The coach Bruce Cassidy started his first Golden Knights training camp by running three lengthy, fast-paced exercises to provide the team with the foundation for five-on-five.
They only got to play the facility in their first preseason game.
The Knights’ debut exhibition game which ended in a 3-1 loss against Colorado on the Denver’s Ball Arena, was a turbulent game. They were penalized with nine penalties. The Avalanche were flagged for five.
The combined penalty of 28 minutes meant that the Knights did not get to demonstrate their brand new equal-strength philosophy for extended periods of time. Instead, they were forced to spend much of their time with special teams they worked in the beginning during the morning skate at the City National Arena.
It wasn’t an ideal exercise for training. The Knights still have six practice sessions to complete before their regular season opening game on Oct. 11 in Los Angeles, including a 7 p.m. game against The Kings next Monday in T-Mobile Arena.The team is still learning things from the game as well. Three lessons learned from the defeat:
1. Welcome to the world! Cotter
Left left Paul Cotter knew how important this preseason was to him as he was preparing for camp.
He signed a 3-year contract extension in the summer of. He was given a seat inside the NHL locker room. He’s hoping to prove that the NHL that he’s worthy of being there.
“We are given the chance to prove ourselves to prove how we can perform,” Cotter said Friday. “I believe that we all had a fantastic time this year during preseason. I believe we’ll be able to be able to replicate that.”
He’s off off to a solid beginning.
Cotter was among the Knights prominent players when they played the Avalanche. He was quick to get towards the net and strike the net, something Cassidy acknowledged his skill for in practice on Friday.
“That’s the thing you want from him.” Cassidy said.
The highlight of Cotter’s career came just 52 seconds into the opening period. He handed the puck over into the center Nicolas Roy behind the Avalanche net, then he slid into the left circle, and then smashed an angled shot over goalie Alexander Georgiev for the Knights their first goal of the preseason.
He performed so well that he was able to get additional shifts after left right wing William Carrier didn’t return for the third period due to an upper-body strain.
2. Hutchinson looks steady
Goalie Michael Hutchinson, despite sporting a white and blue Toronto Maple Leafs mask from last season, appeared his home in the Knights net on Sunday.
The veteran of 32 years was handed his first preseason game following the signing of a one-year $750,000 contract on the 13th of July. He was in the game for just half of it with 13 shots stopped that he was faced with, and then being relieved by goalie Jiri Patera, as was the team had planned.
Hutchinson spoke during the KTNV-13 broadcast that he felt at ease, and he also praised the defensive effort of his teammates. His impressive performance is an encouraging sign for the Knights goaltending depth. He’s one of the more experienced options in the camp, with the most number of NHL appearances, compared with Adin Hill’s record of 74 as well as Logan Thompson’s rookie debut of 20.
Hutchinson will likely start in at third place on the depth chart along with Laurent Brossoit on the sidelines as he recovers from hip surgery. His first game showed the potential for being able to fill in when needed.
3. Penalty parade
The game was never able to settle down even with the constant whistles being whistled.
Right right wing Michael Amadio and center Byron Froese were each given the penalty. The left the wing Brett Howden and defensemen Zach Hayes and Brayden Pachal each were penalized for two.
The Knights did not have to pay a lot of fines by themselves.
The defenseman Lukas Cormier, who was coming from back-to-back Quebec Major Junior Hockey League defenseman of the year awards received two hooks from Colorado forward Martin Kaut. Froese also provided his Knights the power play twice while left wing Jake Lechyshyn was awarded the one that led to Cotter’s goal from a power play during an extended offensive zone shift.