The Vegas Golden Knights results may not be quite the same, but they are trying to determine what they need to do for an encore this season. This comes after going to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals in their initial year of existence.
Vegas Golden Knights Results
The Vegas Golden Knights results of winning three playoff series in their first season had to be a thrill. They broke all kinds of records for an expansion team’s first season. In fact, most expansion teams hardly ever made the playoffs.
Since 1991, the NHL has added 10 new teams, including the Nashville Predators in 1998, Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets) in 1999 and Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild in 2000. None have accomplished what the Golden Knights did in their first season.
Last season after 71 games, the Vegas Golden Knights had a record of 45-21-5 good for 95 points. This season things are a little different. While not a poor team by any means, they still can’t hold a candle to last season’s statistics.
After the same 71 games this year the Golden Knights have a decent record of 39-27-5 for 83 points. While safely placed in a playoff position baring anything unusual, the Vegas club is well behind the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames (95 points), and the surging San Jose Sharks (94 points).
At the conclusion of last season, the Golden Knights found themselves third in their conference whereas they reside fifth this season.
Other Statistical Season Comparisons
The Vegas Golden Knights results last season saw the team finish fourth in the league in goals scored. They finished eighth in goals allowed. Comparing to this season, they are 14th in goals scored and once again eighth in goals allowed.
That would indicate that their offence has dropped significantly this year.
Breaking it down further, one only needs to compare William Karlsson‘s phenomenal 2017-18 year where he tallied 43 goals, 35 assists, and 78 points. His production has fallen noticeably this season with just 19 goals, 25 assists for 44 points. That means at his current pace he may finish with another seven points or so.
When you compare 78 points and 43 goals to 51 points this season you can see why their offence is sputtering.
Another player who has failed to match his stats from last year is Jonathan Marchessault. He has dropped from 75 points to 47 thus far in 2018-19. That’s an estimate of 48 points less scored by these two offensive dynamos. The team’s average goals per game last year was 3.27. This year they are at 2.97. That can make a difference in games being won or lost.
Marc-Andre Fleury Strong as Ever
One aspect of the Golden Knights’ game remains constant. The play of their veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury remains stellar. Though the numbers have dipped a bit, Fleury has still proven he’s a top goaltender.
Last season, while only appearing in 46 games due to injury he maintained a 29-13-4 record with a .927 save percentage and a stingy 2.24 goals against average. This season he leads the league in wins with 35 while losing 19 and being charged with five overtime losses. His save percentage is still respectable at .914 and he has a 2.46 goals against average.
During his initial season with the Vegas Golden Knights he had four shutouts, and this season he has doubled that with eight. He was rewarded with a three-year $21 million contract on July 13, 2018. That will last him until he is 37-years-old and at that point, he may continue to play or retire.
The team has to feel confident with Fleury in net going into the playoffs next month. His record for the playoffs last season was what kept the Golden Knights in each series until the Washington Capitals figured him out in the Finals. He collected a 13-7 record, a .927 save percentage and a 2.24 save percentage.
According to hockeyreference.com, the Vegas team has a 99.4 percent chance of making the playoffs. Their chances of winning it all are 3.7 percent.
Adding Mark Stone is Another Weapon
The Golden Knights traded for Mark Stone before the trade deadline. This can only improve the team’s chances in the playoffs. Mark Stone has already registered two goals, four assists in eight games and signed an eight-year $76 million contract with the team.
He should inject some instant offence to the Golden Knights seeing that he has 30 goals, 38 assists in 67 games this season. You might say that the Vegas team hit the jackpot landing such a gifted forward to their arsenal.
Who Would Vegas Play if Playoffs Began Now
The season is winding down and if the current standings remain as they currently are now (unlikely) the Vegas Golden Knights would be facing the San Jose Sharks.
Of course, things more than likely will change before the season concludes and perhaps the Golden Knights may wish for another opponent besides the hot Sharks. In any case, the Vegas Golden Knights results show they are a very competitive team and look to be in the playoff picture for a while.
It would be quite the accomplishment to win a Stanley Cup in their second season.