In the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural preseason game Sunday, the team ran the Vancouver Canucks out of their own building by a score of 9-4. Youngsters Tyler Wong, Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki led the way for the Knights and gave Vegas fans a sneak peek at what’s to come for the NHL’s newest franchise.
Tuesday night, it was the Golden Knights’ veterans who got a chance to exhibit their skills, but the result remained the same. The Knights walked out of the Pepsi Center with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche and, once again, looked pretty good!
Here are five things we learned from the victory.
The power play looks solid
Vegas got some early power play opportunities to start the contest and made the most of them, with Jonathan Marchessault and Oscar Lindberg both finding twine on the man advantage. They moved the puck well and finished when scoring chances were available. Take this with a grain of salt, as the majority of Colorado’s squad was given the night off (and both power play goals came on the two-man advantage), but it’s still encouraging to see the power play building chemistry early on.
Speak of the devil...
Jonathan Marchessault is no flash in the pan
When the Golden Knights selected Marchessault from the Florida Panthers in the expansion draft, there were still some questions about his overall value. Coming off an incredible 30-goal season in 2016-17, it was fair to wonder of Marchessault’s breakout campaign was a fluke.
By the looks of it, though, that doesn’t appear to be the case at all.
Marchessault dazzled against Colorado, scoring a goal and routinely finding passing lanes and setting up quality scoring chances. If tonight was any indication, the 26-year-old could be a force for Vegas this season.
Vadim Shipachyov had a quiet night in NHL debut
The 30-year-old KHL transplant had somewhat of an uneventful evening. He played well defensively and delivered a couple nice passes, but failed to make much of a noticeable impact. However, it was Shipachyov’s first game in North America and he may just be going through a minor adjustment. It is preseason, after all. At the end of the day, Shipachyov is likely to play a huge role for the Golden Knights and should slot in as the team’s top-line center to start the year.
Luca Sbisa needs work
Sbisa has underwhelmed significantly since being selected 19th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. After three largely unimpressive seasons with the Canucks, Sbisa joins the Golden Knights with the potential to win a roster spot by default, thanks to boring traits like grit and veteran savvy.
Against Colorado, however, he looked lackluster. A turnover in his own third of the ice nearly resulted in a goal, but goaltender Maxime Lagace bailed him out with a tough save on a quality scoring chance. He did finish the night with an assist, but those aren’t expected to come regularly for the 27-year-old defenseman. Sbisa will need to be more responsible with the puck on his stick if he wants to earn a role with Vegas.
Vegas’ goalies are good!
The Golden Knights’ goalie prospects have played very well to start off the preseason. Tonight, netminders Oscar Dansk and Lagace combined for just one goal allowed on 29 shots. Not bad at all. Of course, they’ll need to wait a while to earn a role in Vegas (because, you know, Marc-Andre Fleury and all), but it’s still good to see the young goalies playing well.
The Golden Knights play again Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (PT) against the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center. Stay with Knights On Ice for info on the matchup!