The Vegas Golden Knights will get back one of their top six forwards but who sits now?
With a 2-0 series lead heading to Los Angeles, the Vegas Golden Knights are in great shape heading into game three. After a double overtime victory, the NHL’s newest franchise carries all the momentum traveling to the Staples Center. You have to wonder what kind of state of mind the Kings are in after two crushing losses in Las Vegas.
It looks as if Jake Muzzin will return to the Kings lineup after nursing an upper-body injury since the end of March. But that’s not all, after serving a one-game suspension Drew Doughty makes his return to the Los Angeles lineup. Kevin Gravel and game two-goal scorer Paul LaDue will take a seat for this one. Kings Head Coach John Stevens will also slot Alex Iafallo in for Michael Amadio.
The Kings had to make these changes to get their team back in the series. But even with a 2-0 series lead, the Golden Knights look like they’re making a switch to their forward group. Some people may raise their eyebrows after hearing about this one.
The Vegas Golden Knights are happy to get David Perron back in their lineup ahead of Sunday nights battle against the Kings. He’s one piece that could jolt the Golden Knights offense who has just three goals in 155 minutes against Jonathan Quick. Let’s go over some of Perron’s stats over the course of the regular season:
In 70 games played in 2017-18, Perron has totaled 16 goals, 50 assists, and 66 points. The Sherbrooke, Quebec native was also missed for his leadership that he brings to the room. His chemistry with James Neal and Erik Haula on the second line is crucial for this hockey team.
But after seeing the line rushes in warmups, it looks as if he won’t see his usual spot as Alex Tuch remains with Neal and Haula. Instead, his linemates for game three are Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter. But the question that’s raised is who will sit?
Interestingly, Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant decided that Tomas Tatar will sit in the press box for game three. That’s right, the player that general manager George McPhee brought along at the trade deadline is a healthy scratch in game three.
McPhee gave up three draft picks for a player that they hoped would bring more of an offensive jolt to their lineup. Alternatively, the Golden Knights will have him sit this one out. But this may not be the worst thing for the Ilava, Czechoslovakia native.
Tatar now knows his job isn’t safe anymore. Perhaps the change to the lineup sets bells off in his head that now he needs to step up. A rejuvenated Tatar could provide a significant impact later on in this series if Gallant decides to use him.
All in all, this change to the lineup is a massive plus for the Vegas Golden Knights offense. Yes, people do believe that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But with just three goals in 155 minutes of play against the hottest goaltender in the world, something had to be done.