangible skills scouts reported could’ve been the reason he was drafted by McPhee in 2009 and then again via Expansion in 2017. Believe in intangibles or not, it’s an aspect that is strongly researched in the NHL. With help from an article in the Toronto Star, here’s an attempt to measure the unmeasurables in Cody Eakin’s game.

Grit

To me, that means there’s a loose puck, and they work like crazy to try and get it back. And if they fall down, they get right back up and try it again. -Ray Ferraro, TSN Hockey Analyst

Back in the WHL, Eakin was labeled as a gritty two-way player. He quickly won over NHL coaches with his aggressive fore-checking, special teams play, and shot-blocking ability. All three skills are in the definition of a gritty player. Eakin will likely anchor the Golden Knights penalty kill while playing an average of 16+ minutes a game. It could increase with the responsibility Coach Gerard Gallant will inevitably put on him. Not known for fighting, the Red Knight is willing to answer the call if necessary. C’mon, Cody knew he wasn’t leaving the ice unscathed after his brutal hit on Handsome Hank.

Hockey Sense

Somebody with good hockey sense can sense what’s going to happen on a certain play. The puck is coming around the boards, a guy with hockey sense will know, ‘the puck is going there, so I’m going here.’ -Larry Robinson, Hall of Fame defenseman

Eakin has been a reliable, versatile center since coming into the league in 2011. Being able to play multiple positions and log heavy minutes is crucial to Gallant. He’ll trust the 25-year-old center in many high-pressure, high-risk, game situations. Even-strength, down a man, or defensive zone face-offs, nothing is too much for Eakin. Labeled a calm player that won’t panic, it’s no wonder he scored eleven game-winning goals. Eakin’s awareness set him up for two playoff game-winning gems. 

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