What to Make of Tomas Hertl's Golden Knights Debut

The long-anticipated Golden Knights debut of Tomas Hertl has happened. How did he do in his first game donning gold?
Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks
Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

Ladies and gentlemen, the long-awaited arrival of Tomas Hertl has arrived. The former San Jose Shark played his first game for the Vegas Golden Knights since the NHL Trade Deadline. Now, Golden Knights fans got to see what the Czech star was made of. Did he live up to the hype or did he act as a double-agent, sabotaging Vegas?

The Golden Knights needed his talents against the Pacific Division-leading Vancouver Canucks tonight. Despite the Canucks winning by a score of 4-3, some things inspire confidence in the Vegas faithful. What did Golden Knights fans see with their newfound acquisition?

Tomas Hertl's Impact on the Power Play

It's no secret that the Vegas Golden Knights have been awful on the power play. In fact, it's been their curse throughout their franchise history, albeit a unique one. However, adding the former Shark to the mix seems to be helping.

Tomas Hertl's impact on the power play was felt immediately, for he gained an assist on a Noah Hanifin goal tonight. With the forward wreaking havoc in the front of the net, he's made the Vegas Golden Knights better on the man advantage. That's especially true when the new acquisition is big, making the goaltender's life miserable.

Now whether that lasts remains to be seen. After all, the Golden Knights have struggled on the man advantage throughout most of the second half this season. However, he's shown there's some hope for Vegas on the power play, establishing a presence in the middle that was desperately needed.

Why Getting Tomas Hertl Helps

There's more to Tomas Hertl than being a power play merchant, though. It's no secret the Vegas Golden Knights love having size in their lineup. With one of the biggest teams in the NHL, the Golden Knights can effectively throw their weight around. With Hertl, they're getting more size and strength, plugging him into their defensive plans.

Another positive of having Hertl in the lineup is his playmaking instincts. Chandler Stephenson has played better in recent months, making him a more dangerous hockey player. Imagine how good he and Hertl can be if the chemistry pops off by being on the same line as they were tonight.

The Verdict

Suddenly, the Vegas Golden Knights need help. Missing Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo hasn't hurt the team more than now. Losing a bit of defense has made the Golden Knights weaker.

But with one returning star in Tomas Hertl comes an opportunity to regroup. With the Czech star in the fold, things are forming for the Golden Knights. For Vegas hockey fans, they're hoping it means repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

. Tomas Hertl Grade in his Debut. Tomas Hertl Grade in his Debut. B+.