It was a tough loss for the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday afternoon as they dropped their game against the Winnipeg Jets in overtime. Kyle Connor scored the game-winner after the Golden Knights came back to tie things with nine seconds left in the third period.
When you put up four goals and 46 shots in a game you expect to win. But for the Golden Knights that didn’t happen as Connor Hellebuyck and the Jets shut the door and won 5-4.
“For me on a night like this, if you get four on Hellebuyck, you should find a way to win the game,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.
The offense for the Golden Knights has been stellar as of late with 14 goals in the past three games. One player that has picked it up as of late has been Mattias Janmark, who scored two goals on Sunday. He now has four goals in his last three games and has stepped up in the absence of Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.
“I think all of us (referring to linemates Keegan Kolesar and Nicolas Roy) are playing pretty good at the moment. So that helps when everyone is having the puck and making plays and playing good individually. That makes it easier to gel as a line and also everyone is just working hard,” said Janmark.
Another player that has been getting an increase in playing time with Stone and Pacioretty out is Nolan Patrick. In his second game since returning from injury, Patrick was put on the Golden Knight’s first line with Chandler Stephenson and Evgenii Dadonov.
However, in the second period, Patrick was taken off the line and Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer opted for different line combinations. The potential of Patrick’s career has wildly fluctuated ever since he was drafted. He has gone from consensus no. 1 overall pick to an injury-ridden draftee.
Patrick may have been taken off the top line Sunday due to his poor play. But the kid is still only 23 and has a whole lot left to show at the NHL level. Patience is something that Patrick is familiar with as a result of his numerous injuries. All that both the Golden Knights and Patrick can hope for moving forward is that he continues to stay healthy.
Assuming everyone is healthy, (which may never happen, let’s face it) the Golden Knights will have a logjam of bottom-six players fighting for a roster spot. Patrick will have to fight for his spot along with guys like William Carrier, Keegan Kolesar, recent waiver claims Adam Brooks, and Michael Amadio, and Brett Howden. A good problem to have for DeBoer and the Golden Knights.
“I think all four lines have been chipping in. We are getting goals from different guys which I think going down the stretch will be big for us so it is nice to see that,” said Amadio.
Vegas Hockey Now will be at practice tomorrow for the Golden Knights at City National Arena. We will look for updates on Robin Lehner, Mark Stone, and Nicolas Hague, all of whom are missing from the Golden Knights lineup due to day-to-day injuries. Alec Martinez, Max Pacioretty, and Jack Eichel also remain sidelined.
Also, one thing worth noting that I don’t see many people talking about for the Golden Knights is that with Brett Howden back today, they now have zero players in COVID-19 protocols. I hope I didn’t just jinx anything!