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Golden Knights Postgame: DeBoer Shuffles Lines, More Offense from the Blue Line

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Nicolas Hague Goal Celebration Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights are 4-1 on their current six-game homestand which will conclude Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Golden Knights defeated the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night 5-2 in a commanding effort as twelve Golden Knights players were on the scoresheet.

There were no passengers on the Golden Knights roster despite how depleted it has been due to injury. Shea Theodore was out of the lineup Thursday after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer lists Theodore’s injury as a head injury but did not confirm if Theodore has a concussion or not.

Golden Knights Takeaways vs Detroit Red Wings

The offense from the defense remains excellent

One player that returned from injury for the Golden Knights was Zach Whitecloud who put the puck past the goal line three times Thursday. Only two of his attempts counted on the scoresheet but nonetheless, it was the defender’s first multi-goal game in the NHL.

“It was exciting to get back in obviously when you are injured you are away from the boys in the regular schedule and you start to miss out obviously you just want to get playing as quickly as possible but it was exciting to get back and to be back contributing and helping out the best I can,” said Whitecloud.

Nic Hague also found the back of the net and celebrated in dramatic fashion falling after his goal. The Golden Knights have fourteen goals scored this season from defensemen. They are the only team in the NHL with three defenders who have three-plus goals.

While Alex Pietrangelo’s underlying numbers have not been the greatest this season, he has continued to provide the Golden Knights with a top defenseman.

Now with Mark Stone back from injury, Pietrangelo has a skilled forward to play with and create chances with. Both Stone and Pietrangelo are part of the Golden Knight’s core for a reason and tonight was another showcase of why.

DeBoer shows on-the-fly line management

Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer did some line juggling during Thursday’s game as well. After a scoreless first period, the Golden Knights put up four in the middle frame. This was partially due to the line combinations that DeBoer adjusted in the second.

DeBoer took Keegan Kolesar off the second line and replaced him with Mattias Janmark. He also separated the defensive pair of Ben Hutton and Dylan Coghlan.

Hutton then got in a fight, and Kolesar and Janmark set up goals for the Golden Knights with each registering an assist.

“It was a really solid game. I really liked our game. We were much better in every area than we were the other night against Carolina,” said DeBoer.

Remember Sven Baertschi? 

With the Golden Knight’s injuries, many players have been given the shot to make the jump to the NHL. However, Sven Baertschi, who was called up today, already has plenty of NHL experience under his belt. Baertschi played in his 292nd career NHL game Thursday night but it was his first since November 2019.

The 29-year old forward flunked out the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks and was picked up by the Golden Knights on a league-minimum deal in free agency. He has eight points in twelve games for the Henderson Silver Knights this season.

Baertschi may be far removed from the 15-20 point player he was for the Canucks, but he could provide some solid veteran leadership for the Golden Knights bottom-six. Thursday he played 13:54 and had one shot on goal. It is good to see Baertschi get the opportunity at a redemption arc with the Golden Knights. Hopefully he can seize his opportunity.

The Golden Knights once again battled out and won a game faced with the adversity that they have in front of them. They will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night at home starting at 7:00 pm.

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