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Golden Knights: Line Blender; Move Karlsson Up and Barbashev Down



Vegas Golden Knighs, Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault
EDMONTON, AB - MAY 14: Vegas Golden Knights Left Wing Jonathan Marchessault (81) celebrates a goal in the second period of game six in the Western Conference Second Round of the Edmonton Oilers versus the Las Vegas Golden Knights on May 14, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire)

The Vegas Golden Knights are in a rough patch as they near the end of a five-game road trip. The Golden Knights take on the Dallas Stars Wednesday night and look to salvage five points on the five-game road trip.

Coach Bruce Cassidy has not hesitated to mix up the lines when things have not been going well. Is it time for Cassidy to put the lines in a blender for Wednesday’s game against the Stars? Maybe. The Golden Knights have been Jekyll and Hyde on the road trip. Scoring was not an issue against the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. But the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights defeated the Stars 3-2 (SO) on Oct. 17. Coach Cassidy made a surprising move to generate a spark. William Karlsson was moved to the wing and scored the game’s tying goal with 2:59 remaining in the third period.

Coach Cassidy put the lines in a blender looking for a spark against the Penguins on Sunday.

Unfortunately, it did not work out as the Penguins shut out the Golden Knights.

Wednesday is the perfect opportunity for Cassidy to shake things up. Maybe it works. Maybe it does not.

Below is what Vegas Hockey Now’s Chris Gawlik would like to see.


Jack Eichel and Mark Stone together can do some damage. Stone has scored a number of goals from the dirty area in front of the net. Eichel does a great job at getting defensemen to chase him around to create space for the other forwards. Paul Cotter or Brett Howden can do a good job at retrieving pucks from the corner to start the cycle.

William Karlsson leads the Golden Knights in points with 20 points (11 goals). We have seen the special chemistry and Karlsson and Marchessault have. Pavel Dorofeyev has just five points (1 goal) in 12 games, but Karlsson and Dorofeyev have developed chemistry which could be driving Karlsson’s scoring output. Howden has also done a solid job on a line with Karlsson. Coach Cassidy can not go wrong with who plays wing with Karlsson and Marchessault.

Can Chandler Stephenson perform on a line without Stone? A third line role is different for Stephenson and a large focus of his game would have to be on defense. Howden or Michael Amadio would be a good compliment to Stephenson’s game. This would be a demotion for Ivan Barbashev. Can Stephenson and Barbashev on a line together create a spark?

The fourth line stays intact, for now. William Carrier has been serviceable when moved up and Nic Roy has the ability to play any of the 12 forward spots if needed.

Outside of injuries, Cassidy has stayed pretty close with the opening night lines. Howden and Cotter have swapped places a bit.

Opening night forward lines

Things were going well, Cassidy had little need to mix things up outside of a few changes to find a spark. Things are not going as well now. The Golden Knights are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games after starting the season on fire and were shut out twice in a short span. Wednesday against the Stars is the perfect time to put the lines in a blender and see what happens.

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