The addition of Mark Stone proved its value once again for the Vegas Golden Knights last night when he picked up a goal in their 7-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. More importantly though, is that his addition takes the pressure off the Knights top line of Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and William Karlsson who’ve been on fire since the Trade Deadline and were unstoppable last night.
Last night’s game was proof of why the Sharks need to break out of their 3-game losing streak and catch the Flames to take over the top spot in the Pacific division. Playing the Knights is looking more and more likely to be a first-round exit for whichever team is unlucky enough to play them.
According to the score, it would seem like the Knights blew the Sharks out of the water but in actuality, it was a much closer game. The Sharks were only outshot by three and actually held the edge in scoring chances in both the second and third periods where they out-chanced the Knights 18-14 but were out-scored 4-1.
Vegas was able to take advantage of a few broken plays where the Sharks players inadvertently helped to extend the play, eventually resulting in a goal, just like this goal by Karlsson.
Bounces like this are what makes hockey exciting because you just never know what’s going to happen. If Logan Couture doesn’t knock the puck back to Karlsson it’s unlikely he ends up scoring, leaving the Sharks up 1-0 and ultimately changing the rest of the game.
With Stone’s addition, the Knights have incredible depth that can make you pay off these small bounces and is why Vegas is a team that everyone should be trying to avoid. The battle for the top spot in the Pacific should be an exciting one to watch as both San Jose and Calgary will do everything they can to make sure they don’t draw Vegas in the first round.
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)