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Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knights Takeaways: Cassidy ‘Not Happy’ With Puck Management

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Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights head coach (Photo- Owen Krepps, Vegas Hockey Now)

The Colorado Avalanche dominated the possession game Saturday night against the Vegas Golden Knights as they won 3-2. Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson scored for the VGK.

The Golden Knights will be back in action Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at home.

Here are Vegas Hockey Now’s takeaways from the loss against the Avalanche.

Puck Management

The Avalanche controlled play for the majority of the game. They were faster in nearly every puck battle, but for the most part, had to work for their goals against the Golden Knight’s defense.

“I wasn’t happy with our puck management. You’re giving it to a team that’s really dangerous. They come in here ornery. They lost last night at home, so you know you got to be ready to go… You just can’t mismanage against Colorado; they are too talented and fast,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Sticktoitiveness

The Avalanche may have controlled the puck for most of the game, but the Golden Knights only lost by a goal. The team’s defense did a good job at forcing shots from the outside, and the sticktoitiveness was there for the VGK, something Marchessault says the team can build off of.

“We felt like we have a team that we can come back like we are used to. Obviously, last year was a little harder on morale (missing the playoffs after a late-season push). I thought our team battled back. We played well in the third period and I think there’s a lot of belief in that team that we have in a locker room, and I think we should take it as positive,” said Marchessault.

New Lines

Late in the game, looking to make a comeback, Cassidy shuffled up his line combinations and put Chandler Stephenson, Jack Eichel, and Mark Stone together as well as reuniting the Misfits.

This gave the team the spark to score one goal, but they couldn’t finish off the comeback.

“Tonight I thought Jack (Eichel), (Reilly Smith) Smitty, and Phil (Kessel), weren’t getting pucks back at all. So they seemed to be getting a little bit off their game. They weren’t connected and supporting each other. So we moved some things around and got some juice from it,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy also stated that the lines may continue to shuffle as the Golden Knights look for scoring.

“We may see that look again… We didn’t know how the lines would land. We still don’t. It forces Stevie (Chandler Stephenson) out of the middle of the play to wing. But he’s played a lot there,” said Cassidy.

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