While the National Hockey Now network continues to expand its roster by adding new faces (Hi, I’m Owen Krepps) the Vegas Golden Knights are almost the exact opposite. William Karlsson is out, and for a good bit of time, four to six weeks with a broken foot. Ouch.
Here is a quick refresher on where to Golden Knights stand with their injuries
- Mark Stone- Lower-body injury on Oct. 12. Is currently skating with the team.
- Max Pacioretty- Undisclosed six-week injury on Oct 16. It has been three weeks.
- William Karlsson- Broken foot, announced last night. Out four-to-six weeks.
- Alex Tuch- Upper body injury from last season. Expected return in Jan.
- Nolan Patrick- Undisclosed injury with no timetable.
- Mattias Janmark- Day-to-day upper-body injury. He is traveling with the team.
- Jake Bischoff- Undisclosed injury on Oct 12. There is no timetable for his return.
Tonight the Golden Knights (4-4-0) take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-4-1) which begins a four-game road trip for the team. The Golden Knights are riding a three-game winning streak where they fought hard in close games against the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, and Anaheim Ducks.
It is still very early on in the NHL season but the Golden Knights are currently sitting fifth in the Pacific Division standing. They are six points behind the first-placed Edmonton Oilers.
But the mentality inside the locker room and on the bench is to continue to march forward and not worry about things the team cannot control.
“You can’t feel sorry for yourself and you gotta know the league is not slowing down and giving you any free passes. You just have to put your head down and go to work,” Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said.
What to Watch
The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs faced off against an injury-ridden and banged up the NHL roster they lost 7-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The last time the Maple Leafs played the Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury made a miraculous save on Nic Petan which conspiracy theorists consider the save that got Mike Babcock fired.
Tonight we could be in store for another addition to “great moments Maple Leafs history”.
With the injuries to Stone and Pacioretty as top scorers, the Golden Knights need guys like Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and Alex Pietrangelo to continue to step up.
Depth scorers fall in this same category as well, and tonight Brett Howden will get a shot on the first line with Smith and Marchessault.
“Whoever you stick in there has to pull his weight and I think we are going to give Howden a chance there tonight. He is a young guy that has come in and I think he has gotten a little bit better every game and we haven’t given him an opportunity yet to play center in a top-six kind of role son he is going to get that opportunity tonight and hopefully run with it” DeBoer said on Howden.
Howden was acquired in July of 2021 in a trade that sent the New York Rangers a fourth-round pick. So far he has yet to score with his new team. But the former 2016 1st round draft pick has a total of 49 career points in 184 career games played. In his rookie year of 2018-19, he put up 23 points in 66 games with the Rangers.
Adjusting to a new center is something that may take some time for Smith and Marchessault. The trio of “misfits” have been together since the Golden Knight’s inaugural season.
“He (Brett Howden) is a good smart young player. I think communicating out there goes a long way and that is one thing we will try to do out there to make it a little easier. We (Smith and Marchessault) have played with Karl (William Karlsson) for over five years now so it will be a little bit of an adjustment but I am excited and it is a good opportunity for Brett,” said Reilly Smith.
Another player looking for an opportunity in the lineup is newcomer Michael Amadio. Amadio was claimed off of waiver from the Maple Leafs on October 30. So this matchup will be a bit of a homecoming for the forward despite only playing three games for the Leafs.
Amadio is in his fifth year in the NHL after being drafted in 2014 with the LA Kings. In 176 career games played the 25-year old forward has 40 points. He will get the opportunity in the Golden Knights’ bottom-six against his former team tonight.
“I saw him in LA. I have been coaching log in the pacific division now for a while so I followed him through there. I actually called his old coach Stan Butler who is a friend of mine who coached him in North Bay. Stan filled me in on him with a really good report so I think I know enough about him and I like the idea of some of the things he is capable of doing” said DeBoer on Amadio.
Expected Vegas Golden Knights Lines
Jonathan Marchessault- Brett Howden- Reilly Smith
Will Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Peyton Krebs
Evgenii Dadonov- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar
Jake Leschyshhyn- Michael Amadio- Jonas Rondbjerg
Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo
Alec Martinez- Shea Theodore
Brayden McNabb- Dylan Coghlan
Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit
IR: Alex Tuch, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Nolan Patrick, Zach Whitecloud, William Carrier, Mattias Janmark, William Karlsson
Expected Toronto Maple Leafs’ Lines per Puckpedia
Michael Bunting- Auston Matthews- William Nylander
Alexander Kerfoot- John Tavares- Mitch Marner
Pierre Engvall- David Kampf- Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie- Jason Spezza- Wayne Simmonds
Morgan Rielly- Travis Dermott
Jake Muzzin- TJ Brodie
Rasmus Sandin- Timothy Liljegren
Jack Campbell/Petr Mrazek
IR: Ilya Mikheyev
How to Watch/Listen: 4:00 pm local on TSN4, ESPN+, AT&T Sportsnet, and 98.9 FM.