The Golden Knights returned from a perfect two-game road trip, keeping their winning streak alive at four games. Overall, they’re 4-1-0 in December. Although three of the four games were decided in overtime, Vegas has come away with eight points out of a possible 10, including two impressive wins in Nashville and Dallas.
One reason could be the rising shot totals the Golden Knights are launching. During their four-game win streak, the team has 39 shots on goal or more in every game. To start the stretch, Vegas slapped, snapped and wristed 45 SOG on Arizona. Next game, Anaheim’s John Gibson faced 43 VGK shots in a losing effort. On the road, Vegas tallied 39 SOG per game against both Dallas and Nashville. These four are a part of the just seven times the Golden Knights have 39+ SOG this season. But when they do shoot 39+ times, they win.
Game 2 @ Arizona: 42 SOG (VGK wins 2-1 OT)
Game 19 vs LA: 40 SOG (VGK wins 4-2)
Game 20 @ Anaheim: 49 SOG (VGK wins 4-2)
Game 26 vs Arizona: 45 SOG (VGK wins 3-2 OT)
Game 27 vs Anaheim: 43 SOG (VGK wins 4-3 OT)
Game 28 @ Nashville: 39 SOG (VGK wins 4-3 OT)
Game 29 @ Dallas: 39 SOG (VGK wins 5-3)
To further the point of how important shot totals are for the Golden Knights, check this out. In every single one of Vegas’ ten losses, they’ve recorded less than 35 shots.
Game 4 vs Detroit: 27 SOG (VGK loses 6-3)
Game 10 @ NYI: 34 SOG (VGK loses 6-3)
Game 11 @ NYR: 34 SOG (VGK loses 6-4)
Game 12 @ Boston: 29 SOG (VGK loses 2-1)
Game 14 @ Toronto: 28 SOG (VGK loses 4-3 SO)
Game 15 @ Montreal: 31 SOG (VGK loses 3-2)
Game 17 @ Edmonton: 24 SOG (VGK loses 8-2)
Game 23 vs. Dallas: 34 SOG (VGK loses 3-0)
Game 24 @ Minnesota: 31 SOG (VGK loses 4-2)
Game 25 @ Winnipeg: 31 SOG (VGK loses 7-4)
When breaking down just shots on goal, common sense says the more shots, the better chance of winning. However, statistically, that’s not always the case. For example, Montreal, Florida, and Edmonton are all in the top ten for total team shots (VGK is 13), and none of them sit in a playoff position in their conference. The Florida Panthers are 2-6-2 when getting 39 or more SOG.
Through 29 games, there has been a direct correlation between SOG and W/L for the Golden Knights. In two worst games of the year (by score differential), at Edmonton and home against Detroit, Vegas fired just 24 and 27 shots.
If they want to continue to win consistently, they’ll need to keep the shot numbers consistently above 35. That or just keep bringing the dads along.