Vegas Secondary Scorers, Goalie Starts, Stamkos the new Ovechkin?
There were some excellent points made in the comments in my last Ramblings about the Vegas Golden Knights. I mentioned that the Golden Knights had a more generous set of expansion rules than previous expansion teams, which I still believe they did. However, that does not take away from the work that George McPhee and his team did in assembling this team, nor the work that Gerard Gallant did in creating a system that every player seems to have bought into. Whether you want the Golden Knights to win or not, you have to admit that what they have accomplished is nothing short of amazing.
This only accounts for the defense, but it gives you an idea as to where these players were on their teams’ depth charts at this time last season:
The funny thing is that the area that I was most impressed by Washington in their series with Tampa was their defense. Yes, their defense. I’m using more eye test than analytics in my observation, but it was the Capitals’ defense’s ability to limit the number of difficult shots and rebounds for Braden Holtby. As well, the Caps’ D had the ability to play a physical brand of hockey that Tampa in the end did not have an answer to. As impressive as Nate Schmidt has been in these playoffs, the Capitals have to be loaded on defense if they have to let go of what is now a top-pairing defenseman in Schmidt. He’s had an amazing year, both regular season and playoffs.
Schmidt is one of three Vegas Golden Knights who were difference-makers on a keeper team of mine that managed to win its fourth championship in five years. Many Golden Knights were on nobody’s radar at the start of the season, yet turned major fantasy surprises. We know all about the top line of Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson and Reilly Smith, but what about some of the secondary scorers? This isn’t a full l