Coming into the season one item of Bruce Cassidy’s agenda with the Golden Knights was to try out a lineup that separated William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, and Jonathan Marchessault.
He opened up the preseason with each of the three of them on three different lines before quickly putting Marchessault back with Karlsson to start the real games. Then, at the end of the sixth game of the year, needing a goal to tie the Avalanche, he went back to it, reuniting the Misfit Line.
The chemistry was instant and it carried over to each of the next two games against Toronto and San Jose.
They’re good hockey players and they’ve played together a lot. Last night they were good against Toronto and they just didn’t capitalize, maybe made one extra pass. They know where each other are all over the ice. I’ve told them that when you get spread out against a team that’s pressing up on you all over the ice it’s tougher to have success. So they started supporting each other better. -Cassidy
The Misfit Line was on the ice for a goal against in the 2nd period in San Jose which consisted of multiple defensive zone turnovers from the trio. It turned into a bad change and eventually a breakaway goal that gave the Sharks the lead.
But, in the 3rd, the Misfits got back to work, dominating in the offensive zone on the Shea Theodore goal and then grabbing the game-winner on some Karlsson on Karlsson crime.
They’ve been overpassing a little bit. I was hoping (Karlsson) wouldn’t look for a pass and would just let it rip cause he can score. -Cassidy
They’ll likely draw a heavy defensive zone start role and often be asked to play against the opposing team’s top line. But, if they can keep producing, Cassidy likes the makeup of the less balanced lineup.
We’ve got two lines if they’re going offensively that can be really really dangerous. And then you get Phil tonight and Amadio chipping in the other night on the 3rd line. For a coach, it’s shaping up well if we can sort of keep that production going. -Cassidy
The strengths of the lineup have definitely shown through in the first two games together. It’s going to be about covering up the weaknesses though if it’s going to last.