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Cassidy Hoping Separating Eichel And Stone Will Bring More Balance To A Karlsson-less Lineup

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Being a coach in the NHL requires the ability to juggle. Not literally, though Bruce Cassidy has shown to be so good at the figurative kind it wouldn’t shock me if he could do it with balls or pucks as well.

This season for the Golden Knights there has been a constant struggle to remain healthy enough for long enough to keep a lineup intact from game to game. So, Cassidy has been forced to make a lot of decisions through his lineup to try and maximize the players he does have.

For the last 15 games, the same top line has been used and individually each of the three players has thrived. Since November 30th when Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, and Ivan Barbashev were put together they have combined for 19 goals and 50 points in 15 games. The team started hot with that group as the top line as well, going 7-1-1 in the first nine games.

But, the team has dropped five of the last six, all in regulation.

I look at them both as guys that drive lines. When they are on the same line it takes away from whatever line Stone comes from. You get extra with two drivers that seem to have really fed off one another but you are robbing Peter to pay Paul type of thing. -Cassidy

To make matters even more difficult, William Karlsson picked up an injury at the Winter Classic which will keep him out for each of the next two games. Cassidy says the loss of another key forward has essentially forced him to split apart Eichel and Stone.

We figured we may go back to (Stone with Stephenson and Eichel with Marchessault) and see if it balances us a little better. I consider Karlsson a driver of a line as well. We lose him in that sort of 3rd role so it’s going to be up to some younger guys to step up. -Cassidy

Balance was a key aspect of the Golden Knights’ success in the playoffs last year. They outscored opponents at 5-on-5 by 33 goals in 22 games. In the last nine games, with a more top-heavy lineup, Vegas is down 25-18 at 5-on-5

To turn things around, they need to get scoring from throughout the lineup rather than relying so much on the 1st line. Tomorrow against Florida will be the first look at a VGK lineup with Stone and Eichel on separate lines in over a month. It was a rough patch back then in late November that forced the move to put them together, now taking them back apart is the hopeful solution to get them out of the current skid.


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  1. ThG

    paging dr howard
    dr fine
    dr howard

    paging dr howard
    dr fine
    dr howard

    report to emergency ward

    Shades of two years ago !

    PS Biden is still the worst president of last forty years. You know it. We all know it. One train wreck after another after another.

    • TS

      Trump= most corrupt potus in history= prison-worthy. Hey, but who’s keeping track??

      • TS

        Epstein’s list, not to be confused with the Dean’s list: WHO is on his list of ” buddies”??? Hint: not Biden. Name rhymes with HUMP. Like minds hang together. Any ideas??

      • knights fan in minny

        stop it

  2. Richie-Rich

    There has to be some accountability. Very lazy play by many Golden Knights the past month or more. Pietrangelo caught out of position after forwards hustled deep into the Kraken zone and attempted a back pass to the blue line. He was lolly gagging behind and not hustling and that successful OZ opportunity was lost.

    There are other examples of his lazy play and others, but that one really stood out.

    This can be fixed. Sure, break Eichel and Stone up. Whatever.

    Accountability is the responsibility of every skater, forwards, defense and goalie. The narrative that they’ve played more games than other teams? Bullshit. That’s not what we are witnessing.

    “Play 60 minutes of hockey.” That’s not just a bumper sticker. It’s the way to win.

    Am I concerned about this team not making the playoffs or winning the division? No, I am not. They are clearly more talented than any team in the NHL if they play together and execute the game plan while supporting one another.

  3. Harriet

    We were winning with these lines:


  4. JB

    Wild Bill will be missed badly. Probably are most consistant player every game. Time to suck it up and play hard. If they don’t come out hard and fast vs Florida then I will become worried about their desire. I’ve never questioned that.

  5. Tim

    I’ve been watching the Juniors tournament lots of fun and get this exciting hockey something we don’t experience very often with the Knights. Tomorrow 6 am first semi finals, 8;30 am second semi final. Watching Canada get shellshocked the other day was priceless. Cassidy can shake the lines up all he wants we have a missing offensive piece and until they fix that don’t expect the scoring to miraculously tick upwards. Florida coming to town what will be the next excuse when they get smoked. Like I’ve said many times last year was totally amazing and if we nose dive this year so be it but by the Mother of God your professionals and at least give an effort.

    • JB

      We didn’t experience exciting hockey, the last month of the season and the playoffs, last year?

  6. Emmanuel

    They need a scoring LW.

    • knights fan in minny

      we know

    • Wayne Walters

      In my opinion goal tending could have been much better for the Knights over the past two weeks. Too many pucks carelessly through the 5 hole and Thompson’s got to protect the post and that top corner on the short side. As a player I can remember having less faith in my goal tender after several demoralizing cheap goals. That can become a mental distraction that can appear to some as laziness.

  7. JB

    I expect nothing less than a 100% effort tonight against Florida. We have to be fast. We have to be physical. We have to want it. No matter who is out of the lineup, it’s time for our boys to show they are determined to start playing like a championship team!

    • Michael C Robinson

      Needs to put the Karlsson line back together they were doing great then Karlsson was scoring and the other lines were doing fine, then he split the lines up and Karlsson stopped scoring, if he goes back to the original lines that should get them back on track

    • Jb – maybe your beginning to see the light. Happy new year and congratulations

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