What we learned from the Golden Knights’ 5-3 loss to the Sharks
To the regular season we go!
The Vegas Golden Knights faced off against the San Jose Sharks just over a week ago in California. After an exciting start to the preseason, Vegas got clobbered in the SAP Center, losing by a score of 5-2.
Fast forward to the start of Pumpkin Spice Latte season, and the result was much the same. Once again, the Golden Knights lost to the Sharks. In the 5-3 loss, though, Vegas was far more competitive than they were in their previous contest against San Jose.
Here are a few notes from the game:
The second line needs to stay together
While most Golden Knights players seem to still be building chemistry with one another, the second line sure appears to be in a good place. William Karlsson, David Perron and Cody Eakin (who played on the wing Sunday night) were buzzing in the offensive zone and created numerous scoring opportunities. Perron, though, was especially noticeable. Aside from a bad gaffe in the first period that led to a San Jose goal, Perron looked very good. He nearly gave the Knights an early lead in the contest, but couldn’t get the puck past the post.
David Perron snipes one past Aaron Dell.... but not past the post. pic.twitter.com/fUYfCJmZiA— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 2, 2017
He would eventually get himself a goal in the second period, though!
David Perron finally finds twine. Snipes one past Dell from up high. pic.twitter.com/fRWhoH3OZt— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 2, 2017
So far, this has easily been the Knights’ best line and it would be a crime to break it up while it’s playing so effectively.
Erik Haula is kinda good
The 26-year-old Finnish center had himself a night. In the first period, Haula picked up a loose puck and blazed past every San Jose player in his path for a gorgeous breakaway goal to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead. His speed has been evident throughout the preseason.
Five hole. Erik Haula, I like you. pic.twitter.com/E380tRTNwX— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 2, 2017
Haula finished the night leading the team with a 76.47% Corsi For and a 29.72% Corsi relative to his teammates. Haula is already looking like one of the Knights’ best pickups from the expansion draft.
Shea Theodore has earned a role with the big club
Saying Theodore has no weaknesses in his game is simply a boldfaced lie. The 22-year-old blueliner, though flashy, still needs some work in his own third of the ice. However, it seems like a foregone conclusion that Theodore will not only make the Knights out of camp, but will also play a significant role as one of Vegas’ top options on the power play. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman is absolutely mesmerizing with the puck on his stick and, despite his growing pains as a defender, Theodore will be an important presence on the Vegas blueline. He’s a lock.
That will do it for the Golden Knights’ inaugural preseason! Games finally matter now. The Knights’ next game will be their regular season opener against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on Friday, October 6. The Knights’ home opener will take place on October 10 against the Arizona Coyotes.