The Knights front office did not wait long to make some major moves in the off-season, starting with Head Coach Bruce Cassidy in June. They traded away Max Pacioretty to deal with the cap space debacle, but also brought in Goalie Adin Hill. Hill’s signing came after news broke that Goalie Robin Lehner is going to miss the season. Huge loss for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Despite falling short and missing the playoffs for the first time in team history, there was optimism at the end of the season as key players were returning from injury. Vegas was very much a threat down the stretch before losing to the Dallas Stars, ending their playoff hopes. If the Knights can stay away from injuries, they will be looking to get back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Golden Knights Biggest Concerns entering the Season
Before the puck drops on October 11th, the Golden Knights are already dealing with season-ending injuries. Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick (C) are both officially out for the year. You can ask any team; losing your starting goalie before the season is a major setback. Since the inaugural season, the Golden Knights have always relied on their strong goalie presents. Goalies, especially Lehner, have been the anchors of this team since the departure of Marc Andre Fleury.
Other role players that are ruled out for the start of the preseason are Laurent Brossoit (G), Spencer Foo (RW), Daniil Miromanov (R), and Jakub Demek (C). Starting the year off with injuries is always tough. The off-season is supposed to be a time for healing. One positive note is that Mark Stone was able to ditch the non-contact jersey last Monday at training camp.
Golden Knights fans should also be worried about the contract talks between the front office and Nic Hague. The former 2017 second-round pick played 142 games in the past three seasons. Fingers crossed he gets a contract worked out before the puck drops an opening night.
Power Plays and Shoot Outs
One of the biggest frustrations of the 2021-22 year was the lack of power play production and the inability to close out a game in a shootout. The Knights have had major issues in the past, cashing in on the advantage. The Knights were only successful 18.4% of the time while going 5-17 shooting in overtime shootouts last year. Somewhere fitting that in the 2nd preseason game the shootout between the Kings and the Knights went 14 rounds.
Before joining the Golden Knights, Coach Cassidy spoke as a guest speaker at The Virtual Hockey Summit. Coach presented an in depth video clip presentation about the “Principles of the Power Play.” Coach Cassidy is looking to bring some of that philosophy to the desert as they look to clean up their shortcomings.
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