Golden Knights Takeaways
New Golden Knights New Line Providing Strong Results
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, head coach Bruce Cassidy has been trying to find the right mixture of lines for the
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, head coach Bruce Cassidy has been trying to find the right mixture of lines for the Vegas Golden Knights. Injuries and trade deadline acquisitions have resulted in guts coming in and out of the lineup.
But in the Golden Knight's Thursday night victory against the Los Angeles Kings, a new contender for a line emerged. The line of Phil Kessel, Chandler Stephenson, and Ivan Barbashev combined for three goals in their first three shifts of the game, which paved the way for a VGK win.
"It was just a good overall game. The puck was finding them, and that's very important. There are different guys every night, sometimes it's (Jack) Eichel's line they got their goal later (Jonathan Marchessault) Marchy did. Tonight I just thought that it was one of those nights where there were really no passengers," said Cassidy.
Forechecking seemed to be the key to success for the line, with the Kings' defense losing pucks to the speed of Stephenson, Kessel, and Barbashev. This was a particular area of emphasis for the Golden Knights going into this game against the Kings.
"They were on fire. Every time they stepped on the ice, they scored. Stevie's (Stephenson's) goal was smooth, it was a pretty nice move there. I think Phil's (Kessel's) goal, if I remember correctly, came off the forecheck. That's kind of what we talked about. They did a great job," said defenseman Nicolas Hague.
"I thought our forecheck was outstanding, and we got a lot of pucks back because of it. We weren't given up odd-man rushes or numbers coming at us because of that. Guys, we're really dedicated to that gameplan tonight," added coach Cassidy.
For Stephenson, who has had multiple linemates this season since Mark Stone's injury, perhaps this can be his new permanent linemates heading forward.
"Phil's still got it. He still makes plays; he's still quick, hangs onto it, and lets you get open. Barbie (Barbashev) he's a great addition; he's been solid ever since he came here; he gets a lot of pucks, can finish, and can make plays. It's been a good first game, and hopefully, we can keep it going," said Stephenson.
The Golden Knights have three games remaining in their regular season schedule. Their next game is Saturday against the Dallas Stars at 12:30 p.m.