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Roy, Marchessault, Barbashev Making Case To Remain Together

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With Jack Eichel and William Karlsson out of the lineup, the Golden Knights knew they had to look to Nic Roy to fill some pretty massive shoes at center. The former 4th round pick has deputized up the lineup on multiple occasions, but rarely has he been asked to carry the load as a top-six center.

Bruce Cassidy opted for continuity in keeping Chandler Stephenson with Mark Stone, which meant Roy found himself between Jonathan Marchessault and Ivan Barbashev.

The line got off to a bit of a slow start, failing to score in each of their first two games together (Marchessault scored an empty netter with a different group), but the underlying numbers indicated good things to come. And starting with the home game against the New York Rangers, boy did they come.

In the last six games, the trio has combined for 13 goals, 31 points, and a +18 rating. All three of Roy, Marchessault, and Barbashev are on six-game point streaks and they’ve been on the ice for multiple goals in five of the six games.

The advanced metrics are strong as well. The line has posted a 52% Corsi, 54% shot share, and have outchanced their opponents 59-41 and 26-16 at high danger. These numbers easily outpace the team average and also outpace each player’s average this season.

Success like this will always breed two questions. First, will it continue, and second should they stay together when the injured players return?

Roy, Marchessault, and Barbashev have been on the ice for 10 goals for while just three against. However, their expected goal tally is just 5.4-4.5, indicating they’ve massively overproduced in the last eight games together. In addition, they currently boast a 111 PDO and are 9-0 in high-danger goals, both numbers that are almost guaranteed to regress.

That being said, there’s still enough positive data there to justify taking a look at how the lineup shakes out if they remain together.

It appears William Karlsson will return for the first game out of the break. If he goes right back into the center of the 3rd line, the lineup looks like this.

Barbashev-Roy-Marchessault
Dorofeyev-Stephenson-Stone
Cotter-Karlsson-Amadio
Rondbjerg-Howden-Kolesar

Karlsson, Cotter, and Amadio have played 14 games together this season and have performed reasonably well.

When Eichel gets back though, it gets a bit trickier. The simplest option is to shift Stephenson to the wing to play with Eichel and Stone, a line used twice this season.

Barbashev-Roy-Marchessault
Stephenson-Eichel-Stone
Dorofeyev-Karlsson-Amadio
Cotter-Howden-Kolesar

However, there’s an argument that the strength of the team is the four centers, so in a perfect world, it would be best to have Eichel, Stephenson, Karlsson, and Roy all in their natural positions. That forces one to the 4th line.

Barbashev-Roy-Marchessault
Dorofeyev-Eichel-Stone
Cotter-Karlsson-Amadio
Howden-Stephenson-Kolesar

Assuming everyone gets healthy and stays healthy, Cassidy will have some tough decisions to make. But, it’s always better to have too many options than not enough, and the Roy, Marchessault, Barbashev trio are certainly helping to make that the case.

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16 Comments

  1. Emmanuel

    In the 4 C scenario a VERY good player will be wasted C the 4th line.
    I propose a Roy-Eichel-Stone top line, strong 2 way play
    Which leaves a Dorofoyev – Stephenson – Marchessault scoring line and a Barbashev – Karlsson – Amadio checking line with some scoring punch. That would be a tough top 9 to beat at home.
    The 4th line can burn junk minutes.
    Bear in mind the 1st & 3rd lines will be good matchups against the Oilers.

  2. No….no….no….and NO!!!!…the strength of our team is the 4 centers as were used throughout the playoffs…the 4th line when healthy are not used for ‘junk minutes’…they are integral minutes as their forechecking helps wear down the other team on a nightly basis…additionally they provide energy almost every night as they start against the the top line of the opposition….Roy’s big body suits Kolesar and Carrier very well!!

    • knights fan in minny

      right on larry strong up the middle

    • Emmanuel

      The “wear down the other team” strategy is a myth, they are pro’s, you arent wearing them down in a 7 game series, and its very possible you lose the series and wear them down for the NEXT round against another team. This has actually been studies by analytics guys.

  3. Earl the Replanted Transplant

    Pav is out of the equation as far as I know, or did nobody else see the elbow to the head @ NYR? Anybody hear how the kid is doing?

  4. JB

    Listen, when we have Jack, Karly and all back, Butch will go back to our four centers as last year. Roy has done a great job but belongs with Will and Kolly, to make up the best fourth line in the league.

  5. Pistol Pete

    If Roy can stay north of .60 pts/game (where he is now) we can begin looking at him a top two C imo. This is new territory for him .Can he stay there? It’s great to see him stepping up with Eichel out. He may just be capable of maintaining an elevated role.

  6. Pistol Pete

    I do though agree with the sentiment expressed above that Carrier-Roy-Kolesar needs to stay together. It’s possible Roy is experiencing growth that will translate to additional offensive production on that fourth line hopefully. As I see it Nic Roy at .63 pts/game is all good even if he may need Barbashev and Marchessault to maintain that pace.

  7. Ummmm…did you happen to see a certain Game 5 last spring….where a certain team simply wore out the other team to essentially wave the white flag…analytics led to a certain Chargers coach to go for it on 4th and half a foot on his own 25 yard line…sheer genius if you ask me!!!

  8. Duckboy

    As long as we all agree we never want to see the Fraise Kolesar and ronbierg line ever again.

    Had to be the worst line in knights history.

  9. ThG

    filler article, speaking of which

    EAGLE PASS, TX — National guardsmen tasked with protecting the southern U.S. border received some much-needed reinforcement today as Mike Lindell arrived in Texas to build a MyPillow border wall.

    The pillow mogul, left with millions of units in unsold inventory due to being boycotted by mainstream retail outlets, vowed to put his pillows to good use by constructing an impenetrable but luxuriously soft barrier to prevent illegal migrants from entering the country.

    “The most comfortable border wall you’ll ever have or your money back!” Lindell was heard shouting as he ordered construction crews to begin assembling a massive column of foam chunk-filled pillows. “The deep state and their corporate allies thought they could put me out of business by refusing to sell my product? The joke’s on them! Years of pillow fort development will now result in a wall along the southern border that cannot be breached. It’s the Kraken of border barriers. And, best of all, the entire border wall is machine washable and made in the USA.”

    Experts believed this latest development would only serve to intensify the already strained standoff between the state of Texas and the Federal Government. “This is a clear escalation of the conflict,” said one White House insider. “Things were already tense between the administration and Texas, but involving a known threat to democracy like Mike Lindell will only bring us closer to open hostilities.”

    At publishing time, sources at the border reported seeing thousands of migrants lying fast asleep up against the Mexico side of the My Pillow border wall, likely getting the best sleep of their lives.

    NOT SATIRE: Help stop the madness and support myPillow’s efforts to battle the left!
    above article from babylon bee

  10. JB

    That’s about all this idiots products are good for! Ha ha

  11. Cedric

    I’ll be a gangsta ’til I die
    And when I do, tie my rag to a bird and let it fly
    And slap balls, brotha, play by my house rules
    And I better be buried in house shoes
    Creased khaki suit and some rocks
    So when I get to heaven, I got work in my socks
    ‘Cause when I’m gone, I still want my paper right
    I’m a pound Pastor Scott with my ten inch anaconda, and tell her who dad is.
    Only brotha making snaps in the afterlife

  12. Mike

    I skimmed through most comments. There is a couple truths to our team. 1 our defense is big, they block a lot of shots and they are the best core 6 in the league. 2 our goalie tandem is also top of the league. Hill playing better this year when playing but LT is fully capable of being THE goalie. 3 our offense can shut down the best of the best majority of the games and still put up goals. They won the cup this way. Stone is one of the best players in the game, I hate the term “hockey IQ” it’s a dumb term. But he can read plays ahead of time. He’s just to slow to play with Eichle. Eichle is not great on face offs but he is one of the best 200 foot forwards in the game. Karlsson is probably the best defensive forward in the game, he made McDavid look dumb in the playoffs. So back to my opinion/point. Stone and Eichle need to be on different lines, used in different situations as their styles don’t line up. Eichle needs a twin, one that can score. Eichle and Marchy are a match made in heaven. Or at least they were until Eichle was told that he needs to shoot more. Let eichle fly up and down both ends, he’s great at it. Let him fly into the offensive zone and set up the big goals. This was done in the playoffs. Barbie needs to be on a grind line through the regular season. Playoffs come, put that bull on the top line and let him put fear into the opposite team (Gudas). Cassidy has nailed every situation thrown at him, even if there are a few loses involved. My opinion, let him decide the lines now when times are tough. When times are good, let him decide what the lines should be. He’s the best acquisition Vegas could have dreamed of. The rest just buy into his system and put it to work.

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