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Everything That Was Said About Jonathan Marchessault At Locker Cleanup Day

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At the final media session for the year for the Golden Knights, everyone said the right things about pending UFA Jonathan Marchessault’s place within the organization. Now, it’s up to the team to take action to keep him here.

Here’s everything that was said about his situation from Marchessault himself, Bruce Cassidy, Kelly McCrimmon, and a bunch of his teammates.

I’ve done everything I can to stay here. I know I’m a big part of this organization and team and I’ve proven it along the years. I’m pretty confident. I would love to stay, it’s my home. I’ve been part of the group of guys that started this. It’s the most proud thing I’ve done in my life professionally for sure. I’m just happy to be a Golden Knight and I want to be one the rest of my life but that’s not necessarily in my control. It’s something my agent and Kelly are going to go through. I love it here, I want to stay here for sure, but we’ll see. -Jonathan Marchessault

I had a real good meeting with Marchy this morning. We talked with his representatives. Marchy is an original, he’s a core player, and he had a career year. So he’s done everything humanly possible to put himself in a good position. We really like the player and his value extends beyond what you see on the ice. He’s a really important leader and an important guy in our dressing room. There’s certainly a strong willingness from both sides to have real good discussions. That’s what we’re going to work on. With that said we’re not going to comment on the ongoing commentary of how it’s going or that type of thing, we’ll work diligently and see where we get to. -Kelly McCrimmon

I don’t know when it will happen. I talked to Kelly this morning and he wants me back, he likes me. And obviously the feeling is mutual. I love Vegas, I love my teammates, I love the organization, the coaching staff, all the staff working with us, they are family to me now. I could have had a rough season after doing everything we’ve done as a team and personally, but I had a good one still. So it just shows I left it all out there and things will happen I guess, we will see. -Marchessault

I love coaching Jonathan Marchessault. The progression we’ve made might be one of the best ones I’ve enjoyed from where we started to where we ended up. We started with how will we prepare for games, how will we practice, what do I need out of you, 200-foot player, what does he need, the back-and-forth, we’re both emotional. And then we win the Stanley Cup, he wins the Conn Smythe, he has a career year. For me, those are all rewarding things as a coach to see a player go through and you feel like you’ve done your small part as a coach when that happens. I enjoy my relationship with him talking honestly and openly. I love his energy around the room. He’s had great years as a Golden Knights. I can’t say enough good things about him. As a coach, you hope you can keep everybody together, him included. That’s between his party and Crim to try to get something done. I know the situation he’s in, we’ve got four or five of those guys. That’s my experience from day one til now. Love coaching the guy. Terrific guy for the room. When you see a relationship develop like that it’s nice. I’ve had it with other players where we become a little closer than some other guys, that you end up interacting with more for whatever reason. That’s how it went with Marchy. We’ll see how it leads. -Bruce Cassidy

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Above, Below, or Meeting Expectations: Far Too Many Golden Knights Fall Into The Wrong Category

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

The Golden Knights are defending Stanley Cup champions.

For the last 11 months here at we’ve used that sentence to start just about every article, literally every podcast, and everywhere else possible. Tonight might be the last time we get to use it.

That is unless the Golden Knights get improved performances from a bunch of players in Game 6 and 7.

Being the reigning champions, and bringing back a roster that is similar, if not improved on paper, means Vegas doesn’t need anyone to exceed expectations. Instead, they simply need everyone to play to their ability and they should once again be the best team in the NHL.

Through 5 games in this first round series against the Stars, that is not happening. More than half of the roster is falling short of their expectations, while just a few are exceeding them.

To illustrate this, I’ve broken the team down into those three categories, exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, or below expectations. For the Golden Knights to retain their title as defending Stanley Cup champions for even one more day, a bunch of players are going to have to take a step up from the category they’ve resided in currently in this series to at least one step higher.

**These are listed in order. For “exceeding,” first is the player most exceeding their expectation. For “meeting,” first is the player closest to exceeding, last is the player closest to below. For “below,” first is the player closest to meeting, last is the player below by the most.

Exceeding Expectations
Brayden McNabb, Logan Thompson, William Carrier

There’s a legitimate argument that Brayden McNabb has been VGK’s best player in this series. If you told me that was going to be the case coming in, I’d be certain the Golden Knights are behind in the series, and that’s exactly where they are. He’s been offensively involved and even better than his already high level defensively.

Thompson and Carrier are in a similar spot as both have been very good but their best moments have come in losing efforts so they get lost a bit. Thompson was out of control good in Game 3, but the team was so bad it didn’t end up making a difference. Carrier scored a wraparound goal on a wonderful individual effort, but the game-tying 1st period goal was the last Vegas scored.

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Ken’s Three VGK Stars Award

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After every game on our Game Recap, I select my Three VGK Stars of the game. Like they do in the building I award a 1st Star to the best player and 2nd and 3rd to the next best two. Where my rating differs is that I do not include opposing team players. Whether the Golden Knights win or lose, no matter the score, three Golden Knights are recognized every game, home and away.

Tonight, following the final regular season game of the year, the Golden Knights will hand out the “Three Stars” award to the player who received the most votes in three stars in all VGK home games. That player will receive a special engraved Tiffany trophy.

For winning the Ken’s Three VGK Stars award, the player will receive absolutely nothing. But, let’s dive into the results anyway.

This year’s Ken’s Three VGK Stars award winner is…

William Karlsson

Karlsson ran away with the competition receiving the 1st star on 11 separate occasions and was named among my three stars in 35 of his 69 games played this season. Not only did he win the overall title, but he accumulated the most 1sts, 2nds, and 3rds in my voting.

Here is the full table of results from this season’s games.

PlayerTotalAppearances1st Star2nd Star3rd Star
William Karlsson7035111311
Jack Eichel57271188
Jonathan Marchessault49228113
Mark Stone3920758
Ivan Barbashev3016385
Chandler Stephenson2812723
Nicolas Roy2010343
Adin Hill1910415
Michael Amadio189414
Shea Theodore1811155
Brayden McNabb159144
Alex Pietrangelo148143
Logan Thompson146321
Paul Cotter136231
William Carrier125230
Keegan Kolesar104301
Pavel Dorofeyev96114
Alec Martinez94211
Noah Hanifin74112
Ben Hutton63111
Brett Howden42101
Tomas Hertl42101
Brendan Brisson31100
Mason Morelli31100
Brayden Pachal31100
Zach Whitecloud32011
Kaedan Korczak22002
Anthony Mantha22002
Jonas Rondbjerg21010
Jiri Patera11001

Despite missing 19 games, Jack Eichel’s 10 1st star wins helped him claim the 2nd spot while Jonathan Marchessault who played all 82 came in 3rd with eight 1sts, 10 2nds, and three 3rds. Chandler Stephenson posted seven 1st stars in his just 12 total appearances.

25 different players were named 1st star of a game this season including Mason Morelli, Brayden Pachal, and Brendan Brisson.

Congratulations to William Karlsson for winning the most prestigious award a Golden Knight can win. Sorry there’s no prize Will.

Jack Eichel Is Playing Far More Than William Karlsson, That Must Change

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On every hockey team, there’s a hierarchy when it comes to time on ice. Every team has a top line that includes a #1 center, a workhorse defenseman, a first power play unit, and preferred penalty killers. This leads to an uneven, but expected, range of times on ice for each of the 18 skaters.

This year, Alex Pietrangelo leads all Golden Knights in time on ice, averaging 23:38 per game. Jack Eichel is the leader among the forwards at a healthy 20:33, nearly two minutes more than he played a year ago. Chandler Stephenson and William Karlsson lag by two and three minutes with Stephenson at 18:30 and Karlsson at 17:45. That distribution is normal for a team with three excellent centers.

Something peculiar has been happening recently though. In the 5 games before one Eichel was ejected from, Eichel has amassed 28 more minutes than Karlsson for an average of more than five and a half extra minutes per game.

Yesterday, I asked Bruce Cassidy for his preferred distribution between the centers and he replied that a five-minute difference is too much, and instead, it should be closer to two or three minutes. He continued to hypothesize that it could have to do with added power play time and extra shifts with the team trailing.

However, the numbers have not borne it out.

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Both VGK and Cassidy Have Historical Got The Job Done In The Final 13 Games Of The Year

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It might have gotten shaky towards the end of the game but last night’s 3-1 victory over the Kraken was vital for Vegas’ playoff push. Currently, the Golden Knights sit in the Western Conference’s final Wild Card spot with a four-point lead over the St. Louis Blues. With 13 games remaining, Vegas desperately needs to take advantage of lesser opponents like Seattle because competition will heavily pick up next week. After Saturday night’s non-conference contest with Columbus, VGK will only face teams from the West. Most believe they still have a chance. As a matter of fact, the Golden Knights will play 9 out of their final 13 games against playoff contenders.

If it was November, December, you have lots of time to work on it. But it’s March so we have less time and we have to get there quicker. But I’m positive about the direction of the team. -Bruce Cassidy

Fortunately, the Golden Knights and coach Bruce Cassidy have a track record of making a strong push to the finish line.

VGK’s Final 13 Games Year-By-Year

  • 2017-18: 6-5-2 (Stanley Cup Final)
  • 2018-19: 5-6-2 (1st Round)
  • 2019-20: 11-2-0* (Conference Finals)
  • 2020-21: 10-3-0 (Conference Finals)
  • 2021-22: 6-3-4 (Missed Playoffs)
  • 2022-23: 9-1-3 (Won Stanley Cup)
    *Season Interrupted

Unlike this season, last year after the All-Star break the Golden Knights were the best team in hockey. With Cassidy at the helm, odds suggest his players will begin to pick up the results they desire. Last night was a good example of Vegas winning games they are expected to. There’s another one of those tomorrow, but after that it gets tricky.

VGK’s Key Remaining Games

  • March 25th @ St. Louis
  • March 26th @ Nashville
  • March 28th @ Winnipeg
  • March 30th @ Minnesota
  • April 2nd vs. Vancouver
  • April 8th @ Vancouver
  • April 10th @ Edmonton
  • April 12th vs Minnesota
  • April 14th vs Colorado

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Return of 19-71-81 Yields Positive Dividends In First Appearance

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Sometimes the answer to the test is in clear sight.

Nothing has been more successful in the history of the Golden Knights than the line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith. While many have been clamoring for the return of Smith at the trade deadline, the man wearing his old number stepped into the spot on Saturday night and performed as well as he ever has in a VGK sweater.

Brendan Brisson recorded three shots on goal, drew a penalty, and was on the ice for one of Vegas’ two 5-on-5 goals in his first chance playing alongside Karlsson and Marchessault.

The line was consistently threatening, and Brisson fit seamlessly with two of Vegas’ biggest stars. They were on the ice for 12:01 and generated 10 scoring chances. In addition, they finished the game with more attempts, shots, expected goals, high-danger chances, and goals than their opponents.

He’s a smart player. He’s pretty dangerous once he gets the chance to be. I think he complimented us pretty good today. -William Karlsson

As a team at 5-on-5, the Golden Knights generated 2.29 expected goals against the Senators in Ottawa. The trio of Karlsson, Marchessault, and Brisson were directly responsible for 0.72 of them and they were on the ice for just short of 1.0. Thus, the familiar 19-71-81 line generated nearly half of Vegas’ expected goals while playing just 20% of available ice time.

Brisson has bounced around the Vegas lineup during his time in the NHL this year. He’s played in nine games and has been on eight different lines with eight separate linemates.

The last time Vegas played Toronto, Bruce Cassidy opted to play Brisson with Chandler Stephenson and Michael Amadio in an offensive-leaning third line while Karlsson and Marchessault were separated. This time, he’s almost certain to go back to 19-71-81 and hope the old magic continues anew.

William Karlsson Passed An Impossible Test, Keying The End Of The Oilers’ Streak

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Having not played a game in nearly five weeks, William Karlsson was tasked with one of the most difficult jobs in the NHL. Stop Connor McDavid.

Might as well throw me into the fire, or to the wolves, or whatever you guys say. Yeah, just right at it, so I better be on my toes. -William Karlsson

Playing alongside a makeshift line created specifically for this matchup, Karlsson, Michael Amadio, and Jonas Rondbjerg pulled it off.

I thought Karly did a great job against McDavid. He played against him not all the time but a lot of the time, and they did a really good job. You have to if you are going to beat Edmonton. You’ve got to keep him in check. He’s going to get his looks but all in all Karly did his job great. -Cassidy

In eight minutes of ice time against the league’s best player, Karlsson’s line allowed just three shots on goal while starting every shift either in the defensive or neutral zone. As Cassidy said, McDavid and Co. got their looks, they generated 12 shot attempts, four high-danger chances, and .56 expected goals, but when the game ended the Oilers had not recorded a single goal at even strength.

Karlsson shoulders the brunt of the load as the center, but his wingers deserve a ton of credit as well. Jonas Rondbjerg delivered his usual solid defensive outing while Michael Amadio has continued to insert himself among VGK’s most reliable players.

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