The Vegas Golden Knights (6-6) suffered yet another tough loss Sunday afternoon this time to the Detroit Red Wings (6-5-2). They finished their four-game road trip with four of eight available points and are once again at a .500 record.
A lot of people are expecting the Golden Knights to be prime Stanley Cup Contenders once they get their list of star players (which now includes Jack Eichel) back from injury.
But you can’t compete for the Stanley Cup if you miss the playoffs.
Now a month into the NHL season the Golden Knights sit fifth in the Pacific Division standings with 12 points. The NHL’s Pacific Division is wide open and unpredictable yes, but the Golden Knights cannot afford to continue this trend of floating around .500.
Injuries are the first thing that everyone will point towards when discussing the Golden Knight’s struggles. But a true Stanley Cup contending team is able to battle through adversity and get contributions from all players.
Players like Brett Howden, Wiliam Carrier, Evgenii Dadonov, Michael Amadio, Mattias, Jake Leschyshyn, and Jonas Rondbjerg have done next to nothing for the Golden Knights this season.
The Golden Knights opened up Sunday’s game looking similar to Owen Krepps not writing the pregame story for today’s game in that they were unprepared. Nicolas Roy was able to score first for the Golden Knights but soon after the Red Wings poured on four unanswered goals.
The Red Wings went two for two on their powerplay in the first period with Lucas Raymond and Robbi Fabbri both scoring. The Golden Knights, who had two powerplay chances of their own, failed to score on both in the first period.
The theme of the season for the Golden Knights continues to be one step forward and two steps backward.
Laurent Brossoit, who got the start as a result of the back-to-back, struggled in this one. Late in the first period, Pius Suter blasted home a laserbeam top shelf and stunned Brossoit to make it 3-1. In the second period, Vladislav Namestnikov chipped home the Red Wings’ fourth goal on a bad angle shot.
These are the type of games that can come back and bite a team later on when looking at playoff standings. The Golden Knight’s offense continued to struggle with the only chances coming off of outside shots and with the defenseman stepping up.
Jonathan Marchessault was able to bury home his third goal in the past four games in the third period. With the Golden Knight’s offensive struggles and current injury situation, the team needs Marchessault to continue leading the team like this.
Perhaps what sums up the Golden Knight’s game perfectly is the sequence where Keegan Kolesar took a penalty midway through the third period. On the delayed call the Red Wings controlled the puck for roughly 45 seconds before William Carrier tripped up Mortiz Seider who took some time to get up. A scrum ensued afterward and the whole thing could have been avoided if the Golden Knights could have been able to just touch the puck.
Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer pulled Brossoit with over four minutes left in the game to try and tie it. But the Golden Knights were blanked for the remainder of the game despite some decent chances. Tyler Bertuzzi added an empty-net goal and the Red Wings stole two points from Vegas.
The Golden Knights will return to T-Mobile Arena Tuesday night to take on the Seattle Kraken at 7:00 local time.