Through three games the Golden Knights power play is averaging one goal per contest. A success rate that Vegas fans haven’t seen in several seasons. While it’s premature to celebrate, it’s better than shouting obscenities after failed man-advantages like fans had been used to.
You are running through different people including the more accomplished offensive defensemen here, so you may see more action from there. -Bruce Cassidy
We explained in-depth, VGK’s new look power play under coach Bruce Cassidy. One element of the strategy was getting everyone on the ice involved. The Golden Knights have three PP goals and all were scored by a different player. Not only that, seven separate players have a PP point. It’s been a cast of characters contributing on 5-on-4 situations.
VGK Power Play Points
Nic Roy (2 Assists)
Alex Pietrangelo (2 Assists)
William Karlsson (Goal)
Jonathan Marchessault (Goal)
Reilly Smith (Goal)
Jack Eichel (Assist)
Mark Stone (Assist)
Both of Cassidy’s power play units have had success, creating game-tying and go-ahead goals. Against LA, William Karlsson evened the score 3-3 midway through the 3rd period. Up in Seattle, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly stretched Vegas’ lead on man-advantage opportunities.
Another sign Cassidy’s directions are quickly catching on is the variety of ways each power play goal has been scored. Karlsson’s PPG was a deflection from a superb Alex Pietrangelo shot-pass. The sequence began with Karlsson winning the faceoff and ended with Pietrangelo using his offensive creativity.
Get pucks to the net from very close to the net so you are getting second chance goals. I think we have the guys with the IQ to play in there.- Bruce Cassidy
The two power play goals in Seattle were shot from opposite sides of the net and were assisted by different players. Nic Roy served a perfect cross-crease pass off the rush to Marchessault in the opening period and Smith flipped a loose puck past Martin Jones in the 2nd frame. Two types of goals with six players collecting an individual point.
There has been one challenge that has continued for the Golden Knights, and that’s entries. VGK have struggled to get into the zone consistently on the power play despite their early success and it’s killed off a few of them on its own. Cassidy says there’s a simple way around that.
Faceoffs. We’re winning more now than we were on Opening Night. -Cassidy
Vegas went 5 for 6 in the circle against Seattle on the power play. They went 4 of 7 against the Kings and 5 of 8 vs. Chicago.
That being said, winning the puck in the offensive zone is only half the battle, they’ve been better afterward too.
I think moving the puck a little crisper and identifying our outlets has certainly helped. It’s always typically about execution on the power play. When you have top-end skill and you execute well, it’ll usually go well. -Cassidy
Considering the best unit (Toronto) in the league last season scored 27% on power play opportunities, Vegas’ 25% will likely drop over the 82-game schedule.
However, if Vegas can maintain 20-25% success rate by season’s end, we’re looking at a team not only qualifying for the postseason but fighting for a top spot in the Pacific Division.