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New Interpretation Of Cross-Checking Could Help Golden Knights In Area They Struggle

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It seems like every year when the preseason rolls around the NHL has a different rule they want to hone in on. During the Golden Knights’ first season it was a focus on faceoff violations, a year later it was slashing, this year it’s cross-checking.

The league sent out a video showing their new interpretation of the rule, essentially indicating a renewed willingness to actually call the foul when it occurs.

Usually, these little tweaks are just something that players have to get used to and as the season goes on it becomes less and less of an issue. With this one though, if NHL refs do indeed follow through calling it the entire season, and into the playoffs, it could offer a real competitive advantage for the Golden Knights.

It’s going to be easier to get to the front of net for sure, so I think there are going to be more goals. I think it’s going to be tough for defensemen to find a solution but I think the biggest thing is going to be getting on our sticks to not allow tips. -Marchessault

Getting to the front of the net, and then succeeding when they get there, has been a thorn in the side of the Golden Knights. In playoff series against Vancouver, Dallas, Minnesota, and Montreal the area in front of goals has been a problem. Against Dallas and Montreal specifically, Vegas had a difficult time generating any traffic between the shooter and the goalie, which led to a lot of clean looks for Anton Khudobin and Carey Price.

Maybe, and this assumes the rule change is implemented and carried out over the course of an 82-game season and into the postseason, just maybe this could make life a little easier for forwards trying to get to the most dangerous area on the ice.

Well I’m probably going to take a few paddings off my shoulder pads. -Marchessault

On the other side of the ice, defensemen appear to be playing it down.

I don’t really think it changes much. Last time I checked you can’t violently cross-check somebody in the back. There’s certain things, they are looking at the force, but I don’t think unless you’re really angry or have a tendency to do that type of cross-check a lot, that it’ll change anything, so I’m not too concerned. -Martinez

Either way, the Golden Knights definitely seem interested in making sure they understand the new standard and have a focus on it in the preseason.

We talked to Steve (Kozari) about it. I think it’s just an emphasis the league wants to make. We got a good explanation from him, it’s nice sometimes talking to a referee who will be looking for it instead of just watching a video. -Martinez

In the first preseason game, it was called just once, against VGK defenseman Zack Hayes. After the game, DeBoer said he disagreed with the call but said as a whole the game seemed fairly called regarding the rule.

Heading into the game, he was concerned about how the change could affect his team on the defensive end.

It’s going to take some getting used to. Guys are used to around the net engaging offensive players and we’ve got some big guys, Whitecloud, Hague, McNabb, that do that on a regular basis. We’re going to have to make some adjustments. I don’t like to see (physical battles) overlegislated out of the game because I think it’s important, so we’ll see, the jury’s out on what that looks like. -DeBoer

Like any rule in hockey, there are two sides to the coin. A change that helps offense hurts defensemen, and vise versa. At face value, this appears to be one that could really assist the Golden Knights in an area they struggle, but they also finished last year with their names inscribed on the Jenning’s Trophy.

Time will tell which way it goes for VGK, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. With a team this close to winning the Cup, something this small could make all the difference.


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  1. Walt23

    it means that small dmen like Cormier, Quinn Hughes, Brannstrom etc are even more likely to get pushed around in front of their net, like Nate Schmidt was when Radulov owned him on that key playoff goal by Dallas

  2. Blitz

    Watered down bull shit. Next will be removal of checking, removal of fighting, throw a punch be kicked out of the game and suspended. Bunch of 150lbs softies out there out finessing each other, pretending they are hurt every time someone touches them (yeah i talking about you soccer). Might as well wear face cages and use a nerf puck.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ blitz lol, you got it.

    • Daryl

      Welcome to the new pu$$y league. It’s going to get to the point where you can’t even hit a player. I’ll end up stop watching hockey just like I have every other sport, but it will be for a different reason

  3. Tim

    You can change all the rules you want it won’t change the fact we can’t beat a good goalie in the playoffs. Yes I know Colorado but that was a fluke and won’t happen again. What happened in the Montreal series told me about the heart of this team led by our captain O-Fer the series. Good team playing in a rebuilding division is fine but when the moneys on the line don’t bet on the Knights. The last 3 years have proven that to be the case.

  4. Vic

    Bizarre how the league decides to single out one type of penalty after all these years. If this rule was enforced in the past, a d-man like Kevin Bieksa would have had no career at all. As I’ve said a few times, I wish they would go back to one ref and no replays. Rather have the human element instead of what we have today. Yes, even if some calls are missed, I prefer less ref interference. I don’t watch the NFL anymore, but I know they have almost ruined the game with ticky tac penalties. Older QBs watch a game today thinking how easy it is to have 3 TDs and 300 yards every week. NHL going in the same direction. Watered down BS.

    • Daryl

      Could you imagine Dan Marino playing in today’s NFL… All the records he broke back then he would shatter today

  5. vgk21

    any updates on Stone, Theodore, and McNabb?

    they all left the game last night.

    the coach said Stone was precautionary, but what about the other 2?

  6. vgk21

    latest Stanley Cup odds=

    Colo Avs +500

    Tampa +600

    VGK +750

    Knights play Avs tomorrow night

  7. sb

    This change won’t help the Knights one bit. It’ll result in more PP, for sure. But the PP is the one big issue holding the Knights back from being a real Cup contender. The VGK can add five more scoring Wingers, but without a playmaking, puckhandling, great passing Center who can win faceoffs, the PP won’t improve. Think: Datsyuk, Oates, Kopitar, a center who puts up 60 assists. What’s wrong with the PP? It doesn’t have a skilled Center quarterbacking it setting up a team loaded with scoring Wingers.

  8. Tim

    Stone, Theadore, and McNabb no problem I’d like to see some kids get a chance .

    • THE hockey GOD

      Brayden McNabb D, Vegas Golden Knights
      Brayden McNabb exited Sunday’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks early with an undisclosed injury.

      McNabb got tripped during his last shift of the game and did not return to the ice thereafter. It is unclear if an injury resulted from that incident or if the early departure was simply a precautionary measure. The Vegas Golden Knights have provided no further updates regarding his early exit as of current.
      Source: Jesse Granger on Twitter
      Sep 27, 2021, 1:00 AM ET
      Shea Theodore D, Vegas Golden Knights
      Shea Theodore exited Sunday’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks early.

      Theodore left the preseason matchup early with an undisclosed injury. This early exit could simply be a precautionary measure. There is no current update from the Golden Knights regarding his early departure.

      • vgk21

        here is today’s (Tues) latest update===

        The Vegas Golden Knights were missing Shea Theodore and Brayden McNabb at practice today, though neither one is considered seriously injured. Head coach Pete DeBoer told reporters that Theodore is day-to-day, while McNabb does not have any structural damage to his injured leg. Mark Stone, who was also dealing with a minor injury, was back at practice and “is going to be fine” according to DeBoer.

  9. Richard Santomauro

    I was very happy to see Patrick around the pipes and in front in game 1.

    I watched a rerun of the game and he consistently was where he was supposed to be. This is only going to get better as the season progresses, especially with this new rule in place.

    • vgk21

      Patrick is very subtle with his passes, all wrists, no arm swing. He is a very talented player, but he is not a flashy guy. He is what they need on the PP, a guy who will get in front of the goal. He needs to play aggressive though, he lost some of that when he had his concussion problems.

  10. THE hockey GOD

    well that didn’t take long

    Lukas Cormier D, Vegas Golden Knights
    Lukas Cormier has been assigned to Charlottetown of the QMJHL.

    Cormier, who had 16 goals and 54 points in 39 QMJHL games last season, was among the roster cuts by the Golden Knights on Monday. Marcus Kallionkieli (WHL – Brandon), Jakub Brabenec (Charlottetown – QMJHL), Jakub Demek (WHL – Edmonton), Kaleb Pearson (University of Prince Edward Island), Daniil Chayka (OHL – Guelph), Artur Cholach (OHL – Barrie), Jesper Vikman (WHL – Vancouver) were also sent to the junior teams

    • Richard Santomauro

      Cormier actually had a few bright spots in Sunday’s contest, but he was clearly not ready for the big time. It was great exposure and this young man has nothing but upside in front of him.

      Will we see Panda tonight, or will we see the backup?

      • THE hockey GOD

        yes he got better as game progressed, he is a young kid, he drew a couple of penalties. But he’s fighting the trend in NHL which is for bigger, faster d liners. But AVs have a smallish d man too, but you have to be outstanding, quick, fast, and strong on puck to last.

      • They didn’t want yo embarrasse walrus. So keep him hidden till they play someone they.think they can beat without much effort.

    • Interesting move. I assume they did this to give more playing time to others, but at the same time you have 7 preseason games and non-game-playing players are doing practice on off days. You would think letting him play in 2 or 3 could help his future development. I assume giving Zach Hayes and Kaedan Korczak more ice time is more beneficial. Maybe others, there is a good size list of d men. Just seems a littler early. Who knows, maybe he is dealing with an injury or the QMJHL team is needing him back for some reason.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    VGK crowd at game were 50% selfish jerks, they were told to wear masks and they brought them, and they didn’t wear them or wore them as chin diapers. Very poor sportsmanship and superspreader event. IF this keeps up the VGK will have no choice but to 1) send in Australian police brigade and start beating people up or 2) have a VAX mandate which would be constitutionally illegal and no one really wants.
    Terrible display and lack of consideration and decency by some of most stupid fans in entire world.

    • Daryl

      Considering science has proven the masks people are wearing are useless, which is why they turned around and said to wear 2 or 3 masks, what exactly is the point of wearing a mask??? And since you can get and pass covid even if you are fully vaccinated, wreaths the point of getting vaccinated?

      I’ll even throw this out there, there is scientific evidence that shows wearing a mask for hours is actually bad for your health.

      • Richard Santomauro

        Only the N95 mask provides protection. These cloth masks provide protection in the event someone spits or sneezes directly into your face. And then, the virus gets into your bloodstream through your eyes.

        Otherwise – useless.

  12. Richard Santomauro

    Bullshit. I was at the game and I didn’t see a single person without a mask on. Not one unless they were actively eating or drinking.

    Talk about a non-hockey post. This was it. Pure politics and pure BS.

    • THE hockey GOD

      maybe in your section, but not where I was at

      • Richard Santomauro

        So, there were 17,700 in attendance. 50% would be 8,850 ignoring the mask rule. There was no way there were that many. In my section (11) the attendant was up and down the aisles checking. I thought the people did a good job of monitoring and enforcing. I didn’t see any arguments or issues at all.

        Personally, I wear the mask even though I am vaccinated and do not believe the science supports that it adds any more protection. However, in venues like airports, casinos and stadiums like T-Mobile it does make sense. There’s more than COVID floating around out there. Where the hell did influenza go? Did COVID kill off the flu? Or………….the most obvious common sense answer to that question is …………fill in the blank.

        • THE hockey GOD

          exactly, towards end of game a lot of people were taking their masks off or wearing them as chin diapers (nose uncovered, which is useless).

        • THE hockey GOD

          ok Rich, it was my mistake, it was all those fans holding up large face cut outs of Ryan Reeves, my bad.

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