The Vegas Golden Knights were defeated Friday night by the Seattle Kraken 4-2.
Here are Vegas Hockey Now’s Takeaways from the game.
Golden Knights Takeaways
After the Kraken scored two goals in the first period, head coach Bruce Cassidy shuffled up his team’s line combinations. Paul Cotter was put on the first line, Phil Kessel on the second, and Jonathan Marchessault was demoted to the third.
“I was looking for something to get the guy’s attention. Sometimes you put some of your better players on the bench for a little bit; it gets their attention… Then we got a bit of a spark for whatever reason,” said Cassidy.
This did, in fact, give the Golden Knights a spark as they scored two goals in the first. It seemed as if the new lines were working, but Cassidy surprisingly went back to his old lines in the second period.
Cassidy explained his decision as purely an attention-getter and nothing more than that. So it doesn’t look like we will be seeing more of first-line left-winger Paul Cotter.
“I went back to them because they’ve been successful for us. That’s why I did it. It was an attention-getter. We need to be better. I’m not burying anybody, but we need to be better, and we went back to what’s been successful for us,” said Cassidy.
Are The Kraken Good?
Perhaps the biggest surprise Friday night was just how much of an improvement the Seattle Kraken have made, not just from last season but from their October loss to the Golden Knights.
They have now beaten the Golden Knights for the first time in franchise history and have only one regulation loss in their last eleven games.
They’re fast, quick on pucks, and have underrated guys like Jared McCann, Olivier Bjorkstrand, and Andre Burakovsky who can put the puck in the net. In his first game back from injury, Philip Grubauer was solid.
They were quicker than us and won a lot more races, one on one battles, and executed better than us. They were just the better team. Let’s call it what it is. From start to finish they outplayed us,” said Cassidy.
Hill Struggles, Brossoit Brewing?
Adin Hill didn’t have a horrible game Friday night, but he didn’t have a great one, either. He let in four goals on 28 shots and finished the night with a .857 save percentage. Andre Burakovsky beat him clean twice, and he made some desperate moves to try and stop Jordan Eberle’s goal.
The Golden Knights have three NHL-capable goaltenders in their system Hill, Logan Thompson, and the now-healthy Laurent Brossoit, who is with the Henderson Silver Knights.
The decision to boot Brossoit down to the minors came both on the heels of how well the tandem of Thompson and Hill had been doing early and also the injury recovery process for Brossoit.
But given Hill’s struggles, could we see Brossoit back in Vegas soon? The Golden Knights will likely move one of their goaltenders not named Thompson before the NHL trade deadline for cap space. So a decision on who to keep between the trio will have to be made based on play.
Brossoit has played seven games with the Silver Knights and has a not-so-great 3.74 GAA and .871 sv% on a struggling Silver Knights team.
I think we will see Hill last at least until the team’s upcoming four-game road trip out East. There he can get a couple more chances to prove himself. After that, Brossoit may be ready to come back to the NHL, and I think Brossosit will play at least one more game as a Golden Knight, even if he is moved.