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Results Aren’t Changing, So Something Else Must

Let’s try changes before it’s 3-0. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Following their latest nightmare of a road trip, all three trips have been now, the Golden Knights now sit at 3-8-0 on the road, 7-10-1 overall, and with a measly 15 points in the first 18 games. If you extrapolate those numbers over a full 82 game season, that’s 11-31-0 on the road, 32-46-4 overall, and 68 points. That is a disaster.

That is also why something has to change. Of course, the easiest change will be made available to the Golden Knights in two games, when Nate Schmidt is eligible to return from his suspension. It will almost certainly help, but relying on one player to completely turn the fortunes of a team around is like walking up to the craps table thinking you’re going to win rent for the month. It might happen, but realistically, it’s probably not.

Following the loss in Boston, reigning Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant responded to a question about swapping Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault mid-game with this answer.

If you are not winning you are going to try things. That’s what a coach’s job is supposed to be. So you try and get a little spark. -Gallant

However, the team has barely tried anything nearly a fourth of the way through the season. They’ve made one call-up from the AHL, they’ve made voluntary changes on just one line, and they’ve never swapped more than one defenseman if not dealing with an injury.

A minor switch was made on the power play, swapping Pacioretty and William Karlsson, and the Golden Knights scored on four consecutive attempts. That Pacioretty/Marchessault swap during the Boston game led to a goal from Marchessault’s new line. Change has shown to work, yet to start games, the Golden Knights appear afraid to do it.

From Game 1 to Game 18 in 2017-18, not a single forward line or defense pair remained the same. This year, Marchessault, Karlsson, Smith, Carrier, Bellemare, Reaves have all stayed together every game, and Colin Miller and Brayden McNabb have been partners in all but one game.

Tomas Hyka is the only player called up from the AHL who did not make the team out of training camp. Last year, Vadim Shipachyov, Alex Tuch, Shea Theodore, Max Lagace, and Oscar Dansk all got calls within the first 18 games. Of course, the circumstances are different with many of these, but the team was winning a year ago and still made changes, this year’s team is not.

There’s a famous saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Technically, that’s nowhere to be found in the actual definition of insanity, but the point of the saying is legitimate. The Golden Knights, night-in and night-out roll out a similar lineup and receive similar results.

The main reason is that for stretches of every game, they play well. In fact, pretty much every night they completely dominate a period, sometimes two. So, the thought is, if we can just get a little consistency, keeping it like it is will work. Unfortunately, it isn’t happening, and it would be insane (or whatever the word that actually means that saying) to expect it to suddenly begin to happen.

There are 1000 ways Gallant, or McPhee, could impart some change into the 2018-19 Golden Knights. Line changes, D-pair swaps, call-ups, surprise scratches, you name it, it should be considered an option. Simply sitting back and waiting for everything to correct itself is a losing strategy.

The Golden Knights have the reigning Coach of the Year and the reigning GM of the Year. They have the decision makers to get this right. Thus far, they’ve chosen to sit on their hands, and that decision hasn’t been right. It’s time to try something new, and I trust they’ll make the right choice, otherwise, I’m going to go the real definition of insane watching them continue to lose.

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22 Comments

  1. Keith Magnuson

    Good job on the Persicope last night. We’ll all just as “hungry” !!! as you for something to change, namely the score in our favor at the end of some games.

    And don’t bash Chicago so hard. It’s not all THAT bad a place to live…… sorta…… :-/

  2. Keith Magnuson

    Error?? What error. The only error I saw was the game last night. The topper was the double tripping towards the end. Just crazy what’s going on right now and a good shake up can’t hurt at this stage.

  3. Chips_n_beer

    I say bring in Anthony Cools in to hypnotize the whole team except for Reeves and Tuch. We need to bring them back to last years state of MIND !!!

  4. DGL

    Could be that it’s Monday but feeling Buyer’s Remorse on Patches but glad GMGM held fast on Sweet William’s contract!

  5. Thomas Simpson

    I think Patches will get going. He is finally looking healthy. It does take a bit of time to get acclimated, esp coming from being the C of the Habs. He has looked good the past few games. I expect him to finally settle on some linemates soon or at least one, which looks like Tuch. Once those two read each other it will happen. I also notice Patches doesn’t have to run into the boards as much and can snipe more now that Tuch is back.

    • Keith Magnuson

      I’d love to see more of the 9 shot effort like he had against Montreal. One or two per game isn’t cutting it……. makes me “hungry” to see the real Max Pac !

  6. I’m just tired of hearing the same comments from VGK and it’s staff. No more words. We need measurable, noticeable action from this point. Ken is absolutely right. Last year they had no expectations and no pressure to make mistakes. The result was astounding in all the changes in lines. Everyone wanted to play at 150% maybe because they didn’t know what line they would be placed on the next game. Now it seems opposite. Players appear to me to be complacent on their position knowing they still got their spot no matter the outcome. Need to keep hem on their toes and work for minutes and if that’s not the issue then at least you might find some new chemistry that didnt exist last year. Try baking something with a few different ingredients and tell me that it will taste he same. It won’t. We have good ingredients but we can’t bake last years cake with what we have.

  7. DGL

    It was interesting to read how the Hawks new coach decided to use the line blender for tonight’s game, almost every line including the defense was changed in order to spark something????? (So don’t bash Chicago, they are at least trying something – LOL)

  8. John munrojohn09@gmail.com

    STASTNY injury Blew Up the Beginning of the Year, Big-time.

  9. Bobby

    I started to follow from the first game last year and became an instant fan . The whole team chemistry really clicked from the beginning . And to tell you the truth , I really think that it was a bad idea not to keep David Peron and James Neal , the team doesn’t have the same spark as last year without them . But then , this is just my opinion .

    • Sandy

      Your opinion is spot on !! Neal is a winner and a motivation in the locker room and Perron has the passion !! McPhee was a fool not to keep that line together!! I said it the day it happened it would be a mistake !

      • Stephen Cupp

        If Neal is such a winner why was he a healthy scratch in Calgary the other night?

  10. Travis Bickle

    Loose for Hughes quickly approaching?

  11. Jordan

    I say leave the top line. It’s working so don’t change it.
    My change would be officially making the 4th line the new 2nd line. Giving Belley and his wrecking balls more ice time and a confidence boost.

  12. Sandy

    They need to call up Macek and Carr and Pirri and send down Hyka and lindberg .. there is your third line !! They are lighting up the boards in the AHL !! Macek is the leading goal scorer in the entire AHL league and Carr is right behind him !! And Pirri is a sniper center !!

  13. Sandy

    They need to call up Macek and Carr and Pirri and send down Hyka and lindberg .. there is your third line !! They are lighting up the boards in the AHL !! Macek is the leading goal scorer in the entire AHL league and Carr is right behind him !! And Pirri is a sniper center !!

  14. Alexander Bancroft

    Call up Macek he is the leading goal scorer in the AHL !! Send down Hyka and Lindberg call up Carr and Pirri and there is your third line !!!

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