The deck was stacked against the Vegas Golden Knights as they played against the Florida Panthers without William Karlsson, Keegan Kolesar, Adin Hill, and Shea Theodore. Pluses were few and far between.
Here are the pluses and minuses from the Golden Knights’ 4-1 loss to the Panthers on Thursday night.
+ Good Start
Mark Stone felt the Golden Knights dominated the game’s first period and the Golden Knights scored the game’s first goal. The Golden Knights held a 12-2 shot advantage in the game’s first 12 minutes.
– Where is the Intensity?
Similar to the Winter Classic against the Seattle Kraken, the Golden Knights lacked intensity against the Eastern Conference champions. The Panthers delivered a series of punches (on the scoreboard and physically) and the Golden Knights failed to punch back. It is January, and the games are not as exciting as they are in April, May, and June. But the team needs to pick up the intensity if they want to play in April, May, and June.
– Special Teams
The Golden Knights failed on six power plays including an extended two-man advantage in the second period. The Panthers scored three powerplay goals. The Golden Knights’ power play and penalty kill both rank No. 16 overall in the league.
– Alex Pietrangelo
Pietrangelo was a minus-1 and on the ice for three of the Panthers’ four goals on Thursday night. This marks the ninth time in 11 games that Pietrangelo has been minus-1 or worse.
+ Mark Stone
It does not matter what line Stone is on, he finds a way to contribute to every game. Stone was moved to a line with Chandler Stephenson and Pavel Dorofeyev and logged an assist on Dorofeyev’s goal.
+ Pavel Dorofeyev
He got the Golden Knights’ only goal so that makes him an automatic plus for the game.
– Coach Bruce Cassidy Indirectly Calls Out Logan Thompson
Thompson is not in a good place right now. His body language suggests it. Below is Thompson’s response to my question about handling pressure from a couple of weeks ago.
Here is how coach Bruce Cassidy summarized one of the Panthers’ power play goals. “The first goal was an off-net shot that we were out of position for the rebound. I don’t know if you can blame the penalty kill on that one, particularly.” That leaves one player that coach Cassidy is blaming, Logan Thompson.
Thompson has not been playing great, no one is saying that he is. Coach Cassidy needs to dial it back a bit on his statements about Thompson through the media. It is wearing on him.
– Locker Room
Brayden McNabb said twice that the team is not going to turn on each other during his post game interview. Why did he say that? What exactly is happening in the locker room? The team is stressed and has high expectations. McNabb’s comments suggest that there is some level of turmoil.
+ Henderson Silver Knights Importance to Golden Knights
Thompson, Dorofeyev, Jiri Patera, Grigori Denisenko, Brayden Pachal, and Lukas Cormier were all on the ice for warmups against the Florida Panthers. The Silver Knights have been a great feeder for the Golden Knights and the future is bright.