Once again, the Vegas Golden Knights came out on the short end of a 5-2 score at the Coyotes Rookie Face-off Tournament, this time to the San Jose Sharks Sunday. The Knights prospects had dropped a 5-2 contest to Arizona Friday.
Different day. Different players. Same results.
Sunday, the lineup was altered. Nether Peyton Krebs nor Kaedan Korczak, the top two players on the 27-man roster, suited up against the Sharks. There was also a change in goal as Jiri Patera, who played against the Coyotes, got the day off. Instead, Jesper Vikman went the distance in net against the Sharks, who bounced back from Friday’s 8-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks and improved to 1-1.
The Knights fell behind early, trailed 2-0 after the first 20 minutes and were unable to come back. With an 0-2 record in the tourney, they’ll get one more chance to get it right when they face the Los Angeles Kings at 11 a.m. Monday at the Ice Den in Scottsdale. It’s also one final chance for the players to impress management and get an invitation to the veterans camp which gets underway Wednesday at City National Arena.
Three takeaways from Sunday’s loss:
1. Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!: The Golden Knights prospects continued to visit the penalty box with alarming regularity. Friday against Arizona, there were seven penalties to kill. Sunday against San Jose, there were six, including one 16 seconds into the contest the Pavel Dorofeyev was sent off for hooking.
That’s simply too many to be taking, whether it’s in the Stanley Cup Final or a rookie tournament. Yes, it gives the coaches a chance to work on the penalty kill. But it also puts your goaltender under duress, it screws with your lines and it disrupts your continuity, not to mention compromising your chances of winning the game.
Coach Manny Viveiros addressed the need to stay out of the box after Friday’s loss to the Coyotes. Guess his players didn’t hear him.
2. The Triple-D Line debuts: With Krebs getting the day off, Viveiros put Dorofeyev together with Jack Dugan and Zach Dean, the Golden Knights’ first-round pick from the 2021 NHL Draft. They looked pretty good skating together and Dugan scored a power play goal (Yes, it’s true!)
Dugan has been looking good so far, taking the body, looking to shoot and trying to get to the net and make plays. The former Providence College star probably deserves a look at the veterans camp and Dorofeyev is likely to be invited as well along with Dean. Maybe Pete DeBoer could keep them together, at least in practice, and see how they compete. They looked good in Scottsdale.
3. Hayes a hit: Zack Hayes was one of the best players on the ice Sunday for the Golden Knights as the 22-year-old defenseman was physical, skated well and was totally engaged against the Sharks. The 6-foot-3 Hayes may have played himself into a locker spot at City National Arena this week and is listed on the Golden Knights roster on their website.
Hayes had two goals and seven points in 35 games with the Henderson Silver Knights along with 26 PIM. He has a bit of edge to his game so he won’t be intimidated should he get to dress during the preseason. If nothing else, he has built some momentum heading into the week with what he has done in Arizona so far.