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Same Teams, Different Depth

The names, logos, and jerseys of the team are the same, but if the Golden Knights want to defeat the Dallas Stars once again in the postseason this year they are going to have to do it against a much different team.

Of course, both Vegas and Dallas have many of the same pivotal pieces to the lineup. From Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, and Alex Pietrangelo in gold to Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Miro Heiskanen in green the guys that drive the bus remain. As you peer down each lineup though, there are significant differences, that will likely determine the outcome of the series.

Vegas showed they were a deeper team than everybody in the league last year. Everyone they went through I thought their depth decided the series. You could point to a technical thing here or a technical thing there but that’s the reality. And the times I’ve lost in the Conference Final, every time it’s been to a deeper team. I think we’ve rectified that and we’re on a much more level playing field this year. -Pete DeBoer, DAL head coach

Dallas has taken strides in bolstering their lineup both by adding veterans via trade and free agency and by getting much larger contributions from younger players in the lineup.

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas

At the trade deadline, GM Jim Nill acquired Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames which has gone a long way to balancing a defense unit that struggled with the powerful Golden Knights a year ago. Tanev slots in on the 2nd pair with fellow defense-first defenseman Esa Lindell to make as strong a pair defensively as you’ll find in the NHL. Couple that with 22-year-old Thomas Harley advancing his role from a 15-minute-a-night sheltered defenseman to a 22-minute per-night bonafide 1B to Heiskanen and the Stars look much more well-rounded on the back end. Still though, admittedly, not quite to the level of their opponents in this series.

I don’t think anyone can compete with Vegas’ defense, depth-wise. That’s something pretty special. But everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and we might have better depth other places. -DeBoer, DAL coach

The “other places” he’s referencing is his re-made group of forwards. Robertson, Hintz, and Joe Pavelski still make up Dallas’ excellent top line, but the acquisitions of Matt Duchene, Sam Steel, and Craig Smith and the advancement in the games of Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven has the Stars feeling much more confident in their ability to match Vegas’ strong four lines.

We’re a better team because of our depth. 12 months ago we were described as a one-line team and essentially we probably were. I don’t think anyone is using that adjective anymore. -DeBoer, DAL coach

The Stars finished the regular season with a +64 goal differential, 41 goals better than the Golden Knights. They ranked 3rd in offense behind just the Avalanche and Maple Leafs, and 8th in defense allowing 2.83 goals per game.

Real balanced hockey team, had a great regular season, healthy and have been healthy most of the year and continue to be. There are sets of challenges because they have great depth. They’ve added some young players and added a D at the deadline that helps them. We’re going to have to be at our best to win. -Bruce Cassidy

Game 1 is tonight at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The names and faces on the marquees will get most of the headlines before the series starts, but be certain, once it does, it’ll be the rest of the lineups that really determine whether this year will be any different than last.

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15 Comments

  1. arnold rothstein

    vgk have essentially five to six new players entering the lineup and looks like they are going to sit amadio, cotter, doro, and one d man (marty or whitecloud? Although whitey and hague were paired in recent practice)

    entering lineup in recent weeks hannafin, mantha, carrier, petro, stone, hertl. All veteran players, will they jell in time. I expect Stone and Petro to be sucking air , timing to be off a bit. Others are still “learning the system”.

    Arnold the Brain
    wager responsibly.

  2. ThG

    Everyone is here for morning skate in DAL prior to Game 1.

    Barbashev-Eichel-Marchessault
    Stephenson-Hertl-Stone
    Howden-Karlsson-Mantha
    Carrier-Roy-Kolesar

    Hanifin-Pietrangelo
    McNabb-Theodore
    Hague-Whitecloud

    Thompson and Hill

    PS according to biden his uncle was eaten by cannibals, so Genocide Joe, who ate your brain ?

    • ThG

      what is genocide joe’s plan to quickly end all his endless wars started on his watch? I asked this question a year ago. They have no plan do they, except to bankrupt USA further. Biden’s spend more money , faster, including interest on debt than any other pResident in history. Including obama and Trump and Bush combined.

      • knights fan in minny

        the cannibals will get money next

      • Tyler Durden

        Dumbfuck, “veggie” Joe outsmarted you dumbmotherfuckers again. How stupid are you fuckers.
        Oh and Fuck mark stone and the annual cap circumvention

        And I can pop in anytime I want you fucking commies

    • knights fan in minny

      look out for cannibals veggie joe ooga booga

    • Emmanuel

      Howden over Doro….uggghhhhhh. Maybe its the lack of confidence in the 3rd pair?

  3. Vic

    A few things noted in this past weekend’s games….
    *ESPN coverage not good. Annoying use of female chatterboxes as analysts no surprise. Why not let the females work female games? Tonight we get the local broadcast so we can hear Dave with his endless recitation of useless stats.
    *Refs mostly let the players play, which means lots of bruises coming.
    *Refs and linesmen seemed to be getting in the way of play more lately. Need to see some places added back in to rinks whereby the refs can jump up there to get their feet out of the way. Even better….go back to one ref.
    *2 Cups in 7.

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