In this edition of Vegas Golden Knights News & Rumors, Jack Eichel appears to be nearing a return as he was recently cleared for contact. Speaking of health, Nicolas Hague was able to rejoin the lineup on Tuesday night after being placed on the injured reserve just over a week ago with an undisclosed ailment. Last but not least, Laurent Brossoit was somewhat surprisingly given the start Tuesday night and made the most of it, as he shut out his former team in the Edmonton Oilers.
Eichel Cleared for Contact
On Monday, which was the Golden Knights’ first practice since the All-Star break, Eichel was spotted wearing a regular practice jersey, as opposed to the non-contact one he had been wearing since he first began skating with his teammates over a month ago. He skated on a reserve line with Nolan Patrick and Michael Amadio.
After the practice, head coach Pete DeBoer admitted he still doesn’t know when Eichel will be able to return, but he was excited that he has made another step in his recovery. The 25-year-old, who was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres back in November, has been unable to play in 2021-22 due to a neck injury. That injury required surgery, which he was able to get just weeks after becoming a Golden Knight. Given this latest update, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if he were ready to make his debut later this month.
Hague Latest Golden Knight to Return
In recent weeks, the Golden Knights have finally started getting healthy. They have recently welcomed back players like Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, William Karlsson, and Brossoit, and last night, they were able to have another rejoin the lineup in Hague. The 23-year-old, who is in his second full season with the Golden Knights, was put on the injured reserve on Feb. 2 with an undisclosed injury but was able to make a speedy recovery.
Hague was eased back into last night’s game, receiving less than 16 minutes of ice time, well below his average of 18:13 this season. While he is by no means a game-breaker, he has put together a solid 2021-22 campaign for the Golden Knights with four goals and 14 points through 37 games.
Brossoit Shuts Down Former Team
With Tuesday night’s game being their first since the All-Star break, most expected Robin Lehner to be the Golden Knights’ starting netminder against the Oilers. That wasn’t the case, however, as Brossoit got the call. The 28-year-old made the most of it, recording his first shutout of the season and spoke with reporters afterward about how excited he was heading into the game.
“I definitely was juiced up to play this one,” Brossoit said. “I don’t think I’ve won against Edmonton since moving on from them, so it felt nice tonight to win and, of course, to get a shutout meant even more.”
It was by far the best start of the season for Brossoit, who has been just okay in his first season as a Golden Knight. Through 16 games, he owns a pedestrian 2.66 goals-against average along with a .905 save percentage. Those numbers will likely improve by season’s end.
Up Next for the Golden Knights
The Golden Knights don’t have much time to relax after Tuesday’s big 4-0 win over the Oilers, as they will now face off against the Calgary Flames tonight. The Flames have been a relatively solid team this season and currently sit fourth in the Pacific Division with a 23-13-6 record. The Golden Knights will need to be on top of their game if they hope to walk away with another two points.
After their game against the Flames, the Golden Knights will have a week off before taking on the Colorado Avalanche next Wednesday. It is a quiet month for them, which will give some of their players who have just recently returned from injury plenty of time to get back into game shape.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.