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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

50 Games, 73 Unique Forward Lines

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last night the Golden Knights completed their 50th game of the season. Over the course of those 50 games, they’ve used 73 different forward line combinations.

Yes, 73.

For comparison, in the 56-game shortened season in 2021, the Golden Knights used just 53. The year before, when they played 71 games, they used 52.

On Wednesday, in Jack Eichel’s debut, the Golden Knights rolled out four brand new lines they had never used before. Last night they added another one as Eichel played with Stephenson and Pacioretty. As we stand right now, there have been 40 different line combinations that have been used for just a single game. On the other side, just eight combinations have been used for at least five games. Keegan Kolesar has played in 49 of Vegas’ 50 games. He’s played on a whopping 21 different lines.

Of course, most of this is injury-related as this year’s Golden Knights have rotated through 33 different skaters including seven making their NHL debuts and 16 their VGK debut. However, many of the Golden Knights’ injuries have been lengthy, which has meant they’ve had a similar group of 23 from game to game many different times.

Yet, the line shuffling has been the one constant for this group. Vegas has used an identical group of 12 forwards in back-to-back games just six times this season and the only time they’ve ever done it three games in a row, games two and three were a week apart, broken up by the All Star break.

It’s impossible to quantify exactly how this has affected the Golden Knights, but it’s pretty clear it has made life at least a bit more difficult on them. They currently sit with 60 points in 50 games, which fortunately is good enough for 2nd in the Pacific, but would have them in 5th in any of the league’s other three divisions.

The last three games have looked disjointed and inconsistent, especially in the offensive zone. Aside from the Misfit Line, who have played 33 games together (no other line has more than 15), chemistry both offensively and defensively has been hit-or-miss. There have been moments where individual lines have looked great, but fleeting is the only way to describe those moments.

Chemistry is crucial when playing against teams with similar or better talent than you. Vegas’ last seven losses have all come against teams currently sitting in playoff position. Meanwhile, just two of their last five wins have come against good teams.

Obviously, with Eichel in the fold, there are bound to be at least a few more line combinations adding to the massive number of 73. However, if the Golden Knights want to start adding consistency to their game, they should strive for at least a bit more consistency with their lines.

**To see every line combination the Golden Knights have used this season, click here.**

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52 Comments

  1. Let’s just keep piling on the excuses. Must be a bottomless pit of them.

    Not buying the bullshit any longer. But, hey, keep them coming.

    Trade Smith and get something for him before the deadline. This team is a paper tiger, has gotten too old, too expensive with a boring coach who has no clue, no chemistry no team identity.

    EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES.

    • You’re killing me R-R, killing me lol.

    • Jason

      I agree with a lot of your comments. I think we are still good. But just sooo slow

    • A Fan

      We’ve become the Toronto of the west. Most everyone gives us high expectations and we just don’t raise the trophy.

    • STEPHANIE

      Trade Smith? He plays in all situations and you must have forgotten this but when everyone was hurt and out Smith and Stephenson carried vgk to victories .smh

      • I think if Smith agrees to come back for another year at the same salary then you keep him. If he is going to look for a massive pay raise then no, you have to cut him loose. Those negotiations are difficult to have especially before the trade deadline. I hope he stays.

  2. THE hockey GOD

    Jesse Granger
    @JesseGranger_
    · 13h
    Takeaway from Pete DeBoer’s press conference:

    He’s not happy with his team’s level of desperation. Said they may have been in good positions defensively, but didn’t win puck battles.

    He brought up desperation and compete level over and over.

  3. THE hockey GOD

    Gemel Smith claimed by TBL today

    VGK ??? MIA ?

    • Mike StG

      ThG – Why? He’s not Givani, his brother. He’s 27 and played most of his career in the AHL. Nothing special and a bottom 6 forward. Our bottom 6 centers are younger and better. Who would Vegas waive to make room for him? They would have to put him on the VGK roster so someone else has to go.

      • THE hockey GOD

        @ mike , all I am saying it why is VGK silent on these waivers ? They let Brooks get by them again , with the Jets picking him up. I was not happy at all when they let Patrick Brown go.

        Nolan Patrick is hurt, doesn’t that count for something ? Isn’t he going to end up on IR , doesn’t that open up a spot ? you tell me.

  4. Mike StG

    I don’t know if anyone else gets the same sense that I do about what the team has become.

    They seem to me to be more an assemblage of skilled and talented players than a team. There are a few smaller groups within the whole that play like a team (like the Misfits), but as a team they appear to have lost their “soul” and their identity. And now even the Misfit line’s future appears to be in jeopardy.

    Too many trades, departures and additions. By driving so hard to win it all now by ‘upgrading talent’, they are no longer a cohesive team with a singular mission. The joy, the excitement in their game to play and win together is gone. It’s all business.

    Maybe it was the Fleury trade that drove the final nail in the coffin of the Vegas Golden Knights of 2017-2019. But it was likely happening before that, as with the trades of Nate Schmidt and even Paul Stastny. And it continues still, with the trading away of Tuch and Krebs.

    Was it an intolerant front office spoiled by the success of Year 1? Or the impatience of an Owner driving change to win it all sooner than later? We will never know for sure. But I don’t know how they get back whatever it is that they “lost”.

    • They can get it back, The road trip against top East teams was a good team effort. I don’t like to make excuses, but I do think they need to find the right lines and stick with them. First two lines look excellent. Obviously only Eichel’s second game, hopefully it continues to gel with Patch and Stevie. There does appear to be some kind of overall lack of cohesiveness going on right now. DeBoer is a smart guy. Hard to imagine him not addressing it.

      Sorry I’m not just totally pessimistic like a lot of you, and I attended the game last night. Quite discouraging.

      • Mike StG

        PP – I’m usually optimistic about the team, and I’m not concerned about a few losses, even 3 in a row. And my comments were not about whatever they ‘lost’ this season. It’s been a sense I’ve felt over the last 2 or 3 years.

        The character, the drive, the relentless pursuit has devolved into a matter of fact approach, perhaps overconfidence(?) in who and what they are as a team. Maybe it’s the ever increasing pressure of high or unrealistic expectations. I don’t know.

        Yes, they will win games and be in the playoffs for one or two rounds. But when you watch FLA, CAR or COL (even CGY now) – that sense you get when you watch them play – it’s no longer there with Vegas. And as I said before, it’s been a gradual decline over recent years. So, I don’t see how they get that back soon, or ever.

        • Pistol Pete

          Last year was pretty decent Mike. Nice work getting through MIN and COL to make the conference Finals. MTL
          is a bit of an enigma. Seems like the PP got worse and had more trouble scoring 5 on 5 at least more than the first two series. Fleury also seemed to be tapped out as well with the game 3 gaffe sealing his fate.

          I could post a summary of the inaugural year miracle:

          —Motivated owner did a good job of creating community interest. Was actually able to instill a West Point ethic and drafted around it.
          —Team latched onto the Oct. 1 tragedy and
          worked all season for the city and fans.
          —Hired the perfect GM for the moment.
          —Hired the perfect coach for the moment.
          To quote Gary Lawless in the film Valiant,
          “There was some genius in what Gallant
          deploying the roster in such an
          even manner using all 23 guys”. Gallant
          says “ the D is going to get the puck up
          to the forwards, we are going to play
          fast hockey”. And that is exactly what
          happened.
          —Players were mostly all castoffs with a
          chip on their shoulders. Same with
          McPhee and Gallant.
          —Vegas’ first major pro team. They won
          early and kept going for the city.

          It all worked and they made history as the most successful expansion team in sports history. Beginning season 2 reality set in though and it became apparent they would be unable to build on season 1 to win the Cup that season. Now they are just another team grinding away to go all the way. The magic of season 1 is gone. The hard work remains.

    • 100% spot on, all of it, every single detail. The state of this team is much much worse than I had originally thought at the beginning of the season or even a month ago. I still think it can be fixed but the team isn’t going to look much the same on the other end.

      I would have to get rid of Smith by the trade deadline just to get something for him. There isn’t any money to give him a pay raise next season and at this point he really doesn’t deserve it. If he is willing to stay with the team for the same salary then fine. That will at least keep the top two lines together next year.

      Patches, Eichel, Stone
      Smith, Karlsson, Marchy

      For line 3
      Cotter, Stephenson, Rondjberg

      For line 4
      Carrier, Lechy, Howden

      Kolesar and Patrick, sadly have to go along with Janmark and Dadanov

      Defense
      Petro, Martinez
      Whitecloud, McNabb
      Hutton, Korczak or Hayes

      Goaltending
      TBD – I don’t think Lehner is good enough to be a starter on this team.
      Backup: Brossoit or Thompson

      If you keep Lehner & Brossoit in goal then the total cap is under $79 million. But, this is what you get when you go biggie on cap on your top 2 lines.

      • Pistol Pete

        Like your ideas on the roster. No Theodore?
        I’m guessing an unintentional omission on your part. Theodore is close to the offensive output of Pietrangelo. At .59 career pts/game and the ice time he logs, he’s a tough act to follow. When you compare their first 5 years, Petro is a little ahead—Theodore currently .56 pts/game career. Pts/game does not tell the whole story. I want Theodore to stay until Petro retires.

    • Cassandra

      I couldn’t have said this better myself. The plain truth and identity of this team has been there for the last few seasons. They despite all the talent on the roster are just right now a bunch of mismatched parts hoping to fit.

      • Pistol Pete

        At least they still have time to make it all work together. A week from today vs. Avs here will be a test. Don’t see why they can’t pull it off.

        • Daryl

          Beating the Avs in a single game didn’t mean anything. Any team can beat any team in a single series. It doesn’t change anything. Maybe it could be the win to spark the team, but the win itself doesn’t mean anything

      • THE hockey GOD

        @ Cass , yeah they look worse than a picasso painting at 3 am, after a bottle of tequila .

        Foley must be having bloody stools by now.

    • Mike, I think the same. Starting with Nate Schmidt, we saw the start of dismantling the team. Nate was doing a good job. Stazny was also doing well, in my view. The guys were more cohesive, and TOGETHER as a team then. The debacle with the MAF trade was pretty disheartening to the fanbase, and there is no doubt many players felt the same. It was a major blow to the team, just as it was to fans. The result is this season’s play. I do feel the team has lost some identity and drive. And with injuries, like Tuck’s, he ended up traded as he recovered. With the cap crap threatening a lot of players’ security and futures, it’s no surprise the stresses are affecting their performance. Uncertainty sucks.
      I’m told this is Hockey…not pretty. It’s a business. But: is is GOOD business??

      • Julie

        If the ROI is DOA, there’s a business problem.

        Hoping it turns around.

        • Julie – you have a gift for words. There is a huge business problem and its referred to as reckless spending for a splash without substance.

          • Tim

            Is it really a surprise were floundering were trying to put a round peg in a square hole. There is zero chemistry and I guess you have to blame the coach for the style of play. I’ve told everyone all along we weren’t a Stanley cup team and now your all believers were just to slow and can’t put the puck in the net on a regular basis. We’ve also gotten old and patch, Martinez, and stone are breaking down. Overall just to many injuries to overcome. I’ll say management gave it a try but mistakes along the way cost them. When I think of the patch, Tatar, Lehner, Janmark how many first, second, and third round picks did we give up. Not signing Perron for 4 years at 4 million still sticks in my craw. Probably the stone and Stephenson trades were our shinning moments the Eichel for a first, second , tuch, and krebs The jury is still out on. Will we even make the playoffs will everyone be healthy at playoff and we surprise who knows but right now were not in a very good spot

          • This is pretty much exactly how I feel about the team as well.

      • BUT WE GOTS SIXTY POINTS! SIXTY!

        Does it matter that the team has no chemistry or identity?

        As long as we honor the fucking process and treat it like a business! Nothing else matters (Quotes from McCriminal and DeBoering).

    • Mike Sig – l have been posting the same thing in o e way or another for a long time which most refused to accept. The continued situation with who is next to go makes everyone individuals. The disparity dollars doesn’t help. A number of people continue to applaud an owner who wants to win and that’s fine but he can’t buy or develop a winning attitude team buy just taking g on every big buck player who co.es along. Team win champion ships not individual when it comes to hockey. It’s actually a very sad state of affair but they have no one to blame but themselves. I think you could say very reckless spending on their part. You have 4 guys making over 30 million dollars of cap space that’s insanity. This current bunch isn’t half the original team. What they lacked in talent was made up for with attitude and something to prove. Money can’t buy that.

    • Daryl

      I agree 100%

    • Blitz

      @Mike, good post. You are 100% correct on chemistry. I have seen it with the team and even felt it myself as a fan. I have repeated many times, it was the firing of Turk that was start of the “team” decline. Every trade after that has lead to even more of a decline. Every personally on the team is gone, other than Marchessault. MAF, Schmidt, Holden, etc gone. No more horsing around in press conferences etc. It is now cold business. I am a software engineer by trade and I have been on fun dev teams where every one likes each other and have a good boss and I have been on teams that are like the soviet union. I can tell you hand down the fun teams are more productive and the since of “we” keeps you focused and wanting to be at work. I am not really sure where VGK goes from here though. I guess the outcome of this season will be the great decider. I think a first round exit or heck even missing the playoffs and an implosion could happen.

  5. Mkgauron

    The simplistic answer to what is wrong. “The Bore” who is coaching. All numbers, no heart.

  6. Disappointing a more accurate description.

  7. Pistol Pete

    Broadly speaking I feel the negative emphasis on lack of team cohesion, identity etc. is being overdone here. This could be the beginning of a downslide to wildcard, not even making the playoffs or surely losing in round one, but too early to say. Last half dozen games, team is just not playing well, no captain, bringing in a new 1C. This is not a barrel of excuses, just reminding the fans that if the team begins to play well, fan sentiment will improve. I try to stay a bit more positive. I can find flaws in how they are playing but find it hard to believe the coach and team take a lessez faire attitude towards it like they don’t even want to win the Cup. I saw effort last night it’s just not clicking. In any case bashing the team does the fans no good. If you have money in season tickets like we do not, I can see it being a tougher ride.

    When fans are up in arms it’s a tough fire to put out, maybe impossible. Winning is the only solution.

    • Pistol Pete

      Laissez faire.

      • Mike StG

        PP – I know the history of the team. I was there for all of it. And I’m not saying the players or coaches aren’t trying or don’t care about winning. Of course they do. What I’m talking about is the lack of a bond among the players as a team. The type of unspoken bond that holds them accountable to each other for how they play.

        I don’t fault players or coaches. It’s more the natural result of constantly changing the roster with the impact that has on team chemistry and spirit. It’s understandable why the FO have made the moves they have, and their motives are admirable. But the fact is that 75% of the roster this year was not on the team that went to the cup final 3-1/2 yrs ago. And only a few of those 75% are “homegrown” prospects from within the organization.

        Maybe given a couple of seasons together they can become the unified cohesive group they once were. Their core group is signed for at least 3 or 4 more years, assuming they’re not jettisoned to further upgrade the team.

        Again, my comments have no relation to the current losing streak and are not about the last 2 or 3 or 8 weeks. It’s something I’ve sensed over the past few years. It doesn’t mean they won’t continue putting up a competitive team for years to come. But they do seem to be missing something they once possessed. And I wonder whether without regaining that this team will ever raise the cup.

        • I think Ken’s article on the line combinations comes at a good time. It’s not just more excuses (with all due respect R-R), it’s really true that they need stability an the time to gel. Eichel showcases the need and opportunity to set the lines and that is exactly what DeBoer will do. Think about it. Finally with a true 1C, they the depth at center, even with Stephenson as 1RW. I like Howden as 4C and when Stone returns, Stephenson goes to 3C moving Roy down to 4C.

          Now let’s see if Eichel can put in the net this road trip and come back here on Saturday and do what they are capable of against one of the top three teams in the league.

          • The big test will come next game against Colorado. VGK has two games to set these lines and get their helmets buckled on for the run to the playoffs.

    • Indeed, win the F’ing Cup and all is forgiven and forgotten and we all get drunk on fine Mead!

  8. Here is the edited version of the year one summary I posted above. One thing they could have done different was resigning Perron who is in his fourth season with STL and has been an impact player. Neal not as much. He had an extraordinary impact at crucial times early in the VGK season and then sort of fizzled. If one can assign responsibility to the coach, Gallant failed to build on season one. I have posted this before but it took all the way to game 26 of season two to go over 500. They finished 43-32-7 a scant 4 games over 500 (counting OTL as losses). This compared to season one 51-24-7 not even close. Season three, Gallant’s part of it was worse–game 49 (24-19-6) vs. game 49 season two (28-17-4). Gallant was just not able, given what he had in a roster, to build on the remarkable success of season one. He made it to the season two playoffs went up 3-1 vs. SJS in round one and blew it in game seven not calling a time-out. In came DeBoer and turned it around.

    Season one:

    —Motivated owner did a great job creating interest in the community as
    evidenced by season ticket sales.
    –Was able to instill the West Point culture in selecting players in the expansion
    draft perceived to be those who would take to heart that code of conduct.
    —Team latched onto the Oct. 1 tragedy and worked all season for the city and fans.
    —Hired the perfect GM for the moment.
    —Hired the perfect coach for the moment. To quote Gary Lawless in the film
    Valiant, “There was some genius in what Gallant did last season deploying the
    roster in such an evenhanded manner and using all 23 guys”. In a practice Gallant
    says “ the D is going to get the puck up to the forwards quick and we are going to
    play fast hockey”. Motivational, brilliant and exactly what they did all season.
    —Players were mostly castoffs with a chip on their shoulders. Same for McPhee
    and Gallant.
    —Vegas’ first major pro team. They won extraordinary support from the city’s
    fanbase all season long and never let up. For example Deryk Engelland would
    receive after game texts from people like the fire chief reminding him of how
    much the team “is lifting spirits around the city”. According to Karlsson “You
    could see the city was pumped”. It was infectious.

    • And PP must be getting paid to continue to defend the decisions that have led to the current lack of chemistry and identity. But, it’s all good.

      I will grant that you do see the positive side of things and continue to have more faith than many of us in those decisions. That’s why this forum works well for me. I do value your input, it actually helps to solidify my analysis, at least in my own head.

      Could things totally turn around and go on to a Cup for the VGK. Sure, it’s possible. But I am more likely to shit gold bricks. If the VGK does win the Cup don’t forget to remind me okay PP?

      • Pistol Pete

        I rewatched the first two periods after seeing the game live. I just don’t really see the lack of chemistry and identity you and others are claiming. Will watch the third period and get back to you if I see it lacking. I saw a hungry Kings team fighting hard for a playoff spot and a VGK team fighting hard for two points—this team always fights for the win. I attend the practices and see the work ethic and teamwork. The TNT guys during the COL game had the VGK pegged as a top team. Should VGK win on Saturday it will be interesting to see what the sentiment will be around here. Will let you know after viewing the OT again if the team just did not try hard enough to win as someone here claimed. That was not my impression at the game but I’ll take another honest look.

        Let’s root for Jack to net his first today. I’m pretty sure everyone will like that.

        • Pistol Pete

          Btw I was pretty impressed with Eichel in that his second game. Yes he was on the ice for one Kings goal (the naysayers would enjoy pointing that out lol) but he also was for two VGK goals getting the primary assist on one and setting up the events that led to the other. Apparently he’s know first as a setup guy but one who scores goals, a finisher.

        • Pistol Pete

          I will remind again, I don’t have bucks tied up in season tickets. If I did, these slumps might be harder to take and cloud the view moving forward.

    • Mike StG

      PP – a few things should be added to your narrative.

      Year 2 – Vegas spent the first 20 games without Nate Schmidt, their #1 defenseman, due to suspension. Patch & Stastny we’re brought in, but 2 or 3 games into the season Stastny was injured in Buffalo and didn’t play the next 30 games. (Ironically, it was Jack Eichel who fell on the back of his leg at the end of that game which caused the injury.). Haula also went down early in the season with a horrific knee injury. Mostly a result of the lack of a solid 2C, it took the better part of the season for Max to integrate into the offense. That accelerated at trade deadline when Stone arrived. That’s why Vegas started off slowly in Year 2 and never really challenged for 1st in the division.

      Year 3 – The slow start was partly due to Shea’s cancer earlier in the summer, and the fact he missed all of training camp. It was obvious that Vegas’s defense corp needed an upgrade, as they had also moved Colin Miller in the off-season. Which is why they added Marty at TD. And then pursued Petro in the off-season. Seems to me Gallant’s dismissal was more related to disagreements with GMKM about team play and strategy.

      So, it was more a confluence of bad breaks and injuries that dampened Years 2 and 3. I agree 100% with your comments about Perron. I was really disappointed they didn’t sign him. He was a beast on the wall with the puck and was very productive. I supported letting James Neal go to FA, as it was apparent he wanted a 5-yr deal and with his age and skating it didn’t make sense.

      As far as the “not a major” penalty, yes it might have helped to call a time out, but I think it was more a defensive lack of commitment and the fact that Bellemare was out injured and Eakin was ejected – their 2 best PK forwards. As for defense, I rewatched the whole 5 minutes carefully several times, and in all but 1 of those goals Engo was standing between the shooter and Fleury. He never went down to block any of them, as PEB was in the habit of doing even during the season. In fact, he ended up being a screen for the some of the shots, obscuring Fleury’s view.

      But with respect to this subject, I will stand by what I said earlier about cohesion. Interestingly, Granger posted an article in The Athletic this morning about that very issue and how it’s affecting the team now (as acknowledged by PDB recently). But my opinion is that there is something intangible also absent, and that it’s the natural result of the revolving door of player trades and acquisitions. That’s what I believe will take time (a year or more) to develop, assuming the team roster remains relatively stable.

      Meanwhile, we hope for the best and cheer our team on. At least the FO and Owner are willing to go to any length required to put the best team out there. And though I don’t think they’ll be cellar dwellers any time soon, they could end up being a team in the “mushy middle” if the long term contracts with NMC don’t produce as hoped.

      • Mike, thanks for filling in between the lines with those excellent details. You raise a number of good points. You are one of favorite contributors here—positivity balanced with reality. Let’s hope the VGK does not get to a point any time soon when there is nothing to be cheer about! All teams go through phases when they don’t make the postseason so fans need to perpare for it and remain supportive which will be tough for some.

        I had considered Schmidt but might have said his absence was used as an excuse by fans for the slow start, in fact I remember myself leaning on it at the time. Probably did provide some headwind although not really sure how much difference it should have made. Sure enough though when he returned things started to turn around. Maybe his absence affected team confidence?

        I probably can’t put as much of the season 2 and 3 shortcomings on Gallant as I do. Easy to say in hindsight like everything else. Do you think replacing him with DeBoer was the correct move?

        You make a good point on the team cohesion issue. When I see the hard work going in, my reaction tends to be easy to use that to rationalize the sporadic results but I will keep my mind open on it. You’re probably right in fact. Let’s hope stability in the roster can be achieved over the rest of the regular season.

      • Daryl

        My biggest issue with Gallant not calling To was the players on the ice were gassed. They were stuck out there for an extended period of time and after an ice, he should have called To. As for Engo or any other Dmen standing and not going down to block a shot, as someone who played defense, it’s not as simple as just going down for a block. When a Dmen goes down to make a block, he takes himself out of the play for rebounds or loose pucks. He also screens the goalie more. So depending on where other players are on the ice, you don’t always want your Dmen to go down to block pucks, especially on PK when you are already down a man.

        As for Gallant being fired, I do think it was more of a conflict between him and the FO more than it was for anything on ice

  9. I went for this afternoon’s open skate only to find it sold out on a Saturday. A lot of interest around the city in skating and the Golden Knights. We live fairly close to City National and it’s cool to be able to attend practices and even skate on the team’s practice ice. Very high quality btw, very hard.

    Does anyone else here skate?

    • PP, aren’t we one of the only teams that allow open-to-public practices?
      After the 2-year pandemic, when fans weren’t allowed, it is really fun to be there again. I think the guys enjoy the fans there, and they interact with us at times. I don’t get to the games, so I appreciate the chance to watch them at close range!

      • I did not know it was not common practice to open practices up to the public. Are they worried about people snooping and giving info to opponents? And it’s very cool to be able to actually skate on their practice ice. As I said the ice is super high quality, very hard. Not sure TMobile is quite as good–certainly more expensive to maintain good ice in a large warm weather arena.

    • Mike, inspired by your post I went ahead and subscribed to The Athletic so I can read Jesse Granger. He’s a good man, great VGK supporter–it’s his job, right? I’m on board with the cohesion that needs to develop from stability in the lineup. I think they have reached that point (have the lines set) although it will take time for Eichel to get acclimated. I think having Stephenson with Pacioretty and Eichel is the answer although they might try Dadonov up there again like with Eichel’s debut. The Misfits line is set in stone of–already chemistry there. Pacioretty and Eichel developing chemistry could be the key on that line whether RW is Stephenson or Dadonov, but stability on RW probably matters too.

      Hopefully this road trip will begin to see an improvement in the current slog. I assume DeBoer has discussed the cohesion issue with the roster. Here is what he’s had to say:

      “It seems like we’re bumping into each other, getting in each other’s way here right now a little bit,” coach Pete DeBoer said after practice Saturday. “I think it’s natural. I think we’ll work through it. It’s good that it’s happening now and not 30 games from now.”

      “I think what we’re going through is a little natural,” DeBoer said. “We’re putting some new guys back into the lineup. Our team game, we haven’t had the time to get it into the right spot, and I think you’re seeing a little bit of that.”

      “I think what we’re going through is a little natural,” DeBoer said. “We’re putting some new guys back into the lineup. Our team game, we haven’t had the time to get it into the right spot, and I think you’re seeing a little bit of that.”

      The naysayers might say this is indicative of Deboer doing nothing to right the ship but it’s hard to imagine him not getting proactive on it in the locker room.

  10. Mike StG

    Daryl,

    Gallant probably should have called a timeout so they could gather themselves mentally. There was no icing because it was a 5 minute PK. Also, every time SJ scored a goal they had the opportunity to send in fresh players for the FO at center ice. So, they weren’t gassed, but by the 2nd goal they were clearly rattled.

    I understand your comments about a Dman not going down to block a shot, but at least go down on one knee. Engo was screening Fleury anyway with where he was standing and as the puck was being shot he just squeezed his legs together almost as if he was trying to avoid getting hit by the puck. It’s all ancient history now, though. I just don’t think that’s all on Gallant, allowing 4 goals on a 5 minute major.

  11. Daryl

    You are right on the icing, I’m not sure what I was talking about. But it was either the 2nd or 3rd goal the players were out there for a very long time, and it was the same pairing from the previous goal so they were gassed. I remember the announcers commenting on how tired they looked at the end of the PP. Maybe it was just because some of them were old lol. I’m not using that as an excuse for the goals but more so that Gallany should have used a TO.

    As for Dmen (Engo in this case), they screen the goalie more when dropping to a knee which is why I said they will sometimes try to stand directly in front of the puck. You see it all the time, especially from Forwards. It’s easier for the goalie to look around a stationary player. And I’m not making excuses for Engo as I’m referring to all Dmen depending on where they are when the shot occurs . And I know you weren’t saying this, but Engo led the team in blocks so I doubt he didn’t go down because he was afraid of getting hit with the puck.

    I also agree with you that letting in all those goals was not on Gallant. It was a team disaster from the coach, to the players to the goalie, and in a small way, the officials as well.

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