The Vegas Golden Knights have suffered through an injury bug, and it’s one reason why they lost steam after a stellar start. But the defending Stanley Cup Champions aren’t taking a step back when their lineup is at or at least close to healthy once again, and one particular player’s return alone should catapult Vegas.
But there are also quite a few other players who have either been healthy all season or have finally regained their health and can stand to bring the best versions of themselves forward. If they do that, look for the Golden Knights to provide a legitimate challenge for the Pacific-leading Vancouver Canucks. Who will make the biggest impact for Vegas to give them the best chance to retake the lead?
Jack Eichel’s season of dominance must continue when he returns
Jack Eichel hasn’t seen the ice in nearly a month, but that will be changing once he’s cleared to play again.
It had been a while since Eichel eclipsed the point-per-game mark, with it last occurring in the 2019-20 season when he scored 78 in just 68 contests. Before he went down with a lower-body injury, Eichel had 44 points in 42 games, with 19 goals, setting the stage for a career-high. Unfortunately, that won’t happen since he’s missed so much time, but it doesn’t mean he won’t get back into a groove early and continue what has been a dominant season in Vegas.
He’s also not one of those players who will perform well on just one side of the ice, as his 47 takeaways show us he can deny developing plays when the Golden Knights don’t have the puck. However, Vegas will benefit more offensively than anything else when Eichel returns, and expect them to play like the best team in the Western Conference when he’s cleared to suit up.