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Golden Knights “Lack Power Play Shooter”

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

No matter what the Golden Knights have tried, the power play just is not getting better. With the postseason looming, it remains one of, if not the, biggest weakness for an otherwise fairly well-rounded team.

Since the All Star break, the Golden Knights power play has converted on just 14.3% of their opportunities. That’s 28th in the league, ahead of just Philadelphia, Winnipeg, St. Louis, and Chicago.

Our power play, I think we were in the zone a lot. We weren’t executing the last play. We lack that shooter to finish. So it’s something we’ve tried to create and tried to encourage. We need a little bit more of that mentality of shooting the puck on the power play. -Cassidy

Oddly, the Golden Knights actually aren’t bad at getting shot attempts on the power play. In the last 26 games (since February 1st), Vegas’s per 60 power play ranks are 10th in shots on goal, 9th in shot attempts, and 8th in non-blocked shot attempts.

For every 60 minutes of power play time, the Golden Knights average 104 shot attempts with 57 on goal. That’s 3.5 attempts and 1.9 on target per two-minute power play.

However they have been better. During VGK’s strongest power play run this season, most of the month of December, those numbers skyrocketed. VGK sat 1st in the league for a 14-game span in both shot attempts and shots on goal per 60, averaging 4.6 shot attempts and 2.9 on goal per power play opportunity.

Fair or not, many of the issues can be pointed directly at the team’s most expensive player. During the excellent power play span, Jack Eichel played just three games and recorded just one power play point (a secondary assist). The numbers with and without Eichel are stark.

with Eichel on the ice
Shot Attempts/60 – 84.8
Unblocked Attempts/60 – 85.5
Shots On Goal/60 – 57.8
Goals/60 – 5.9

without Eichel on the ice
Shot Attempts/60 – 90.5
Unblocked Attempts/60 – 89.3
Shots On Goal/60 – 71.1
Goals/60 – 9.7

Per, Eichel has the fewest individual scoring attempts of any forward with 9.1 per 60, compared to Reilly Smith’s 19.7 and Jonathan Marchessault’s 18.4. He’s also low on the list in rebounds created. Eichel’s shots have generated just 1.4 rebounds per 60 with Smith and Marchessault at 2.8 and 3.6.

It all points to Eichel being more of a distributor than a shooter, which could be the problem. But, him shooting more also hasn’t been the answer. Eichel boasts just a 4.88% shooting percentage on the power play, the 5th worst of any forward in the NHL that has played at least 150 power play minutes (147 qualify). And, he actually doesn’t shoot too much less than the others on his unit. He’s just five shots behind Smith and 10 back of Marchessault.

When Cassidy says “we lack that shooter to finish,” he’s essentially saying Eichel’s shooting is not getting the job done. Marchessault, Smith, Stone, and Stephenson all shoot over 13% on the power play.

On the other unit, the numbers are fairly similar for Phil Kessel. His shooting percentage is just 6.9% while he’s attempted the 7th most shot attempts and put the 5th most on goal (both highs for the players consistently on the 2nd unit).

There’s no easy fix, as the Golden Knights are not exactly overflowing with elite shooting options. So, if they want their power play to start hitting at a better rate, Eichel and Kessel need to significantly increase their shooting percentages, or stop shooting at all.


Goalie Interference – Season 2 Episode 27 – April 5th, 2023




  1. Jailbird

    The salary consideration aside, I like Jack, but get endlessly frustrated with his constant just skating around with the puck. If it leads to drawing defenders toward him fora nice pass to another then fine, but many times it doesn’t ? Big game tonight to get two of the six we need to wrap up title in west. Plus kings would basically be knocked out of that race! It’s up to us if we want this pac/WC title. We will play like it, if we do!

    • Pistol Pete

      Tonight though Dorofeyev will be on his line. It may take time to develop the chemistry but Eichel’s ability to hold onto the puck for extended zone time could be an excellent fit for Pav, a gifted stick handler who is always going to the slot and looking to shoot.

  2. Jailbird

    Also Ken, have you heard anything on Carrier? Haven’t heard much in quite a while. Thanks

  3. Tim

    Agree with above post Eichel pretty good player doesn’t shoot enough and I’m also tired with his controlling the puck going nowhere until they poke it away. We all know tonight is the game of the year. Could make the difference between first place and third place. We’ve been here before with not good results. Dallas playoff series couldn’t win a game we needed at home. Montreal series couldn’t win a must game at home. Tonight will be a must win game at home will they come through or get the apple and choke again. No excuses no bull-shit win or don’t ever tell me again some flimsy excuse of why we didn’t. This is money time.

    • Jailbird

      Tim, I think what you are saying and me too, we want to see the Knights act like and play like they want to win this thing. Play hard and lose then ok, but don’t put out the effort and lose, unacceptable ! I don’t think that will happen . I expect our boys to play hard the entire game tonight. Don’t let us down boys!

    • Richie-Rich

      This game is the biggest of the season. Sure, win 2 against Nashville and San Jose and we wouldn’t be here in this spot. But we are, and that makes this the biggest game of the season. We’ve got a game in hand on Edmonton and we cannot afford a loss here or even a tie. This is a MUST WIN game for the VGK. Edmonton has reeled in 12 points in their past 6 games and they’re intention is to win the Pacific and the Conference.

    • Pistol Pete

      Tim, Dorofeyev will be on Eichel’s line tonight. See my response to Jailbird above.

      • Tim

        Pistol Pete your a Dorofeyev believer and so am I. It says a lot putting him on the first line. Now he has to show he belongs there plain and simple. My surprise of the lineup is Teddy Blueger is a scratch. Tonight we’ll see if the Knights are contenders or pretenders. One last word do you notice all 18 posts are about hockey when the nut job doesn’t post. It’s refreshing for a change.

  4. Richie-Rich

    Very very few one timers on the power play. Cross ice passing is almost always caught and while the shooter is setting the puck and lining up the goaltender has already adjusted and is in place along with the defenders.

    Need a lot more one timer quick wrist shots on those set ups. A lot more.

  5. Bobby

    Crash the net, need ugly goals come playoff time. Screens, double screens, whatever it takes. The Dallas game will tell a lot as well. Jailbird has some great feedback.

  6. VGK Fan

    I know Martinez is not the same player he was a couple of years ago but I can remember many times he would come in on the second unit taking over for Patches and had was pretty good back then. I guess my question is why haven’t they put him back in on the power play.

    • Blitz

      I don’t think he took over for Patches on the power play. PDB ran two d man on the power play (Cassidy does not) and Martinez would slide up the backdoor into that spot and one-time it. So while he does have the ability to fire that shot, he probably isn’t the best at playing forward for all the other stuff he would be called upon to do during the PP.

      • THE hockey GOD

        he (no 23) wasn’t playing forward Blitz

        PDB used two d man on his PP, and no 23 posted up on far circle not only for
        VGK last year, he did the same thing for LA KINGS, where he won a Stanley Cup scoring a PP goal from that spot. I am sure no. 14, no2, or even no. 17 are capable of doing the same thing. The all have terrific slap shots. D man need slap shots, it’s a lost art for forwards in today’s game.

        butch uses only one, plays a diamond like system since day 1, so far it hasn’t worked. Time to change it up for the playoffs.

  7. Blitz

    There is a very real possibility that Vegas plays LA in round 1. Vegas DOESN’T want that to happen and need to win tonight. LA DOES wants that to happen, to avoid EDM, and need to win tonight. Both teams will be up for this game. Should be fireworks!

    One thing I really hate looking at the standings today is that there is a real chance the Flames squeak out the bottom wildcard spot over the Jets. I don’t like VGK vs CGY in round 1. Truthfully I would rather see VGK vs LA if that were the case. Calgary is under achieving this season and have the pieces needed to turn it up, plus they are so damn physical. Really hoping if Vegas can keep the #1 seed that the jets are the opponent.

    • Vic

      Agree. Even though the Jets have a stellar goalie, the VGK match up well against them. The other matchups will be rough, especially with the injuries.

    • TS

      Blitz, looks like we got our wish!

  8. Vic

    Eichel hasn’t had star linemates during his career. McDavid has partners, Crosby has or had partners, Ovi has partners, Stamkos has partners, Boston, NYR, Tor, all with duos and trios. Even Tuch has a partner. Eichel’s best partner is still out. On the VGK, Eichel’s partners have been Henderson kids, defensive minded guys, and Petro and Shea. While I wish Eichel would turn to the net more often, he does make many passes which don’t wind up in the net. He has performed well all over the ice this year in every situation. Of course teams scheme against him forcing him to stay on the outside. If he had a dancing partner, his point total would be worthy of his salary.

  9. Pistol Pete

    Of course I’m bullish on Dorofeyev’s potential on the power play. Based on today’s skate he’ll be on the top line with Eichel and Marchessault (second line will be Smith-Karlsson-Amadio). Hopefully Eichel’s ability to hold onto the puck will result in feeding Dorofeyev to shoot and score because he always go to the slot whenever he can and WILL shoot. If this results in consistently better shooting percentages on extended zone time for the top line, the movement should translate to the power play’s top unit that I project to be Eichel, Dorofeyev and Marchessault. I recall on his earlier call-up Dorofeyev had at least one one-timer that nearly made it it in. He’s got a good shot including a one-timer that will only get better and he WILL shoot whenever he can which could work very well with Eichel controlling the puck and setting him up. On the power play I would like to see Dorofeyev moving from the slot to the circle for a one-timer. Second unit could be Barbashev-Roy-Kessel.

  10. Sorvino

    Ivan Barbashev is typically a third line winger, and a very good one. He has been excellent playing on the top line with Eichel and I think we should be very happy with that. The promotion of the highly Dorofeyev is one that I am totally on board with a agree with. I just wish they had more regular season games to gel. This may not work this year and they may end up putting Barbashev right back up with a Eichel. But I see Dorofeyev’s, long-term future as Eichel’s left winger.

    I dream of a Dorofeyev – Eichel – Stone line.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    ever since no. 67 left, it has been pretty clear the VGK do not have a finisher.

    The last best cleaner, fixer, finisher was Winston Wolfe (harvey keitel) in pulp fiction,
    he was THE BOSS !

  12. Jose

    Not trying to complain about something minor, but I would rather have Teddy Blueger in the lineup rather than Brett Howden.

  13. TS

    I feel Carrier is the kind of player to fight like hell to get the puck in the net. The Warrior. He knows how to score game- changing goals, game-winning goals. He should be part of the PP, in my view. We sorely need him back soon!

  14. Jailbird

    No word on Carrier for quit some time. Don’t know if is going to make it back? Also, I like Howden grit and hustle.

  15. Arnold Rothstein

    VGK 1
    LA 0

  16. Arnold Rothstein

    LAK 0

  17. Arnold Rothstein

    VGK 3
    LAK 0

  18. Arnold Rothstein

    VGK 4
    LAK 0

  19. Arnold Rothstein

    LAK 0

    VGK 5

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