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Golden Knights Preseason

Golden Knights Preseason Takeaways: Cotter Shines, Carrier Exits



Ivan Morozov, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)
Ivan Morozov, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

It was delayed the length of a sitcom episode, but the Vegas Golden Knights started their preseason schedule Sunday evening in Denver with a loss to the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.

Paul Cotter scored for the Golden Knights, and a total of fourteen penalties were called. Alex Beaucage, JT Compher, and Bowen Byram scored for the Avalanche.

Nearly all of the “NHL” players for both teams had solid games, from Evan Rodrigues to Zach Whitecloud. Both Michael Hutchinson and Jiri Patera got playing time as the Golden Knight’s netminder.

In the third period, William Carrier left with an upper-body injury and did not return.

With penalties out the wazoo and a patchwork training camp lineup, it was hard to get a grasp on the Golden Knight’s overall play and systems, especially at five-on-five. So with it being preseason, we’ll skip the mundane game recap and jump straight into players that stood out.

After all, the Golden Knights will likely ice a completely new team in their next preseason game on Monday against the Los Angeles Kings. That’s not to mention the completely different lineup come October 11th when they play the Kings for the start of the regular season.

Golden Knights Standouts

Paul Cotter

Paul Cotter was perhaps the most impressive non-NHL player on the ice Sunday. He looked good at both ends of the ice, especially in the offensive zone. His speed allowed him to win pucks battles and zoom through the neutral zone to create chances. After Carrier left, his ice time increased.

Most notably, he scored on a play that Nicolas Roy worked hard to set up. Cotter parked himself at the doorstep and sniped one on Alexander Georgiev.

He tried to return the favor in the second period with a long stretch pass to Roy on the powerplay. Roy was stopped. But overall, Cotter had a strong game and is continuing to make his case for a roster spot with the Golden Knights.

Brett Howden

As a regular NHLer, Brett Howden doesn’t have to prove why he needs to be in the lineup anymore. Instead, he needs to find where he fits in the Golden Knight’s system. Playing left wing Sunday night, the usual center Howden impressed offensively.

He was on the puck hard all night, forcing turnovers and trapping the Avalanche’s defenseman in their own zone for extended periods of time.

This is the first we have seen of Howden since March of last season when his season was cut short by a collision with Filip Forsberg. I would not be surprised at all if we see a breakout season from him in 2022-23.

Jonas Rondbjerg

Lastly, the forechecking and shooting parts of Jonas Rondbjerg’s game stood out to me Sunday. He had a strong game in terms of being hard on the puck and had a couple of strong zone entries that resulted in a shot or two on goal.

With the Golden Knights taking a whopping nine penalties in the game, he and Jake Leschyshyn helped kill a lot of penalties. Colorado’s powerplay went two for nine when all things were said and done.

Up Next

The Golden Knights will return to City National Arena Monday morning for a 10:30 am training camp morning skate (open to the public) before they play the Los Angeles Kings in the afternoon at 7:00 pm at T-Mobile. Most, if not all, of the players who played in Sunday’s game will not play against the Kings.

As for Bruce Cassidy, he’ll have to have some extra Tim Hortons or a Red Bull.

Expect to see players like Brendan Brisson, Sakari Manninen, Kaedan Korczak, and the red jersey-wearing Mark Stone in the rest of the Golden Knights preseason games.

Here’s the lineup the Golden Knights iced Sunday evening.

28 Will Carrier*- 10 Nicolas Roy- 55 Keegan Kolesar

21 Brett Howden- 51 Byron Froese- 22 Michael Amadio

15 Jake Leschyshyn- 18 Zach Dean- 46 Jonas Rondbjerg

43 Paul Cotter- 11 Ivan Morozov- 16 Pavel Dorofeyev

17 Ben Hutton- 2 Zach Whitecloud

45 Jake Bischoff- 40 Lukas Cormier

65 Zack Hayes- 94 Brayden Pachal

34 Michael Hutchinson/30 Jiri Patera