Golden Knights Weekly: Road Trip, Tuch, Top Lines & More

Welcome to Golden Knights Weekly, where you can catch up on last week’s headlines, news and notes from your Vegas Golden Knights. Don’t forget to check out last week’s three stars as well!

Another week has gone by and it is one the Golden Knights will want to put in the back of their mind. They ended their recent homestand with games against the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets and held two-goal leads in the third period of both games, but were only able to manage one point from each of them.

I say “put in the back of their mind” because there are lessons to be learned from each game. This team is obviously better than that and they can use these two games as building blocks to clamp down in the third period. Now the team is going on an eastern road trip for four tilts, but sometimes getting away is the best thing as they can hit the reset button.

Road Trip Adventures

The Golden Knights started the road trip in Columbus against William Karlsson’s old team, the Blue Jackets. He let his presence be felt, as he registered two assists in Ohio’s capital while Reilly Smith was the beneficiary of Karlsson’s work. Smith had both goals in a 2-1 victory, scoring the eventual game-winner on the penalty kill.

The game against the Blue Jackets also saw a couple of players reach special milestones. Mark Stone played in his 400th NHL game and Karlsson’s second assist of the night gave him 200 career points.

Mark Stone Vegas Golden Knights
Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Golden Knights will take on three more Eastern Conference foes before they head home: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and Detroit Red Wings.

Tuch In and Out

Alex Tuch made his season debut against the Canadiens and played almost 13 minutes, notching his first goal of the season. He was on a line with Cody Eakin and Cody Glass and while it was their first game together, the three looked like they had a bit of chemistry.

Unfortunately, in the next game against the Jets, Tuch took a questionable hit from Adam Lowry and did not return to the game. Lowry had just returned from a two-game suspension for boarding Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington, but will not suffer any discipline from the league for this hit.

The Golden Knights have not put Tuch on the injured reserve, but he is not traveling with the team.

Roy and Hague Recalled

With Tuch not on the road trip, the Golden Knights recalled Nicolas Roy and Nicolas Hague from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves. The team did not need to make any corresponding moves as they were only carrying 21 players. The Wolves had four games in six days so Roy and Hague were able to get plenty of playing time in the last week.

Las Vegas Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Both guys were inserted into the lineup against the Blue Jackets, Roy replacing Tuch and Hague replacing Deryk Engelland. The team’s defense has been their Achilles’ heel this season so head coach Gerard Gallant is trying out different combos. It helps that Nate Schmidt is healthy, but management may want to add one more defenseman before the trade deadline.

Offense Galore

The Golden Knights are one of the deepest teams in the league at forward. They boast three threatening lines and one that will grind and provide energy. Our friends over at MoneyPuck provide us with some very cool numbers.

The Golden Knights have three of the most efficient lines in the league. Pacioretty-Stastny-Stone, Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith, and Carrier-Nosek-Reaves are all top-10 in the league for goals percentage. We have seen how electric this offense can be, they just need to focus on the other side of the puck after they have the lead.

Milestones and the Week Ahead

Here are some milestones that could be reached in the week ahead.

  • Jonathan Marchessault is one game away from 300.
  • Paul Stastny is three points away from 700.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury is three wins from sixth all-time in NHL history.

The Golden Knights play the offensive powered Maple Leafs next. Their captain, John Tavares, just returned from injury and is hoping to get them back on track, while Auston Matthews is third in the league with 12 goals. Then it is off to the nation’s capital to face Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. Ovechkin has not skipped a beat in lighting the lamp; he has 11 so far while defenseman John Carlson is fifth in points with 23.

Auston Matthews John Tavares
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews celebrates with teammate John Tavares (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

Right after the contest with the Capitals, they will fly to Detroit and take on the Red Wings in a back-to-back. They are led by their young superstar, Dylan Larkin. And finally, the team will return home to play Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks and play six straight games in the Pacific time zone.