The Vegas Golden Knights may have made the biggest news of the day today by acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres in a blockbuster deal (link analysis). But they still play a game tonight in Canada as they take on the Ottawa Senators at 4:00 pm local time.
With Peyton Krebs now gone, and Eichel being added to the Golden Knights injury list, things are going to have to get worse before they can get better for the Golden Knights.
Mattias Janmark is day-to-day with an injury and could return tonight. If he is unable to, then the Golden Knights will be down to eleven forwards once more.
In light of the Eichel trade, the Golden Knights fanbase have been putting together their projected Golden Knights lines once the team is fully healthy. The problem is, the team is nowhere close to having this happen. We could be well into 2022 before we see Max Pacioretty, Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, or William Karlsson return for the Golden Knights.
What to Watch
With this being the case the Golden Knights will have to buckle down and play a simple game tonight and over the next couple of weeks until the team can get healthier. We saw the Golden Knights string together a three-game winning streak in late October due to this simple mentality
Treading water will be the mindset for the Golden Knights until they can get some of their offensive weapons back over time. Every point in the standings matters and the Golden Knights cannot sit out and wait for Stone, Pacioretty, and now Eichel to come to rescue the team in early 2022.
While it may be early, the Golden Knights are second to last in the Pacific Division standings and have only half the amount of points that the division-leading Edmonton Oilers do.
Depth pieces need to step up for the Golden Knights and guys like Brett Howden, Nicolas Roy, and Keegan Kolesar need to embrace these opportunities. Once the team starts to get healthy over time it will be interesting to see who Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer takes out of the lineup first.
On the defensive side of things, the Golden Knights are mostly healthy. Alex Pietrangelo is trying too hard to take the team under his wing and perform. He has been snakebitten with only one point in nine games. He needs to simplify his game just like the rest of the team.
What the Golden Knights really need is a blowout game. They need to have a confidence-boosting win where they dominate another team and run up the score. The most amount of goals the Golden Knights have scored in a single game so far this season is five.
Facing off against the Ottawa Senators may give the Golden Knights the perfect opportunity to get some guys that are currently in scoring slumps going. Expect a big game tonight from the few stars that remain on the Golden Knights roster such as Johnathan Marchessault, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, or Reilly Smith.
EXPECTED VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS LINES
Jonathan Marchessault- Nicolas Roy- Reilly Smith
Will Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Evgenii Dadonov
Keegan Kolesar- Michael Amadio- Mattias Janmark
Brett Howden- Jake Leschyshhyn- Jonas Rondbjerg
Nicolas Hague- Alex Pietrangelo
Alec Martinez- Shea Theodore
Brayden McNabb- Dylan Coghlan
Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit
IR: Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Nolan Patrick, Zach Whitecloud, William Carrier, Mattias Janmark, William Karlsson
EXPECTED OTTAWA SENATORS’ LINES PER PUCKPEDIA
Brady Tkachuk- Josh Norris- Drake Batherson
Tim Stuetzle- Nick Paul- Connor Brown
Alex Forementon- Chris Tierney- Tyler Ennis
Zach Sanford- Dylan Gambrell- Logan Shaw
Thomas Chabot- Artyom Zub
Nick Holden- Nikita Zaitsev
Victor Mete- Josh Brown
Filip Gustavsson/Matt Murray
IR: Colin White, Shane Pinto, Austin Watson
How to Watch/Listen: 4:00 pm local on ESPN+, AT&T Sportsnet, and 98.9 FM.