Golden Knights Preview
Photo Credit: Elite Sports NY

Game Preview: Golden Knights vs Coyotes


March 9th, 2020 the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Edmonton Oilers in overtime. Spirits were high as VGK held a four-point lead in the Pacific Division with eleven games remaining in the regular season. Unfortunately, that was the last meaningful regular-season game VGK would play during the 2019-2020 campaign.


VGK gets their lone dress rehearsal tonight as they take on the Arizona Coyotes in Edmonton. Before I discuss the game, I need to acknowledge the effort that the NHL has put in to find a way to resume the 2019-2020 season. The presentations of the previous exhibition games have been fantastic. The NHL has gone all out to create a unique viewing experience.

The arenas are stunning. Each exhibition broadcast starts with all members from each team standing next to one another as the Canadian and American National Anthems are played. Players from opposite sides are standing next to one another. My favorite enhancement is a new camera angle that you will primarily see during a powerplay. It is like the Skycam that the NFL uses. The camera is basically over the glass at the edge of the blue line. It gives you a better perspective of what the traffic in front of the net looks like while helping viewers understand how little time goalies must react to a 100 mph slapshot.


Courtesy: NHL
Photo Credit: NHL Rumors

Just getting to this point is a fantastic accomplishment. For now, it seems like the NHL has created the safest environment possible of all professional sports. We have a long way to go until someone raises the Stanley Cup in October, but this is an encouraging start!

Coach Pete DeBoer recently mentioned, “the goalies will probably play two and two between the exhibition and round-robin games.” Wednesday, DeBoer announced that Marc Andre Fleury would start in goal in the exhibition game. VGK has one game that means nothing, which is tonight’s exhibition game, and three games are meaningful. If DeBoer sticks with what he stated, Fleury will play one meaningful game, and Robin Lehner will play two meaningful games.


This is certainly a storyline to watch.


Forward Max Pacioretty did not travel to Edmonton. The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs should start 8/11 or 8/12, so he has time to get himself into “fit to play” status. The indication from DeBoer is the uncertainty of ice availability as the primary reason for Pacioretty remaining in Vegas to rehab. Keep in mind that there are twelve teams in each hub city with limited ice to go around. Hopefully, he makes the trip to Edmonton and can get a round-robin game under his belt before the real games start.


Golden Knights Preview
Photo Credit: Knights On Ice

It will be interesting to see what happens to the forward lines while Pacioretty is out. I believe the most likely scenario sees Nosek drawing into the third line center role. The “meat-grinder” line of Carrier-Cousins-Reaves stays as is along with no changes to the Marchessault-Stastny-Smith line. Tuch, Stephenson, and Roy all could get a game with Karlsson and Stone to see which combo performs best in the event Pacioretty needs to be replaced long term.

Could nineteen-year-old Peyton Krebs draw into the lineup? Remember, before his injury, Krebs was projected as a top-five pick. He’s lived with Mark Stone during camp and playing with some of the best players in the universe. It would be nice to see Krebs in at least one of the next four games to see what he can do.


It seemed impossible that we would get hockey back.  But here we are, enjoy the game and the wild ride that is about to start!


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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

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