The Vegas Golden Knights (34-27-4, 72 points) finish off a brief two-game road trip Tuesday afternoon with a matchup against the Winnipeg Jets (29-24-10, 68 points) at Canada Life Center. The Golden Knights have lost six straight games on the road and have 17 games remaining on the season.
Monday night the team was shut out for the third time on the season by Cam Talbot and the Minnesota Wild. Amidst the chaos of trade deadline day, the Golden Knights also had both Michael Amadio and Zach Whitecloud enter COVID-19 protocols.
Jake Leschyshyn, Jonas Rondbjerg, Zack Hayes, Brayden Pachal, Paul Cotter, Daniil Miromanov, and Logan Thompson are all up from the Henderson Silver Knights as the VGK continue to face injuries.
“It was a tough day on our group. We had guys arriving literally 15 minutes before warmups that flew out from Henderson to help us out tonight. It wasn’t an easy day and we could have used some of those excuses and not put in the effort we did but we didn’t we came out and we battled hard,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer after the team’s loss to the Wild.
The Western Conference Playoff picture is getting tighter as the Trade Deadline has passed and teams are now truly in the stretch run. The Jets are a team that is fighting with the Golden Knights for the last spot in the Wild Card race in the West as they are just four points behind the VGK.
“We’re desperate right now. We know where we are in the standings. We know what we have to do to get into the playoffs,” said Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
The Jets are led in scoring by Kyle Connor who is just one goal shy from his first-career 40 goal season in the NHL. Mark Scheifele, Pierre Luc-Dubois, and Blake Wheeler round out the top-5 scoring names for the Jets. Fifth in scoring is/was Andrew Copp who was traded to the New York Rangers on Monday.
Keys to the Game
Cancel The Connors
No, not like on Twitter. I mean neutralize the scoring threat of Kyle Connor and the goaltending of Connor Hellebuyck. I wanted some alliteration okay?
A Golden Knights killer, Connor has ten goals in ten career games against the Golden Knights. Shutting him down on offense is a must for the Golden Knights. As for Hellebuyck, while he might not be having a Vezina-caliber season, he is still one of the best goaltenders in the NHL with a .908 save percentage.
Usually, the noise of the NHL Trade Deadline fades away quickly as the deadline (pun intended) to discuss potential deals ends at noon Pacific Time. But the Golden Knights have a deal that is currently in limbo with Evgenii Dadonov potentially going to the Anaheim Ducks.
We have a full report on the Dadonov situation that involves the Ottawa Senators somehow so go read up on how no-trade clauses and paperwork in hockey management can affect player trades.
But the team that the Golden Knights put on the ice cannot let this affect the way they play in the stretch run. The Golden Knights will be operating with the same lineup that they had against the Wild and they need to make the most out of it and steal some points.
There are currently seven players up from the AHL on the Golden Knight’s active roster. Almost all of these players would not be here had it not been for injuries but this does not mean they cannot contribute to the Golden Knights at all. With the injuries the VGK have they need a big game from one of these Henderson guys not named Logan Thompson.
We have seen guys like Leschyshyn, Rondbjerg, and Miromanov score consistently at the AHL level, and they need to start to do the same in the NHL. It is a tall task to ask from players who some might consider not NHL ready, but the fact of the matter is, that they are in the NHL right now and need to make the most out of it.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
William Karlsson- Jack Eichel- Jonathan Marchessault
William Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Nicolas Roy
Mattias Janmark- Nolan Patrick- Keegan Kolesar
Jake Leschyshyn- Brett Howden- Jonas Rondbjerg
Ben Hutton- Alex Pietrangelo
Shea Theodore- Dylan Coghlan
Zack Hayes- Brayden Pachal
Laurent Brossoit/Logan Thompson
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
18.45% Powerplay (24th) and 78.98% Penalty Kill (17th)
PP1: Patrick, Stephenson, Marchessault, Karlsson, Theodore
PP2: Carrier, Kolesar, Roy, Coghlan, Pietrangelo
PK1: Karlsson, Roy, Pietrangelo, Coghlan
PK2: Stephenson, Leschyshyn, Theodore, Whitecloud
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches/Taxi Squad
Alec Martinez (face), Mark Stone (back), Brayden McNabb (hand), Reilly Smith (knee), Robin Lehner (lower-body), Max Pacioretty (unknown), Nicolas Hague (unknown), Michael Amadio (COVID), Zach Whitecloud (COVID)- Lord Knows: Evgenii Dadonov, Ryan Kesler, John Moore
Projected Winnipeg Jets Line Combinations
Nikolaj Ehlers- Mark Schiefele- Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor- Pierre-Luc Dubois- Evgeny Svechnikov
Zach Sanford- Paul Stastny- Mason Appleton
Jansen Harkins- Dominic Toninato- Adam Brooks
Josh Morrissey- Dylan DeMelo
Brenden Dillon- Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley- Nate Schmidt
Connor Hellebuyck/Eric Comrie
Winnipeg Jets Special Teams
21.50% Powerplay (13th) and 76.09% Penalty Kill (24th)
PP1- Wheeler, Dubois, Connor, Schiefele, Morrissey
PP2- Sanford, Stastny, Ehlers, Pionk, Schmidt
PK1- Toninato, Sanford, Morrissey, DeMelo
PK2- Stastny, Connor, Stanley, Dillon
Injured Reserve/COVID-19 Protocols/Scratches
Cole Perfetti, Dylan Samberg, Adam Lowry (COVID)
How to Watch/Listen
5:00 pm on At&t Sportsnet, ESPN+, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.