In a year with a compact training camp and no pre-season games, there’s little time to waste for the Vegas Golden Knights. Even though it’s only the first scrimmage of training camp, it provided a lot of information as to how the VGK will look this season.
The teams took to the ice for some instruction followed by a Grey/White Scrimmage, won by Team Grey 2-1. Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith scored for Grey while Gage Quinney scored for Team White. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win but both he and Robin Lehner looked sharp for early camp work.
What We Know:
The lines are already shaped for the most part for the forwards. While I know things could change due to injury or other factors, it appears head coach Pete DeBoer has a pretty solid idea of what he’s going to open the regular season with.
Second Line Center
This is by far the biggest question facing the Golden Knights up front entering the 2021 campaign. Chandler Stephenson was slotted in between Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. As we’ve said previously Stephenson showed well between those two last year, so it’s no surprise that he would be slotted in between them to start camp. As of now, Cody Glass is centering the third line between Alex Tuch and Nicholas Roy. It’s a good spot for the youngster, who may still have a shot at the 2C at some point. In the meantime it’s a good place to continue accruing experience at the NHL level.
Fourth Line Center
Tomas Nosek was in the middle of the fourth unit with William Carrier and Ryan Reaves. With the departure of Nick Cousins it leaves the potential for some shuffle in the bottom six, but I’m willing to bet this is very much what we will see come opening night.
Pacioretty Is Flying
Max Pacioretty is flying out there. Coming in after trade rumors swirled around him all off-season, Pacioretty seems determined to make his mark early. In fact, that line looked very good and poised to pick right back up where they left off last season. Hell hath no fury like your team’s leading scorer threatened with a trade apparently.
While we figured on the top four defensive pairings looking like they did today, you just don’t know until they hit the ice. Alex Pietrangelo was paired with Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez with Shea Theodore. Also, Zach Whitecloud and Nicolas Hague played together and could easily end up as the 5-6 pair if DeBoer has the trust in them to get the job done. Stay tuned here.
Gage Quinney was the lone goal scorer for Team White today, playing on a line with Jack Dugan and Tomas Jurco. Dugan is one of the guys who could make a real impression in this training camp after leading the NCAA in scoring last season with Providence College. Jurco brings NHL experience and should be a taxi squad guy. At 25, Quinney finally saw his first taste of NHL action last season, appearing in three games with Vegas. He’s at that point in his career where the window could shut, or be thrown wide open. This camp will mean a lot to him.
So that’s our look at Day One of Golden Knights training camp. Today’s line combinations are below:
Tom’s Daily: Zach Whitecloud growing; HSK preapre for camp
Tom’s Daily: Zach Whitecloud is increasing his role; Dubois trade rumors; Henderson Silver Knights prepare for training camp; NWHL will bubble up; more.
Zach Whitecloud is growing his role with the Vegas Golden Knights this season, and it’s good to see for the young defenseman. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Henderson Silver Knights have rounded out the coaching staff and are preparing to open training camp. (KLAS)
According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, Canadian teams will actually fly less this year. The more you know. (TSN)
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored last night, but he also didn’t play very much. Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has denied benching him. Either way, this looks like two semi trucks headed right at each other. Not good. (TSN)
What is the trade market like for Dubois anyway? Lyle Richardson took a good look at it. (Spector’s Hockey)
Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert wears a pink visor. Here’s why. (ColoradoHockeyNow)
The NWHL is going to bubble up for the season in Lake Placid, NY. (Sportsnet)
Kim Davis, the NHL’s Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, says equality in the NHL is a ‘movement, not a moment’. (NBCSports)
Tom’s Daily: Tuch Returns; Vegas on National TV 10 Times
Tom’s Daily: Tuch Returns; VGK on national TV 10 times; Rangers goalie controversy already; Rask still answering questions about his desire to be a Bruin and more.
Day Three of Vegas Golden Knights training camp didn’t yield much in the way of news except Alex Tuch returning to the ice after a maintenance day. The Golden Knights are scheduled to skate again today (Thursday) and have an off-day on Friday.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a piece on the quirks of this year’s schedule. While it might resemble baseball a little bit more, when we broke down the schedule before we told you the VGK have a great shot at winning 8-of-10 to start the regular season (if not more) and launch themselves quickly towards a division title.
The NHL and NBC Sports have announced its full national broadcast schedule for this season, and the Golden Knights will be featured a total of 10 times. Not too shabby. (NHL.com)
The New York Rangers have a goalie controversy brewing already. (NHL.com)
Poor Tuuka Rask, he’s going to have this cloud hanging over him all season because he left the bubble to be with his daughter who was very ill last year. For me family comes first. But not for every sports fan. Despite all that, Rask says he wants to finish his career in Boston. (BostonHockeyNow)
On the heels of some AHL teams shutting it down for this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers have agreed to share an affiliate for this season. (FloridaHockeyNow)
Colin Wilson retires after 11 seasons in the NHL. I saw his first five or so in Nashville with the Predators, and he was a streaky scorer. Too bad it looks like his body is saying “time to go”. (NHL.com)
Here’s Team USA explaining the story behind the barrel that made an appearance on the ice following the gold medal win over Canada. The story is great. Everyone’s overreaction to a barrel on the ice is not. (USA Today)
Looking for a breakout player on your fantasy roster this year? Yahoo Sports takes a stab at helping you find them. (Yahoo! Sports)
Tom’s Daily: Camp Day Two, Tuch Rests; USA Wins Gold
Tom’s Daily: Tuch Rests; DeBoer Ready to Go; USA Wins Gold!; Welcome to the Honda Division; Seattle Hires Botterill, Maciver; more.
Day two of Vegas Golden Knights training camp wasn’t quite as exciting as the first day, but Jonathan Marchessault did score for the second straight day. Alex Tuch was the only VGK forward out, but it was just a rest day according to head coach Pete DeBoer. (VHN)
DeBoer says he’s ready to go for his first full season with the Golden Knights. With video. (News3LV)
I’m a regular reader of Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts columns. Not only is he extremely plugged in when it comes to the league, his takes tend to be well thought out. If you haven’t read one before, start now. If you do read, here’s the latest. (Sportsnet)
Welcome to the Honda Division Golden Knights Fans! No, I’m not kidding. The NHL has sold the sponsorship title to all four divisions this year. (NHL.com)
The Seattle Kraken named former Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill Assistant GM to Ron Francis yesterday, and also added former Chicago Blackhawks VP of Player Personnel Norm Maciver as Director of Player Personnel. (Buffalo News)
Team USA wins gold! A 2-0 blanking of Canada in the gold medal game at the WJC saw the US save its best game for last. (ESPN)
Here’s some Canadian reaction to the game (CBC)