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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 ST. LOUIS BLUES 3 (17-5-5, 39 PTS)

Recap:  The Golden Knights were looking for some payback in St. Louis after losing on Monday to the Blues in overtime. Vegas jumped out ahead 8:03 into the game with Zach Whitecloud’s first goal of 2023-24. A minute later, St. Louis woke up and scored the next three goals of the period. After 20 minutes the home team held a 3-1 advantage.

Midway through the middle frame VGK center Jack Eichel scored his 12th of the season to make it a one-goal game. From there the reigning champions tilted the ice for the rest of the period. Jonathan Marchessault evened the score, Keegan Kolesar gave Vegas the lead and Michael Amadio extended it. The Golden Knights carried a 5-3 edge into the second intermission.

Vegas was awarded four power plays in the final four and registered an astounding 18 man-advantage shots on net. Additionally, William Karlsson scored an empty net towards the end of the game. The Stanley Cup champions fought off a few late chances by St. Louis but finished off the home team by three goals.

The Golden Knights record improves to 17-5-5 defeating the Blues 6-3 in St. Louis. Vegas will travel to Dallas for a Saturday afternoon matchup against the Stars. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a very slow start with the Golden Knights struggling all over the ice in the 1st, but boy did they turn it on in the 2nd. Their second four goal period of the season turned the game around and seemed to break the Blues who quit playing hockey and started taking penalties in the 3rd. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

  • A tutorial on how to find cool hockey stats (Friday)

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Mark Stone
* Jack Eichel

 

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45 Comments

  1. alex

    You better score 6 goals with Thompson in the net…he is a minor leaguer at best…

  2. Pistol Pete

    Five unanswered goals including the second four goal period of the season.

    PP: 2/8 = 25%
    PK: 3/3 = 100%

    After a rough start LT recovers to go 27/30 = .900

    Did Cotter actually land a shot? Guess he did.

    Enough of Cotter-Karlsson-Marchy already. This season’s weak link.

    • Emmanuel

      Who takes Cotters slot? Thats why I say they need a scoring LW.

      • Pistol Pete

        Career:

        Dorofeyev: 8 G/4 A (+5) 14 pts/34 games = .44 pts/game
        Cotter: 18 G/10 A (-7) 28 pts/89 games= .31 pts/game

        Cotter hits more though not necessarily stronger on the puck or more in the play.

        Dorofeyev came in last season and in 10 games got 7 G/2 A playing RW with Smith and Karlsson. Cassidy was positive: “he shoots” and “he is handling his defensive assignments”.

        Cotter is signed through 2025-26 @ $775k. That provides incentive to develop him into a player who can play up in the lineup on a value contract. He could also become attractive as a trade piece.

        Dorofeyev is signed through just this season @ $825,000. My impression is his agent would not consider more than a single season for that price due to the upside he believes his player has based on his 7 G/2 A for the final 15 game stretch last season (9 pts/15 games = .60 pts/game) and his AHL stats.

        I believe Cassidy considers Dorofeyev a more talented playmaker and scorer but it’s not just a matter of that in determining who plays at this point. Cotter has a longer term value contract than Dorofeyev and it’s critical to establish how Cotter’s skill and results fit with that contract. It would be great if Cotter can play up and elevate his play like Amadio and go north of half a point a game. That is possible but it will take time. He’s nowhere near that as of now.

        2023-24:

        Amadio: 5 G/10 A (+11) 15 pts/27 games = .56 pts/game
        Cotter: 3 G/5 A (-3) 8 pts/27 games = .30 pts/game

        Note Amadio’s way higher +/- which approximates defensive effectiveness.

  3. Pistol Pete

    I do believe with Whitey’s goal that every player on the roster has scored.

    Is the Nabber the Nabber or what? First 27 games: 1 G/8 A (+10)

    • TS

      I thought Mcnabb had a terrific game. Should been one of the stars tonight!
      Slow srarts seem to define this year’s team, but a great comeback for the Dads to talk about!

  4. Pistol Pete

    Jack is the odds on favorite to break Karlsson’s 78 point record. He’s on pace for 91.

  5. Vic

    Good that the Blues didn’t score first. Anyway, the boys aimed high and scored, and had net front presence. Also, Eichel playing chess while the others play checkers (just about every night).

  6. Richie-Rich

    I am correcting Ken’s 3 Stars:

    Whitecloud ***
    Kolesar**
    Karlsson* (beautiful between the legs pass to Marchy)

    The team came out flat and the Blues jumped all over them. The final 40 minutes was much better. Something happened in that locker room between the 1st and 2nd. They came out lit!

    Thompson or Patera on Saturday?

    Frustration continues for Barbashev and Cotter.

    • Pistol Pete

      Especially Cotter. If he can’t prove himself worth of playing Karlsson and Marchy Cassidy will be able to say he gave him lot of games to do it.

    • ThG

      49 made up for his give aways later in the game

      cotter? I don’t know, maybe shotgun sam has some more
      to post about cotter to get him going? I believe coach
      double shifted no. 81 on his line in this game.

  7. knights fan in minny

    good come back win after sleep walking in the first what a great pass from wild bill to marchy for the pp goal

  8. JB

    A golden explosion! Could have been 10-3. Now come those Stars again on Saturday. Will be a tuff game as usual . Nice win tonight. Way to go boys!

  9. Another back-to-back coming up…12 in all this year…while the Oilers and Kings play a nice leisurely 2 games a week right now…of course will eventually catch up to them as well…LT will start against the Stars and Patera will be in net on Sunday against the Sharks….Stephenson looked slightly more engaged last night..the sooner he can return to what he has been the last 2-3 years the so much better will the offense be driven…if in fact he still can??

  10. Henderson Knights

    followup to my post 2 days ago….all 5 goals except the empty netter were upper half of the net. It is not a “hot goalie” problem, it is a shooting location problem.

    when they go upstairs, they go in more often, and win more games.

    the Dads lifted their spirits, and lifted their shots too.

  11. Foley Toffoli

    Blues goal #1 bad turnover in neutral zone by Barbashev, and goal #3 terrible weak, meek defense by Whitecloud. He just walked right inside on him.

    if they do that to Patera, it will be lights out.

    • ThG

      yeah Foley, the Blues broadcast zeroed in on Whitey for a long time after he was doing an ice capades move at the blue line as he was looking to the rafters, while the local broadcast didn’t show him at all.

    • knights fan in minny

      koryu undressed cloudy it happens zach is pretty steady d man

  12. Bobby

    CBS Sports headline: “Marchessault, Eichel lift Golden Knights to 6-3 win over Bues” I agree, great win over the Bues. Maybe pay a kid $8 hr to proofread?

  13. ThG

    Neg. A. Tive Nilly ‘This team sucks”
    Poor Boy Rich Dad ” We need a power forward”.
    Louie the Lip ” the FO is terrible”
    Foot N. Mout ” Our goalie needs new skates and new
    helmet design”
    Mrs. Crone A. LOT “waa waaa waa can you tawk about hockey and
    the game for once?”
    Shotgun Sam” When we going to bring up Sergie Crashov and
    Billy BoneCrusher from the minors ?”
    Henderson Hoe ” rah rah rah, blah blah blah, Go Knights Go”
    Bishop TD Jakes ” Mark Chapter 1 , 9 to 13 a message of hope and salvation for this Christmas season”

    • TS

      Wow. Again, fan- ridicule PLUS Religion, all in one breath!! What virtuous, Godly behavior! God must be soooo proud!

  14. Frank

    See, no worries in the goal scoring department… worked out just fine. A little nervous times from the first period, but the boys thoroughly dominated periods two and three for a convinicing win. Bring on the Stars!

  15. Pistol Pete

    I must return to the matter or replacing Reilly Smith. So far they have been doing fine without him but at some point does it catch up and what about the playoffs? There is no escaping that fact that a roster without Smith or a reasonable replacement is not the same one that won the Cup. Eichel has picked up all or part of Smith’s PK but Cotter is not coming close on the offense or defense.

    Smith 2022-23:

    Regular season: 26 G/30 A (+11) 56 pts/78 games = .72 pts/game
    Playoffs: 4 G/10 A (+9) 14 pts/22 games = .64 pts/game

    If Cotter or Dorofeyev can’t step up and get at leasf 2/3 of Smith’s points in the regular season, McCrimmon will have to do something at the trade deadline and he could use Cotter, Dorofeyev, Denisenko or Brisson as pieces to do get it done. It could be a $3-4m player which would be more than what he has if Cotter and Dorofeyev can’t step up.

    For anyone interested I posted to Emmanuel above my latest version of Cotter and Dorofetyev. I have become convinced the much longer term of Cotter’s value contract is why Cassidy is playing him as much as he can. So far it has not negatively impacted the team’s ability to win. It could as the season wears on.

    • Richie-Rich

      PP – It’s much worse than simply replacing Smith. Barbashev is not playing as well as he did in the Cup playoffs. I don’t even have to go look at the numbers, Cotter is not form fit replacement for Smith. You could make the case that he is Carrier 2.0, but not even close to Smith.

      Dorofeyev’s last 5 games, 0G, 0A, and a -2. For his NHL career, 32 games and 14 total points. That’s a .437 points per game clip. I think Dorofeyev deserves a reasonable chance, but his NHL numbers so far are not that great. The fact that Cassidy has chosen to sit him leads me to believe that there’s more to what is going on than we know.

      I saw Brisson play in the rookie games and he was absolutely terrible. Since then he has come along. He is interesting in that he sets up just like Ovechkin as a sniper on the power play, very similar to what you see Marchy doing.

      I’d like to see Brisson get a shot to see what he can do as well as Densinko.

    • Richie-Rich

      Cotter’s numbers are worse at the NHL level. 89 games, 28 points for .314 ppg. Dorofeyev’s smaller sample size at .437 ppg.

    • Reilly had passed his expiration date…he had slowed down perceptibly…as his fast start in pittsburgh has slowed to a not surprisingly crawl…while i didnt agree with signing barbashev at that price and terms it was the right move to make…as far as this Pavel thing…he is NOT the second coming…or the third..or the fourth…

  16. Pistol Pete

    Maybe it is just a damn shame Dorofeyev tantalized us with his 31 goals per 82 games in Henderson and the 9 points in 10 games stretch with Smith and Karlsson.’You could be right. He is not top six material, maybe not even bottom six. Guys have done far worse than 8 G/6 A (+5) in their first 32 NHL games though. Smith for example went 3G/6 A (-3) in his first 40 with the Stars (,23 pts/game) and had a breakout year when he got traded to Boston. Cassidy has appeared
    bullish on Dorkfeyev at various points. It’s just hard to tell what is happening but I do think the longer term of Cotter’s entry level contract impacts who Cassidy plays right now. I hope Paul can ultimately play up to Karlsson and Marchy. Would be fantastic.

  17. I have been on record as being a Cotter guy going back to when we couldn’t score goals 3 years ago and the FO wouldn’t promote him despite having shown he could score at tge NHL previously.. I am perplexed as to how he can be in this long of a goal scoring drought.. and even worse he doesn’t seem to be able to let loose any type of the effective one timer he possesses game after game.

  18. Pistol Pete

    Smith’s career average is .62 pts/game or 51 pts per 82 games. So far this season he’s 6 G/7 A in 25 games (.52 pts/game) not that far off his career average but still numbers Cotter can only dream about. I agreed with extending Barbashev vs. keeping Smith. Still think it was the correct move.

  19. Pistol Pete

    Larry here was Dorofeyev’s two goal game against the Wild plus him and Smith scoring the deciding goals in the shoot-out. In this stretch to end the season Cassidy chose to play Dorofeyev above Cotter. The dynamics are different for the start of this season. I am convinced it has to do with the longer term of Cotter’s contract and the implication if Cotter can succeed.

    https://youtu.be/xlSDpqhezhM?si=56Tfdg6oyRC6KmOp

    • Pistol Pete

      Larry, I should have added that although Dorofeyev went pointless the last five games of the season (he played on Eichel’s line for some or most of those) his contribution down the stretch helped the team finish as they did. To me he just looks better than Cotter. His balance, stick handling, positioning. He’s known for shooting when he can and going to the front of the net. I think his 14 points (+5) for his first 32 games is above average. In any case too early to tell other than what they think in the video room and talent evaluation dept. We are not privy to that.

      I will be pleasantly surprised if Cotter can capitalize on his opportunity on the Karlsson line though frankly I am skeptical.

      Again to readers who think I belabor the point about replacing Smith, it is very important. When you no longer have a really good two way player who has averaged 51 points per 82 games in his career, it’s impactful when he’s gone if you can’t replace a good part of him. Consider goal four in game five. That was Smith coming through once again in spite of his cold spells.

      • Pistol Pete

        And that turned out to be the Cup series winner! It would be great if Cotter can approach Smith’s level. I am all for Cassidy continuing to put him to the test. Development does occur. He will advance, the question is how far can he go and how quickly will it happen?

        • Pistol Pete

          I would hope the trainers are focusing on Dorofeyev’s physicality. The guy is not dumb either. He knows Cotter hits harder and it’s an area he needs to work on.

  20. Pistol Pete

    Just for the heck of it here is the first 89 NHL games for Cotter and Smith:

    Cotter: 18 G/10 A (-7) 28pts/89 games = .31 pts/game
    Smith: 18 G/26 A (+7) 44 pts/89 games = .49 pts/game

    Notice Smith’s far better +/- (somewhat an indicator of defensive effectiveness).

    As I posted above Smith got off the a slow start with the Stars posting 3 G/6 A in his first 40 NHL games (.23 pts/game) siginificantly inferior to Dorofeyev’s 32 games 8 G/6 A (.44 pts/game) however when the Stars traded him to the Bruins he exploded for 20 G/31 A in his first full 82 game season (+28). Causes one to wonder if the Stars coaching did all it could to bring him along.

    Cotter has a long ways to go to be Reilly Smith. Hope he gets as close as he can, though I have my doubts it will be anywhere near Smith’s level. Based on Dorofeyev’s early NHL results he would seem the better candidate to replace Smith including given the success he had this year setting up Karlsson. Why then does Cassidy not play him over Cotter at this point in the season? With two more years after this one on an entry level contract, McCrimmon needs to determine what the guy can do and when the team is winning early in the season there is nothing to lose by playing him to find out and hopefully he develops. If nobody steps up and shows they are capable of playoffs hockey in the top six or nine, McCrimmon will have to do something at the trade deadline.

  21. Pistol Pete

    When we compare Cotter’s 2022-23 results to the lower pointing members of the bottom six they are actually decent just not top six numbers. Even Barbashev, though he lags the other top six players, his 5 G/6 A (+7…11/27 games = .41 pts/game) is better than Cotter including the +/- by a wide margin.

    Cotter: 3 G/5 A (-3) 8 pts/27 games = .30 pts/game
    Howden: 4 G/2 A (-1) 6 pts/25 games = .24 pts/game
    Kolesar: 2 G/3 A (+0) 5 pts/27 games =.19 pts/game
    Carrier: 3 G/1 A (+3) 4 pts/24 games = .17 pts/game

    Of course Carrier and Kolesar despite not being big points getters are integral to Roy’s line and Roy is at exactly .50 pts/game (+4). That is really a good 4th line as good as about any in the league and I think Cassidy is committed to keeping it together.

  22. ThG

    cotter is having sophomore jinx

    it is common in sports

    despite the negative nillies who don’t believe in such things.

    I give him one more year to prove himself

  23. Oh by the way…Smith’s goal in game 5 was basically a whiff.. a poor shot…when it should have been roofed and an easy goal.. it was the culmination of the greatest 5 minutes of hockey I have ever seen and I have seen over 50 years of it…it might have been deflating if Bob had been able to save it…in any case the Stars await us tomorrow afternoon….Thompson in net.. Patera in net on Sunday against the Sharks who have suddenly found an offense!

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