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Golden Knights Preseason

Golden Knights Preseason Takeaways: Electric Eichel, Powerful Paul



Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)
Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

The Vegas Golden Knights played a sloppy defensive team game Friday night in their preseason matchup against the San Jose Sharks and lost 7-3. The classic saying of “it’s just preseason” applies, but there were a couple of goofs the VGK would like to work on before the start of the regular season.

Erik Karlsson, Daniil Gushchin (4), Matt Benning, and Jonah Gadjovich, all scored for the Sharks. Jack Eichel (2) and Reilly Smith scored for the VGK.

Both Mark Stone and Alec Martinez played in their first preseason games of the season. Adin Hill got the start in net and made 32 of 39 saves. Jake Leschyshyn also fought Matt Benning in the third period.

Golden Knights Takeaways


Perhaps the biggest scapegoat for the Golden Knight’s blunders Friday night would be their adjustments to Bruce Cassidy’s new zone defense. With four regular NHL defensemen in the lineup, there were frequent mistakes made in coverage by both the Golden Knight’s defenseman and forwards.

Luckily, this is what the preseason is for, and the VGK will only continue to grow under Cassidy.

Powerful Paul

Hey, would you look at that? Paul Cotter is making it into the takeaway column once more. He looked good yet again Friday night and really wants a roster spot. Things aren’t set in (Mark) stone yet but Cotter is by far the fringe player with the most likely chance to crack the lineup.

He didn’t score against the Sharks but stood out on a shift in the first period where he crushed two Sharks with big hits. He reverse-hit Nico Sturm in the neutral zone and then crushed Nick Cicek.

If Cotter can not only continue his offensive game, but play the body like he is doing, Bruce Cassidy will be forced to make a tough decision with the 22-year-old forward.

American Connection

Color me shocked that Phil Kessel and Jack Eichel work so well together. As primarily an assist man in this stage of his career, Kessel had two primary assists on Eichel’s goals Friday night.

Speed and skating against other team’s top lines players are still some concerns I have with Kessel on the first line. But the line of Kessel, Eichel, and Reilly Smith has stuck together since day one of training camp and could very well be the team’s first line to start the regular season.

Up Next

The Golden Knights are off for three days before they play their final home preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night at 7. Then, they are on a unique two-game road trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, and Boise, Idaho, for the remainder of their preseason schedule.

Here’s who Bruce Cassidy went with Friday night. And in case you missed it, the VGK made more cuts.

Reilly Smith- Jack Eichel- Phil Kessel

Jonathan Marchessault- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone

Pavel Dorofeyev- Nicolas Roy- Jake Leschyshyn

Jonas Rondbjerg- Zach Dean- Paul Cotter

Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo

Daniil Chayka- Shea Theodore

Brayden McNabb- Kaedan Korczak

Adin Hill/Jiri Patera