Sad News: Golden Knights Superstar Face A Career Ending Injury, placed on IR See As…

Sad News: Golden Knights Superstar Face A Career Ending Injury, placed on IR See As…

William Karlsson was placed on injured reserve last week after suffering a lower-body ailment. Here’s how Vegas can change its strategy with the Original Misfit gone.

William Karlsson was enjoying a good season. He was “suddenly getting picked up on fantasy waivers” good this season. The Swedish superstar scored 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 38 games, bringing back memories for Golden Knights fans of his first season in Vegas. In 2017-2018, Wild Bill recorded 43 goals and 35 assists.

Then, something awful occurred. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a Golden Knight sustained a lower-body injury. Sadly, it was William Karlsson. He was placed on injury reserve and later demoted to week-to-week status. Vegas hockey fans are experiencing a string of injuries, as if the gods are playing a cruel joke.

Fortunately, Golden Knights supporters do not need to worry too much about this. With a good plan and the appropriate line combinations, the Knights can mitigate the blow. But, lest you think I’m minimizing Karlsson’s abilities, consider that the center was on track for 32 goals before the injury.

What can Bruce Cassidy do to ensure Vegas is in good hands while Wild Bill’s gone? Here are a few things the Golden Knights can do to ensure everything’s good while he heals.

1. Tap Into That Scoring Depth

This is a no-brainer because it contributed significantly to the Knights’ Stanley Cup victory last year. This is how they eliminated Edmonton. This is how they defeated the Dallas Stars. It’s how they crushed the Florida Panthers.

It’s no secret that the Golden Knights have an abundance of goal scorers. Double-digit goal scoring by fourth-line players indicates a strong offensive squad. After all, players like Michael Amadio (16 goals in 2022-2023) and Nicolas Roy (14 goals, 16 assists in 2022-2023) made significant contributions.

Right now, that’s needed more than ever. With the Golden Knights suffering injuries in other places, they’ll need all hands on deck. Whether it’s Amadio on the fourth line or a returning Keegan Kolesar, the Knights must stick to their offensive strength.

2. The Ol’ Switcheroo

Fortunately, Bruce Cassidy isn’t hesitant to experiment with his lineups to achieve optimal efficiency. If something isn’t functioning, he’ll make changes. That should help Vegas with their current issue by putting in the necessary elements to weather the storm.

This means that individuals like as Jonathan Marchessault will be given opportunities in various positions in the lineup. Now, the Conn Smythe winner can form a three-headed monster with Mark Stone and Jack Eichel on the top line. Imagine what additional combos Cassidy has planned for opponents.

Such line combinations will come in handy given the upcoming gauntlet for the Golden Knights. Vegas’s next five games are against teams in playoff spots, starting with Colorado. If Cassidy wants to exploit a particular matchup, he has no problem doing so here. That’ll be key to holding serve against tough competition.

3. A Little Something Special

It’s also no secret that the Golden Knights’ power play has been mediocre at best. After all, every Vegas hockey fan on Twitter (or X, as you choose) lets out a collective groan. It was one facet of the Knights’ special teams that stood out like a sore thumb.

The unit currently ranks 14th in the NHL in power play percentage (21.8). While this is not a bad score, it pales in contrast to the NHL leader, the New York Rangers (30%). Improving this feature may alleviate the grief of losing the Swedish center.

William Karlsson was well-known for playing an important role on the Golden Knights’ power play. He could set up the play and had amazing timing when taking a shot. That explains why he has four power play goals and seven assists this season.

With lesser-known players like Pavel Dorofeyev taking on additional responsibilities, they will need to employ their offensive skill sets on the power play as well. As previously stated, Karlsson’s absence necessitates an all-out effort. But this is especially true now that one of the primary power players is away for a bit.

It’s not just the power play, though. Vegas will need a stronger penalty kill in Karlsson’s absence. Here, the Knights have also been middle-of-the-pack, ranking 14th in the NHL at 80.5%. Better situational awareness and avoiding penalties altogether will go a long way in softening the blow.

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