Let’s see how they deal with the back-to-back. Let’s see what they do when they play St. Louis and Chicago. Let’s see how they play when they are expected to win a game. Now, it’s let’s see how they deal with a long road trip. This is just part of life for an expansion team, the tests never end. No matter how many they pass, and with flying colors, there will always be another one on the horizon, and with each test come doubts.
I have doubts on something else, the actual difficulty of this road trip. I’m done trying to compare the Golden Knights to any other team. They’ve dealt with adversity off the ice (namely injuries), adversity inside the confines of a game (blow 4-1 lead to BUF, still win in OT), and the only game they lost, they came back to win five straight.
Plus, news flash! The Golden Knights have played two games on the road… and won them both. Oh, and they faced quite a bit of adversity in those games as well.
Throughout the game, you have to make changes and make them in a hurry. From game to game you have that day or half-day, you have that extra time to do your homework. We’re a team that plays a 200 foot game and we’ve got 20 guys going, and that doesn’t change when you go on the road. -Deryk Engelland
Outplayed for 30 minutes in Dallas, they came back to win. Down a goal inside the final minute in Arizona, they came back and won.
It’s just one of those things, it’s part of the game. You don’t want to get too high, you don’t want to get too low. Obviously, emotions get going. It just shows the tremendous character in the room. Guys don’t get all over each other, we are a big family in here and that’s showing through with the success. -Brad Hunt
It’s going to be like that all year. I like the way our team has dealt with everything that has happened so far. -James Neal
I get why everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop, I kind of am too because it seems inevitable, but the facts tend to disagree. They’ve literally dealt with it all, and have just kept racking up wins.
So how hard is this trip? The short answer, not too bad at all. The long answer is six bullet points and four sub-bullet points.
- The combined record of the six teams Vegas will play is 28-26-11.
- 28 wins, 37 losses in 65 games
- 67 points in 65 games or 1.030 points per game
- 1.146 is the average final playoff team
- 3 opponents are in the bottom third of the NHL (Boston, New York Rangers, and Montreal)
- 2 are in last in their division (NYR/MON)
- On both pairs of back-to-backs, the second game is played against a team in last place in their division.
- The Golden Knights do not leave the Eastern time zone the entire trip
- Total travel distance between the six games is about 1,200 miles
- Nearly an identical distance between Las Vegas and Dallas, where the Golden Knights went to start the season and won
I think the first couple games will really dictate everything. It’s going to be a lot of travel, but all the cities are pretty close. We’re going to have to be on top of our game. -David Perron
There’s no question this it’s another test, but is it really as bad as everyone wants to make it?
Always playing on the road is difficult, but we are are excited to go on the road. We’ve had a great homestand, we’ve enjoyed being at home but we’ll be ready to get going here. -Neal
Does all this mean they are going 6-0 on the trip and coming back 14-1 through 16 games? Probably not.
But this team has proven they can handle just about everything, and quite frankly, this road trip isn’t even as close to as daunting as losing your top two goalies in the first nine games of the season.