The Vegas Golden Knights have had a rough go lately. Rather their problem is injuries or COVID, there always seems to be something going on. That didn’t change yesterday.
Yesterday, It was reported that the Knights had added multiple players into COVID protocols. Now, although I’m things could’ve been worse- it still hurts not seeing some of the guys out on the ice. But that’s not the point of this article. The point of this article is to reflect. So let’s get back to doing that.
Earlier in the season, while Mark Stone, William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty and many more were dealing with injuries, the Knights relied on their prospect depth. Given the current circumstances, it was easy enough to assume they’d do the same thing again. One of those names that they called up? Jake Leschyshyn.
Now, if you’re familiar with this page, you’re probably aware with the love I have for Leschyshyn. He’s not the most productive player, but he plays such a strong game no matter what role he’s asked to take on. Now, furthermore on that statement, yesterday he was asked to take on the role of playing on the fourth-line. So how did he do? We’ll let’s take a look at his first game back as a Vegas Golden Knight.
The Vegas Golden Knights called up multiple prospects yesterday prior to their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of those names was forward, Jake Leschyshyn. That game was Leschyshyn’s first game back as a Golden Knight. So, how did he do? Let’s take a dive into his game.
Jake Leschyshyn’s first period was actually pretty noticeable. On his first shift back at T-Mobile, he found himself getting involved in a breakout. He received the puck heading from the neutral zone into the offensive zone and made some nice moves with the puck. Now, although he didn’t help lead that play into a goal, it was a memorable play he made. Not to mention the speed he was playing with.
He showed a lot of speed in that first period as far as getting up and down the ice, forechecking and backchecking in both the offensive and defensive zones. He came in like he ready to play and put pressure on the Maple Leafs defense.
In the second period, it was a completely different story. The Vegas Golden Knights had a ton of offensive pressure and that pretty much forced Pete DeBoer to keep the top line players out on the ice. Anyways, let’s get back to Jake Leschyshyn.
Leschyshyn had a pretty good first period with all things considered. He showed speed, he was checking well, handling the puck well on breakouts. The second was a different story though. In fact, he was almost a non-factor out there in the second period. Now, as a fourth-line player, he doesn’t see a whole lot of minutes. Nonetheless, that doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t quite make the most of the minutes he was given.
Similar to the third period, there wasn’t much happening for Jake Leschyshyn. Outside of the first period, there wasn’t much happening for anyone who wasn’t on the top two lines. I’d be nice to say what he did that made DeBoer not play him, but unfortunately we don’t know. He played well for the Vegas Golden Knights in the first, but apparently something changed.
From what I can guess, I would assume it has something to do with not needing the forecheck from the fourth-line. With the time on attack being in favor of the Knights, they were primarily looking for the production. Which, in other words, the fourth-line was obsolete for most of the game.