Wednesday evening was the perfect time to hit the farm, in the wake of yet another Vegas Golden Knights postponement. The NHL decided to postpone the Thursday night Sharks-Golden Knights matchup, with a member of the Sharks hitting the COVID list. Alas, the AHL took the ice without a hitch on Wednesday and a few things stood out.
Patrick Brown Leading by Example
Patrick Brown is no spring chicken. He’s not a young up-and-comer looking to get his feet wet in the AHL. He has a ton of experience and he’s here to work and hopefully make an impression enough to take someone’s spot at the NHL level of the organization.
Brown is now 28-years-old and the captain of the Henderson Silver Knights. He was a perfect choice for that honor too. He captained his Boston College team back in 2013-14, chipping in 15 goals and 15 assists in 40 NCAA games. As soon as 2015, he was named an alternate captain of the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. The next season he became their captain.
He served as an alternate with the Chicago Wolves once he joined the Golden Knights organization. He’s got a track record of leading good teams and he’s continuing it with the Henderson Silver Knights. His work ethic mixed with solid puck skill have carved out quite the niche for Brown.
He has enough talent and skates well enough to stick at the NHL level. He’s a great option for a bottom-six, particularly one that runs a fourth line like Vegas’. He can grind with the best of them and make life hard on the opposition.
In Wednesday night’s contest, Brown was extremely noticeable. He was all over the ice and on each of his shifts, made his presence felt. He effectively played the body and made several good puck plays. His versatility is valuable to any club and aspiring Golden Knights will benefit from having him as their captain.
Spectacles Aren’t Just for the NHL
If you’ve been to a Golden Knights game, you have lived through the very definition of “over the top”. If that tickles your fancy, you’ll love Henderson Silver Knights games once they’re open to the public.
While there are no fans, the team seems to be test-running their intermission games, promotions, gimmicks, and the like. One intermission video showed multiple players quizzed on the spelling of teammate Jake Leschyshyn’s name. Only two players got it right, both defensemen, one from the NCAA. The video was hilarious and honestly the highlight of the first 30 minutes of the game.
There were no knights in armor fighting on the ice prior to the opening faceoff, but there was an extremely well-done video intro with some good hype music. The video was National League quality but played for an empty AHL arena.
Following Paul Cotter’s second period goal, a “town crier” promptly announced the tally. He sounded his horn and dually announced the goal scored by “Paul Cotter of House Henderson”, in an accent that would make any Renaissance Fair enthusiast proud.
This organization doesn’t skimp on the flair, even at the AHL level. These games would be great with fans in the Orleans Arena and hopefully the Henderson Events Center will do it justice beyond this season.
Oscar Dansk Finally Got to Dansk
With the Golden Knights inactive, Oscar Dansk got to come down and make his first professional start in about a year. He didn’t face much action to start the game, but eventually San Diego got it going and scored the opening goal with 1:20 left the first period.
San Diego’s next goal came while Henderson was on the Power Play. After a short 5-on-3 expired, the Gulls were able to generate a 2-on-1 rush at Dansk. They played the situation perfectly and netted the one-timer with ease. Dansk had little to no chance on the play.
He had a simple third period, with very little finding its way through the Silver Knights defense. Once the Gulls pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, Lucas Elvenes wasted no time sending the puck into the recently vacated net. Dansk held up for the rest of the period, despite the extra attacker.
Ultimately, Dansk looked like a guy making his first start in a while. He was good, not great. He made the stops he needed to and was hung out to dry on one of the two that got past him. He will almost certainly be back up with the Golden Knights, as Robin Lehner is “doubtful for travel” per Head Coach Pete DeBoer.
Wednesday evening’s game against the San Diego Gulls was a real test for this Silver Knights club and they made it out victoriously. They had some shaky moments, particularly with zone entries on the Power Play, but they got it done and picked up a big win. There are many bright spots on this roster making the Golden Knights’ future as bright as their shiny gold helmets.
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