Depth comes through for Vegas Golden Knights in return to action

Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

No Alex Pietrangelo, no problem for the Vegas Golden Knights.

It was more than a week since the Vegas Golden Knights were in action due to a COVID-19 delay, but they showed no signs of rust against the LA Kings at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night, despite being without elite defenseman Alex Pietrangelo who signed a seven-year, $61.6 million contract in the offseason.

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The Golden Knights pulled off a routine 5-2 win against the Kings in a game they absolutely dominated and, while some big guns had big nights, it was more about Vegas’ depth that really caught the eye and impressed.

With Pietrangelo still unavailable after being placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol list, the Golden Knights gave a NHL debut to rookie defenseman Dylan Coghlan, while two of their other prized assets in forward Cody Glass and blueliner Nic Hague also both had big nights for the franchise.

It was a welcome sight for the Golden Knights who are built like the Evil Empire in that they have stockpiled star after star after star, but with one of their biggest names unavailable against the Kings, other players stepped up and proved that this team is not only loaded on star power but they also have the considerable depth needed to be a legit Stanley Cup contender.

Nicolas Hague (14)
Nicolas Hague #14 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Depth shines through for the Vegas Golden Knights who pick up win in return

It is fair to say that Dylan Coghlan, Nic Hague and Cody Glass are very much the future for the Vegas Golden Knights, and all three are housemates while they have grown up together in this organization since 2017. So, therefore, Friday night was a pretty special night for the trio.

It started with Coghlan’s rookie lap with the 22-year-old skating in 13:15 of total ice time, while both Hague and Glass would play a key role in dismantling the rebuilding LA Kings. Despite being off for more than a week, there was no rust on display for the Golden Knights who lit the lamp with less than a minute played after Hague recorded his first goal of the year after picking up a loose puck before lasering one hell of a wrister past Jonathan Quick to land the first blow of the night for Vegas.

The usual suspects then began to take over as Mark Stone recorded his third goal of the year on an odd-man rush, before Hague picked up a secondary helper on Jonathan Marchessault‘s rebound with the Golden Knights absolutely dominating the first period.

It was the same story in the second period as William Karlsson beat Quick with a wicked wrister at 1:35, a goal that Hague also assisted on for his fourth point (1 G, 3 A) in just five games this season. Cody Glass then got in on the act, picking up his own rebound on the power play to stuff home his second goal of the year and effectively wrap up the game for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Yes, both Austin Wagner and Dustin Brown got the Kings on the board in the third-period to ruin Marc-Andre Fleury‘s shutout attempt, but the Golden Knights were in control of this contest from start to finish and they had their trio of prospects to thank who came up big on what could have been a difficult night given the circumstances.

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However, Dylan Coghlan looked calm and assured in his NHL debut and flashed plenty of promise, Nic Hague continued his impressive start to his sophomore season with the first three-point night of his young career and Cody Glass also had a big night in what is a big year for the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Vegas Golden Knights are star-driven and some of their big hitters certainly contributed on Friday night but, in a game where they were without Alex Pietrangelo, the franchise relied on three of their young players who they hope will turn into stars in their own right one day, and it was also a positive sign for this season that this team have players who are ready to step up and contribute when called upon, which is exactly what any elite contender needs.