Hope you all have stayed safe during these crazy times. We’re glad the puck is dropping again, and we hope you join us for the ride.
The Vegas Golden Knights begin Year 4 of their NHL campaign tonight against the Anaheim Ducks; the first of eight meetings between the clubs and first game of a 56-game season that is surely to be eventful.
There will be no fans tonight at T-Mobile Arena. One of the loudest arenas will be occupied by the sounds of skates, boards and goals. It’ll be weird, but we’re here to document everything as we can.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ducks projected lineup
Rickard Rakell — Adam Henrique — Jakob Silfverberg
Isac Lundestrom — Ryan Getzlaf — Danton Heinen
Maxime Comtois — Sam Steel — Troy Terry
Nicolas Deslauriers — Derek Grant — Carter Rowney
Cam Fowler — Josh Manson
Hampus Lindholm — Kevin Shattenkirk
Jacob Larsson — Jani Hakanpaa
Golden Knights projected lineup
Max Pacioretty — Chandler Stephenson — Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Reilly Smith
Alex Tuch — Cody Glass — Nicolas Roy
William Carrier — Tomas Nosek — Ryan Reaves
Keegan Kolesar — Brayden McNabb — Alex Pietrangelo
Alec Martinez — Shea Theodore
Lucky No. 7
Alex Pietrangelo makes his Golden Knights debut tonight, in case you forgot. Pietrangelo signed a seven-year deal ($8.8 million AAV) with Vegas in October after spending the first 12 seasons of his career with the St. Louis Blues.
Pietrangelo is expected to play on the left side on the top pair with Brayden McNabb, formerly occupied by the recently-traded Nate Schmidt.
The Golden Knights will use five defensemen tonight, which all but expects heavy nights for Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore.
O’ Captain, My Captain
Mark Stone was named the Golden Knights’ first captain on Wednesday and his first task is to lead this team through a pandemic-ridden season.
Stone stays on the top line with Max Pacioretty and, for the moment, Chandler Stephenson. The speed of Stephenson, who signed a four-year extension with Vegas in the offseason after being acquired from Washington over a year ago, complements the star wingers well.
After what seemed like an inevitable decision, Stone will finally don the ‘C’ in Vegas. Get your cameras ready from a socially-distanced point of view.
No idea who starts in goal
Pete DeBoer has decided to be nice and not announce the starting goaltender until 30 minutes prior to puck drop for every game this season.
Nice might be putting it loosely if you’re a fan of wanting to know who gets the call for Vegas.
Robin Lehner did not participate at morning skate (neither did Pietrangelo), so it seems plausible Lehner starts. However, Marc-Andre Fleury did take part in some first-team work at practice on Tuesday, so take that for what you will.
But just like all of you, we’ll find out together who starts for Vegas tonight.
As for tonight’s hype song, just picked the first one that came to mind. Enjoy the hockey.