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Round Robin Adjustments – vs. Dallas Stars

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Continuing with our Round Robin adjustments, next we examine the Dallas Stars and the challenges the Golden Knights face. Dallas ended the shortened season with a solid 82 points, but a low goal differential of +4. The Stars scored the second least goals in the Western conference but also allowed the second least in the NHL. The two reasons for this are their defensive style and outstanding goaltending, both which have shown up against the Golden Knights.

vs. Dallas: (1-1) 4-2 L, 3-2 W OT

In both games this season, Dallas scored the opening goal of the contest. As mentioned above, the Stars are a low scoring team that can hold on to a lead better than most so that first goal feels like a much bigger hole against Dallas than anyone else in the Western Conference.

Record when Dallas Scores First: 23-5-4
Record when Leading After 1st Period: 17-2-1
Record when Leading After 2nd Period: 23-1-2

As you can see the Stars do a good job of locking down the opponents’ offense when holding a lead. However, the Golden Knights are also outstanding when scoring first, and lost out on a measly six points in 35 games when they held a lead after two periods.

Record when Vegas Scores First: 26-6-2
Record when Leading After 1st Period: 19-3-3
Record when Leading After 2nd Period: 31-2-2

The numbers show that Vegas is in fact a better club holding a lead, and they allow almost a half goal more goal per game than Dallas. The Golden Knights winning percentage is .764 when they score first to the Stars’ .718 which is why the game’s first goal is crucial. This is especially important if the goaltending holds an edge over the shooters in the round-robin stage which we believe it may.

Penalties were an issue again for the Golden Knights when they played the Stars back in November. Vegas awarded Dallas two power play opportunities in the first period, one in which Alexander Radulov scored the opening goal. The Golden Knights were called for three early penalties and the game was essentially lost after the first twenty minutes.

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Potential Realignment Shouldn’t Affect Golden Knights

The NHL pause has become the newest, most addicting daily soap opera. Every morning fans wake up to read the latest news on the NHL’s plans to restart the season. Yesterday, Commissioner Gary Bettman shared his optimism with the NHL network.

We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start. There’s no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that’s something that will be under consideration. We’re going to try and make good, prudent, careful judgments. This isn’t a race to be first back. When we come back, we want it to be at the right time, for the right reasons, under the right circumstances. -Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

Now that the players and owners are engaging in daily conversations it shows the effort to recover the season from both sides. One scenario NHL officials have mulled over was originally conceived by Major League Baseball.

MLB is considering a three-division, 10-team plan in which teams play only within their division – a concept gaining support among owners and executives. It would abolish the traditional American and National Leagues, and realign the divisions based on geography.

The plan, pending approval of medical experts and providing that COVID-19 testing is available to the public, would eliminate the need for players to be in isolation and allow them to still play at their home ballparks while severely reducing travel. -USA Today

TSN’s Bob McKenzie weighed on the possibility of the NHL taking the realignment approach, specifically reducing travel which allows players to play in locations closer to their homes and families.

If they get four sites, and we kind of assumed it would try to be done divisionally if they try to get the 19-20 season finished up. Four NHL sites, one for each division. There is the possibility that they would just say ‘well the Atlantic division is going to based out of Toronto. We’re not going to do can’t that, Florida and Tampa Bay can’t get from Florida up to Toronto. We’ll put them with some of the Metro teams, and move one of those Metro teams.’ You could do some mixing and matching on geographical lines versus divisions. -Bob McKenzie, TSN Analyst

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Recap: The Golden Knights welcomed in divisional foe Vancouver Canucks to a Sunday afternoon matchup. The game got off to a quick start for both teams. Nick Holden wristed his third goal of the season giving Vegas the early 1-0 lead. Elias Pettersson tied the game on a nice second effort goal passed Marc-Andre Fleury. Vegas was awarded two power plays in the 1st period and Valentin Zykov capitalized on one of them to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead.

Jonathan Marchessault gave Vegas a two goal lead early in the 2nd period on a beautiful tick-tack-toe play with his linemates. Mark Stone would join the party tallying his 12th goal of the season giving Vegas a 4-1 lead.

Vancouver would get on the board and trim the lead in half early in the 3rd period. Max Pacioretty scored Vegas’ fifth of the night continuing his hot streak. He would add another later. With his goals, Pacioretty has scored 8 points in his last four games. The Golden Knights would go on to beat Vancouver 6-3.

Vegas’ record improves to 18-13-5 as they slide into second place in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights will next host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. Game time is set for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights put together a great effort from start to finish in this one. They moved through the neutral with ease in the 1st and controlled the puck in the 2nd. Defensively wasn’t perfect at the start of the 3rd, but they righted the ship and held on to the win easily. Completely outclassed a Pacific Division opponent. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Pacific Division dominance continues

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Max Pacioretty
* Valentin Zykov


Recap: The Golden Knights took on the Dallas Stars for the second game of a back to back. Malcolm Subban got the nod in net for Gerard Gallant’s club.

The Stars scored the only goal late in the 1st period. Vegas struggled to get much going offensively, only mustering up 7 shots in the opening frame. Dallas spent much of the period in Vegas’ zone but were only able to get one past Subban.

William Karlsson tied the game early in the 2nd period on his 10th goal of the season. Newcomer Chandler Stephenson gave Vegas the lead with his second goal in a Golden Knights uniform.

Subban and his defense shut down Dallas’ offense for most of the 3rd period. Vegas fought off a mid-period penalty to hold the one goal advantage. The Stars would eventually tie the game 2-2 late in the final period forcing an overtime period.

Max Pacioretty won the game 3-2 in overtime with a beautiful backhand deke on Dallas goalie Ben Bishop.

Vegas’ record improves to 17-13-5, splitting their two game road trip. The team will head back home to take on the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 5PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: After an absolutely horrific 1st period the Golden Knights turnedit around in a big way in the 2nd. They controlled play and went from struggling to exit their own zone to doing it with ease. Their puck support was significantly better in the final 40 minutes but they were unable to reach the finish line with the lead. They looked much better in overtime for the minute they played creating a few chances, forcing turnovers, and catching Dallas on a bad change to win the game.(Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center

  • VGK Forbes worth

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Nick Holden
** Max Pacioretty
* Malcolm Subban


Recap: The Golden Knights limped into Dallas looking to break their latest skid. Vegas would take a couple of penalties early in the game which the Stars would take advantage of. Alexander Radulov gave his team a 1-0 lead with a power play goal. Esa Lindell made it 2-0 Dallas a couple of shifts later.

The Golden Knights would get almost eight minutes of a man-advantage in the first 13 minutes of the 2nd period. Shea Theodore would sneak one past Stars goaltender Ben Bishop seconds after the PP expired. Vegas trailed 2-1 but the Stars would regain their two goal lead four minutes later. After 40 minutes of action the Golden Knights were down 3-1.

Vegas would get within one quickly into the 3rd period. Paul Stastny broke his scoring drought 1:23 in making it 3-2 Dallas. The Golden Knights would commit a late penalty which the Stars would capitalize on. Dallas would go on to finish off Vegas 4-2.

Vegas’ record drops to 11-11-4 and extend their three-game losing streak. The Golden Knights will get things going in Nashville to close out their two-game business trip. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights didn’t play a horrendous game, but it simply wasn’t good enough to beat a great team. They were better on loose pucks than against Edmonton but they are going to need to do a lot more to get this turned around. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center

  • Does anyone even want to read stories about them right now? We’ll come up with something.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Shea Theodore
* Mark Stone


The Golden Knights couldn’t have come out any better Friday night after a four day layoff. Vegas forward Max Pacioretty quickly scored 18 seconds into the game for his 22nd goal of the season. Believe or not but Pacioretty’s goal was the second fastest goal in Golden Knights history.

Vegas didn’t hold the 1-0 lead for long as Dallas’ Roope Hintz continued his hot streak and tied the game 1-1. After trading penalties the game tightened up and chances were limited. Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland almost broke one through but hit the crossbar and out.

The second frame was a defensive battle with each team fighting off crucial penalties. Vegas center William Karlsson created a rare shorthanded penalty shot chance on his strong PK effort. Karlsson wouldn’t convert but helped his team fight off Dallas’ third power play. After forty minutes in the books the game remained a tense 1-1 tie.

Vegas struck first 2:37 into the third when Ryan Reaves buried a rebound for the 2-1 lead. The fourth line gave the Golden Knights a much needed boost offensively as Reaves added his ninth goal of the season, and his first since January 6th.

Up one, the Golden Knights silenced the Stars pressure for most of the period. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made two key stops on a late power play for Dallas, but would be forced to face another power play with 2:30 remaining in the game. Impressively enough, the Stars pulled their goalie and still couldn’t score on Fleury.

The game ended 2-1 Vegas, sweeping the season series of the Stars. It was Fleury’s 35th victory of the season taking the league lead.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

  • A look at how the Golden Knights pull their goalie compared to other NHL teams.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Ryan Reaves
** Ryan Carpenter
* Marc-Andre Fleury


In Mark Stone’s debut as a Golden Knight, Vegas had the jump in the legs in the first 40 minutes. However, a penalty on Jonathan Marchessault as he protected Marc-Andre Fleury led to a Dallas PP goal and a 1-0 lead. Vegas got it back with a zinger of a shot from Max Pacioretty on a power play of their own. The Golden Knights could not convert on an extended 5-on-3 power play due to Ben Bishop making multiple amazing saves. A heck of a forechecking play by Pacioretty forced an own goal to give Vegas the lead. Then a pair of empty netters sealed it.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Steve Carp’s Wednesday column on Mark Stone: Future Captain?
  • Which players do the Golden Knights miss the most? A record-based look.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Nate Schmidt
* Max Pacioretty


The game appeared to start out horribly as a shot off the crossbar looked to have crossed the goal line. A review showed it did not, however that didn’t stop the Stars from taking the lead. Vegas stormed back scoring in the 1st and then a pair more in the 2nd to bring a two goal lead into the second intermission. The Stars climbed back with a second power play goal and then had a great chance to tie it with another four minute penalty, but the Golden Knights killed it off and eventually put home the empty netter.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Stop worrying about Fleury, instead, trust him.

Three Stars
*** Nate Schmidt
** Ryan Carpenter
* William Karlsson


2nd period magic returns as the Golden Knights jump out to a 4-2 lead using a three goal 2nd. Dallas was able to get the next goal, but a late empty-netter by Erik Haula seals the deal for the Golden Knights. That’s four wins in a row and an incredible road trip to Nashville and Dallas.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

  • 35 shots = Win for the Golden Knights
  • 12 road games with a backup goalie, don’t underestimate that.

Three Stars
*** Jason Spezza
** Reilly Smith
* David Perron

Second Time Through Telling Story Of Golden Knights Sustainability

One third of the season is gone and the first 27 games couldn’t have gone too much better for the Golden Knights. However, over the course of those games, Vegas has only seen five teams multiple times. In the next 27, they play former opponents for a second or third time 17 times.

So you don’t buy that there’s no book on your team?

Not a chance. No. When people talk about our team they know that we are a team that’s quick and we compete. -Gallant

Why can’t they all be like the Coyotes? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Arizona Coyotes
Win 2-1 (OT)
Win 5-2
Win 4-2
Win 3-2 (OT)

Anaheim Ducks
Win 4-2
Win 4-3 (SO)

Boston Bruins
Win 3-1
Loss 2-1

Dallas Stars
Win 2-1
Loss 3-0

Winnipeg Jets
Win 5-2
Loss 7-4

Last night’s game was a big one in showing how opposing teams would respond to their second crack at the Golden Knights. It was hard to take much out of the Arizona games because, well, Arizona tends to lose most games no matter how they are played.

However, with Dallas and Winnipeg, the second games were played similarly to the first. With Dallas, Vegas had a tough time getting out in transition, they didn’t get a lot of shot attempts, and the Stars controlled the game. In the first game, the Golden Knights were able to overcome it. In the second game, they were not. Against Winnipeg, Vegas played their style of north-and-south hockey which gave them a jump on the Jets and they were able to ride the hot start to the finish line. The second time against Winnipeg, the 1st period went that way, and there were moments throughout the 2nd and 3rd, but when all was said and done, the Jets came out on top.

Then there’s Boston. The two games were nearly identical with the home team winning each one. They are by no means the style of game Vegas wants to play, but the two games are further proof that the second time through, the games tend to go the same as the first.

The first game in Anaheim was one of the Golden Knights’ best. They were flying around in all three zones, created tons of scoring chances, and were even able to overcome an incredibly hot goalie and a deficit to fight back and get the win they deserved. Last night, it appeared to be going the same way in the 1st, but it came to a screeching halt out of intermission.

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