Merrill will play his first game since January 4th when he was placed on IR with an undisclosed injury. Theodore has been out since the game against Edmonton on February 15th. NHL rules only require a player on IR to miss seven days, so Theodore will be eligible to return on Friday for the game against Vancouver.
Tag: Shea Theodore (Page 1 of 3)
You forget about tonight and get ready for the next game. -Gerard Gallant
That’s exactly what the Golden Knights and their fans should do after last night’s 5-2 loss in Minnesota. There’s really no need to get into the details of the game, we all watched it, it wasn’t the Golden Knights night, something that’s rare with this club.
We were a tired team for the first time this year. -Gallant
Vegas only atempted a total of 24 shots on goal against Minnesota. It’s just the fifth time this season the Golden Knights shot 24 shots or less. Vegas is 2-2-1 in those games.
Defenseman Shea Theodore led Vegas with five shots on Wild goaltender Devan Dubynk. Last night was the third time Theodore took five or more shots in a game. The 22-year-old had never registered more than four shots in a game prior to this season.
Deryk Engelland led the Golden Knights with 23 minutes of ice time. Put aside last night, the Golden Knights are 3-1-0 when he leads the team in TOI.
Golden Knights All-Star winger James Neal had a rare dud of a game in Minnesota. He had zero shot attempts or shots on net. It was only the second time this season Neal didn’t register a shot. Also, Gallant tinkered with his lines and #18 saw a dip in ice time. For only the tenth time in 51 games, Neal skated less than 15:35 of ice time.
Again, none of these nuggets mean much in the grand scheme of things if you throw out the game, but they are certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward. It was a tough, tiring road loss for the Golden Knights. That was supposed to be the norm for this team, luckily it’s not.
There are many reasons for the Golden Knights offensive success. Let’s start with the number of Vegas players having career years (it’s basically all of them). Secondly, younger players are quickly blossoming with more ice time and room to grow (see Karlsson, Tuch, Haula, Theodore, Schmidt, Miller, etc). Lastly, the Golden Knights are one of few teams getting help from their bottom six forwards, something we call “depth scoring.”
In 48 games, Vegas has scored the third most goals (162) this season. Even more impressive is VGK’s (3.38) goals per game, which is also ranked third behind Tampa Bay (3.53) and the NY Islanders (3.39).
All Star coach Gerard Gallant is blessed to have the depth scoring his team has. Nine Golden Knights have more than 20 points. Only nine other NHL teams can claim that.
NY Rangers (11) Players
Nashville: (10) Players
Tampa: (10) Players
Toronto: (10) Players
Winnipeg: (10) Players
Vegas: (9) Players
Boston: (9) Players
Dallas: (9) Players
San Jose: (9) Players
To go even deeper, the Golden Knights have 16 players with 10+ Points. Only Chicago, Colorado, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Toronto, Washington, and Winnipeg can claim that.
Of course, we’re all aware of the offensive success from their top two lines. Erik Haula, James Neal and David Perron have done their job scoring 50 this season. VGK’s second top trio of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith have totaled a remarkable 56 goals. The other 56 tallies were scored by defensemen and bottom line forwards.
Inspired by the beauties by David Perron and James Neal over the past two games we’ve decided there’s no better time than now to take a look back on the Golden Knights “Goals of the Year.”
These are separated into two groups, first are the most important goals. These are based on a few criteria but mainly the impact the goal had on the Golden Knights season. The second group are the prettiest goals, graded mostly by skill and difficulty. Time of goal, score, and impact on the game are not considered for these goals.
Most Important Goals
#5 – Erik Haula vs. Nashville Predators – December 8th, 2017 – 3rd Period (19:20) – VGK 3 NSH 3
File this one in the “these guys are for real” category. After playing a great game the Golden Knights found themselves down a goal with the clock ticking down. They had chance after chance with the goalie pulled but just couldn’t beat Pekka Rinne. Then, off the magical 3rd period stick of Erik Haula the Golden Knights had their equalizer and eventually won the game in OT. It was a statement to the Predators, a statement to the NHL.
#4 – William Karlsson vs. St. Louis Blues – October 21st, 2017 – OT (4:36) – VGK 3 STL 2
This goal gave the Golden Knights their 6th win of the year, but more importantly it was the first win against a truly excellent opponent. Vegas was down to their third goalie after Fleury was hurt in game four and Subban earlier in this game, and yet still they found a way to get it done. Also, this goal might have been the birth of the madness that is the home crowd at T-Mobile Arena. The place was an absolute zoo and it was the first of many times the aisles would be filled with losing fans filing out with their tails between their legs. Oh, and it’s also William Karlsson’s first as a Golden Knight, the flood gates haven’t closed since.
Tonight, in the first period, the Golden Knights stunk. Their feet were slow, they looked unsure in their own end, and they simply could not break out of their own zone consistently enough to create anything on the other end. Flat out, they were bad. However, much like the rest of the season, it stopped there.
Try this exercise. Think of a time when the Golden Knights played a poor period. The 1st against Carolina, the 2nd’s against Anaheim and Dallas at T-Mobile, or my personal favorite (that’s a weird thing to say) the 1st against Colorado on Nevada Day.
Vegas is not immune to a completely garbage period. Heck, they tend to throw up a stinker on most nights, but like a great doctor would do to a virus, the Golden Knights localize it and chop off the infected period to kill the problem at the source. Tonight was yet another example of just that.
After a break, day of travel, you come in and are trying to find your legs and they made us look silly over the first 10 minutes. Big goal by Shea to settle us down and let us hang in there, and then in the 2nd we started to find our game. It’s a communal effort, when things need to be said, guys will say it. –Cody Eakin
Sometimes they have the built-in excuse of the long break, early game, or the first game after a road trip. Other times they don’t, but it doesn’t seem to matter either way.
We do a really good job of coming back in and regrouping. We know what our strengths are and during that break we come in and talk a little bit and we focus up and it’s a great thing about our team. –Shea Theodore
We have good character in the locker room which allows us to realize when we are playing good and when we are playing bad and we need to switch things up. It’s different things every night. We have good communication and we have a lot of different leaders from different places. People speak up in different areas and it’s huge for our team. –Erik Haula
It’s a question being asked all around the league and very few have the answers. We chatted with young Golden Knights defensemen Shea Theodore and Jon Merrill to get their thoughts on shutting down Tampa’s high-scoring offense.
When you have teams that come in with strong players, you have to keep it simple and zone in on those guys. Sometimes when you give them too much respect, that’s when they’re at their most dangerous. As a d-man that’s when your gap starts to slide and you’re doing too much watching. -Shea Theodore
It’s no secret the Lightning’s top line is lethal. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov have scored 48 goals as a top unit. To compare, the Golden Knights top line has a combined 35 goals. Theodore believes the Golden Knights defense is getting comfortable with defensive challenges.
As you play more and more games you get more comfortable playing with those kind of players. For example, the game against Pittsburgh I thought me and Engo were matched against Crosby all night and we did a good job shutting him down. We tried to eliminate as many scoring chances as we could and I felt like we did a good job. -Theodore
Will Vegas defensemen change their strategy and play more conservative against Tampa?
After a season starting stint in the AHL followed by a bit of a rocky start with the Golden Knights, Shea Theodore is starting to look like the player we’ve expected to see. With it has come increased time on ice overall, but specifically a much larger role in the power play.
The Golden Knights deploy two different power play units, one with three forwards and a defenseman, the other with four forwards and just one defenseman. Nate Schmidt has been that single defenseman for months, but with Theodore, Vegas now has another (more?) capable defenseman to lead the power play rush.
I feel like our shots generated and our momentum coming from a power play has been good. -Shea Theodore
Theodore’s quick adjustment must make coach Gerard Gallant feel like he’s walking in socks and sandals all the time.
It really doesn’t matter. It more depends on what hand guys are shooting. As far as comfortability of moving the puck and how much time you have. -Theodore
Wednesday in Anaheim, Theodore played 20:44 of total time on ice. He played two minutes on the power play and two minutes on the penalty kill. The more telling number was TOI leader Nate Schmidt’s zero PP shifts. Which carried over from the Kings game when #88 only played 0:17 seconds of PP time. There’s a trend happening and it’s based all on trust. Gallant is finally able to use another player to lead the PP, and relieve his defensive workhorse. Having Theodore lead the PP allows Schmidt to continue his shutdown skills and keep his minutes under 25 minutes a game.
A lot of the times the d-men back there, we’re not picking up points but we’re behind a lot of the plays when it comes to breaking out the puck. We’re really coming into our own game, and trying to contribute to this offense. -Theodore
Theodore is starting to play like a veteran and talks like one too. If the team continues to play well, Gallant will be able to develop players and win games. I’m sure the head coach is thinking to himself, go ahead George trade away the team, my young guys will get us to the promise land.
Tonight the Golden Knights are seeking their fifth divisional win and third in a row. Vegas is 4-1-0 in the Pacific and are just one point out of first place with two games in hand.
Divisional games are supposed to have more energy and passion than other games on the schedule. Against the Kings, fans of both teams felt the playoff-type atmosphere at the T-Mobile arena. The real question is, did it feel like the beginning of a rivalry to the teams playing?
It does, it does. They play hard, they play a fast game. Their crowd is into it. They’re a really good addition, and will be a rival in the division. -John Stevens, Kings Head Coach
Wasn’t just him either.
Yes definitely, the building was loud and had a lot of energy. They are a good team and a fast team. They came out hard right away and we weren’t ready for it. -Trevor Lewis, Kings Forward
The Golden Knights have made it rather clear to the Pacific Division, they are not your traditional expansion pushover.
It’s safe to say the next time Shea Theodore is in Chicago it’ll be to play against the Blackhawks. Well, okay fine, with this club you can never say never, but we are pretty sure this time. The young defenseman is thrilled to be up with Vegas for good, and is working hard to adjust from the Shea-H-L to the NHL.
It’s all about instincts and what instincts I have, when to join the rush, where my shift is at. Usually if your late in your shift you’re not going to want to join the rush. Once I get more confident and start playing those minutes and build the confidence with the coaching staff that’s when I’m at my best. -Shea Theodore
Coach Gerard Gallant and his staff haven’t asked Theodore to change his style of play. They’re encouraging him to to push the puck offensively and allow him to follow his instincts. Which is why Gallant smartly paired Theodore with veteran defenseman Deryk Engelland.
I thought it was great. I thought we communicated well all night. We’re a pretty good pair out there, I thought it showed in the game. We had a lot of defensive zone breakups, that we were able to move the puck and join the rush. -Theodore
Theodore agreed that Engelland compliments his play on the ice.
For the Golden Knights there’s a constant delicate balance between trying to do what you can to win now while still keeping an eye on the future to fulfill The Creator’s dreams of “Playoffs by three, Cup by six.”
Sometimes, however, there are situations that serve both purposes simultaneously. That’s the case for Shea Theodore, who has now been with the team for six games, yet only played in three of them.
Theodore is widely considered the Golden Knights most talented defenseman, but that’s not to say he’s a finished product in the NHL. His ability to get shots through from the point, his skating, and his puck moving are all massive upside traits for the 22-year-old, but he does have some trouble deep in his own end, he’s not quite physical enough at times, and he tends to make risky plays that lead to odd-man rushes.
This being said, Theodore is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces moving forward for the Golden Knights. Yet, he’s only dressed for three of the six games since being recalled to the Golden Knights, has played just 45 total minutes in the three games, and saw his power play time (where he’s at his best) disappear in his most recent appearance.