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Golden Knights Notebook

Golden Knights Nicolas Hague Steps Up With Decimated Defense

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy described it as "A freaking bomb." But I think the correct word he was looking for is "Haguerbomb."




Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy described it as "A freaking bomb." But I think the correct word he was looking for is "Haguerbomb."

2:04 into overtime VGK defensemen Nicolas Hague scored the 5-4 overtime game-winner against the Nashville Predators on New Years' Eve. 

"I leaned in to it. But I feel like I lean into all of them. That was just from a good shot and it kind of laid in there for me from Stoney (Mark Stone)," said Hague.

The Golden Knights blew a lead in the third period with Filip Forsberg completing a hat-trick to tie the game with three seconds left, but Hague patched up the mistake.

"That felt nice to end it like that and get a win especially after giving up a late one like that. That was a little tough. But we stuck with it and focused on the next play," said Hague.

The Golden Knights were overreliant on four of their defensemen as both Brayden McNabb, and Daniil Miromanov left the game Saturday. Miromanov was injured blocking a shot late in the second period, and McNabb was ejected after a high hit on Mark Jankowski.

"It was a grind to get through it. But we got the two points, right? It shows some real resiliency in the whole group to stay with it. You don't want to give up a lead in the third ever, but sometimes it happens, and tonight good for us to keep our heads on straight after they scored and get back to it in overtime," said head coach Cassidy.

Hague, Alex Pietrangelo, Ben Hutton, and Brayden Pachal were the VGK's remaining defensemen, with Shea Theodore, Zach Whitecloud, and Alec Martinez already out with lower-body injuries. With key defensemen out of the lineup, Hague's role has only increased for the VGK.

"I think you've seen his responsibility grow. We are trying to play more with Petro (Alex Pietrangelo) in a shutdown role. We have talked to Nick about valuing that part of the game and being known as a guy that's real hard to play against… But when you're on the ice more, eventually you're gonna get offensive opportunities, too, because you're just on the ice more. I think he wants to contribute more to the team and help the team that way," said Cassidy.

Hague is not known to be an offensive defenseman, but perhaps his best attribute is his shot, which he can absolutely rip. Cassidy states that even though he is not relied upon for offense, he wants Hague to utilize his shot more.

"The message to Nic; he has got such a good shot, is just focus on hitting the net when those quick ones… You can get a lot of points that way through tips and deflections. The last one was just a freaking bomb, right? That's where you want him to find his open ice," said Cassidy.

In the offseason, after some contract disputes, Hague signed a three-year $2.2 million contract with the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights are done for the calendar year of 2022. They will play the Colorado Avalanche next on Jan. 2 on the road at 6:00 p.m.