It has been a winning start to the preseason for the Vegas Golden Knights who are now 3-0-0 after beating the LA Kings 3-2 in Overtime on Thursday night.
There was plenty of edge and tempo to proceedings despite it being an exhibition game, and the Vegas Golden Knights wiped out a 2-0 deficit to maintain their perfect record in preseason so far thanks to Jonathan Marchessault’s winning goal in Overtime.
The Kings did outshoot the Knights 38-26 and were leading thanks to goals from Dustin Brown and Blake Lizotte, but a solid effort from Oscar Dansk in net coupled with late third period tucks from Curtis McKenzie and Mark Stone laid the platform for Marchessault to produce the goods in Overtime.
Winning is always fun and the Golden Knights have dominated the preseason so far having outscored their opponents 14-4. However, wins and losses aren’t the main priority for the coaching staff who are instead more concerned with avoiding injury, getting a closer look at talent within the farm system and tinkering with different line combinations.
Head Coach Gerard Gallant and the front office have been given plenty to think about in the opening three preseason games, and it was no different against the LA Kings on Thursday. A number of players stood out and impressed and the battle for the last couple of roster spots that remain open are intensifying by the day.
As we have done after every preseason game so far, we watched the game and then presented our biggest takeaways, and you can see our three observations from the Vegas Golden Knights’ 3-2 overtime win over the LA Kings below…
1. Abundance of goalie riches on the depth chart
Goaltending is the most important position in hockey and it is one of the most critical roles in all of sports, ranking right up there with the quarterback in American Football. You can’t be successful in the NHL without good goaltending, just look at the Philadelphia Flyers in recent years, and it is an invaluable commodity in hockey.
So the Golden Knights have been pretty lucky in the fact that they have boasted a future Hall of Famer on their roster from day one in Marc-Andre Fleury, who has three Stanley Cups to his name and has still been playing at an elite level between the pipes in Vegas.
But, at 34-years-old, Fleury’s career won’t go on forever and having been ravaged by a flurry of injuries in the later stages of his career, the Golden Knights are going to have to ensure that they have the future ready to go when Fleury does decide to hang them up, although that seems to be a few years away at the moment.
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And, on current evidence, the goalie depth has never been stronger for the Golden Knights with three netminders getting the opportunity to impress this preseason. After Malcolm Subban recovered from a slow start to make 28 saves on 30 shots, Garret Sparks – acquired in a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the off-season – came in and pulled off a 24-save shutout against Colorado Avalanche earlier in the week.
It was the turn of Oscar Dansk to show what he was made of when given the start against the LA Kings, and the 31st overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft didn’t disappoint at all, recording 36 saves on 38 shots including a couple of highlight-reel stops.
The most impressive save came in the second period when Dansk got his shoulder on a thunderous one-timer from Kings blueliner Drew Doughty, and there were a few other notable stops during the course of the game too.
Prior to Dustin Brown giving LA the lead, Subban, Sparks and Dansk had contributed to giving Vegas a superb streak of 150.08 minutes of preseason hockey without letting in a goal, and the Golden Knights front office should be thrilled with how their goalie depth is looking going into 2019-20.
Put your shoulder into it!!! pic.twitter.com/mh7Tblp6gz
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) September 20, 2019
Although Subban has been confirmed as the backup for this year, competition is always vital in sports and it will be a significant benefit for the Vegas Golden Knights to have a group of goalies playing at a high level both in the NHL and in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves.
Throw Dylan Ferguson into the mix too then the Vegas Golden Knights will have three goalies in Sparks, Dansk and Ferguson beginning the year with Chicago and, should injuries strike to Fleury or Subban throughout the course of 2019-20, then at the very least the front office will have no shortage of depth to be able to call upon.