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Assessing The Playoff Picture For The Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s getting down to crunch time and for the first time all season the Golden Knights’ name is included in a playoff-clinching scenario. If the Golden Knights lose to Vancouver tonight, the Avalanche will clinch a postseason berth.

Of course, VGK are never going to catch Colorado, but we’re close enough for clinching scenarios so we’re definitely close enough to be keeping an eye on the rest of the landscape of the playoff picture.

Here are the current Points To Elimination for the Golden Knights. Remember, VGK must either “eliminate” five teams from the Pacific or eight teams from the Western Conference to qualify for the playoffs.

Seattle – E
Anaheim – 13
San Jose – 15
Vancouver – 20
Los Angeles – 29
Edmonton – 30
Calgary – 38

Arizona – E
Chicago – 5
Winnipeg – 21
Nashville – 31
Dallas – 32
St. Louis – 35
Minnesota – 40
Colorado – 51

The Golden Knights have 12 games left on the schedule meaning there are 24 points to be controlled by Vegas. Because there are only four Pacific teams and three Central teams under 24, the Golden Knights do NOT control their own destiny. If Vegas wins out, there is a scenario in which Vegas still does not make the playoffs. They will need some help, but not much at all.

Flipping things over, here are the “tragic numbers” for Vegas against each other team. This is the number of points that would guarantee the Golden Knights cannot catch each team. In parentheses is the total number of available points between the two teams to reach that number.

Los Angeles – 19 (46)
Edmonton – 22 (50)
Calgary – 16 (54)

Nashville – 23 (52)
Dallas – 24 (54)
St. Louis – 19 (52)
Minnesota – 16 (54)
Colorado – 1 (50)

Finally, here are the points percentages each team must play at to reach 95, 97, and 100 points.

To reach 95 points

VGK – .625

MIN – .200
CGY – .214
STL – .321
LAK – .409
EDM – .462
NSH – .464
DAL – .467

To reach 97 points

VGK – .708

MIN – .267
CGY – .286
STL – .393
LAK – .500
DAL – .533
NSH – .536
EDM – .538

To reach 100 points

VGK – .833

MIN – .367
CGY – .393
STL – .500
DAL – .633
NSH – .643
LAK – .636
EDM – .654

Add it all up and one thing is clear, the Golden Knights have to keep winning. They can reasonably afford to drop about five or six points the rest of the way, and even then, they’ll need a little help.

It’s still very possible, but the climb is not all that easier now than it was before the four-game win streak began. So, keep winning.






  1. Galdom

    Most publications have them at a 50% chance of making the playoffs but I don’t understand the math. It doesn’t seem like it should be that high. I feel like they have a much less than 50% chance of making the playoffs. They keep winning and are making no ground at all.

    • Ulf

      I agree – and VGK’s “easier” opponents have been on this last stretch.
      It’s less than 50.. And 3 games VS a Vancouver team with less of a chance but a lot of good players who would love to play spoiler won’t help.

    • jeff

      It’s not all about them winning. You have to look at the schedule and understand how many times the teams above us play each other which, mean one of those teams loses at least one point. Also, we play Edmonton and Dallas which both become 4-point games, unless it goes to overtime. There’s a lot that goes into the above 50%.

    • Syrix

      Nashville had the chance to lose as many as 5-6 games vs very strong opponents. Catching Edmonton or LA being only 3-4 pts out is not implausible. It’s far from over.

  2. Richie-Rich

    Let’s be honest, they’re not going to make it. I can recall all the preseason guarantees that the VGK would be at least the 3rd seed at worst. I recall my prediction that the Kings would finish ahead of the VGK and likely win the Pacific. Well, Calgary stepped it up. Sure, I’m rooting for them but the numbers aren’t adding up.

    • You are referring to healthy teams when making your predictions, correct.

      Vegas has been “a shell” of their full roster potential.

  3. THE hockey GOD

    the odds are against us, that is for sure; they will be playing balls out rest of the way.

    If they make playoffs, that may be too much of a toll to over come

  4. Gary

    Vegas is going to make it and with a $92M roster (remember, no cap in the playoffs) there is a good chance they win the cup.
    I read Stone is due back today. Thompson is playing well too. So now Martinez, McNabb, Stone, Eichel, Pacioretti, Lehner, and Reilly able to play in the playoffs, that sounds like an All Star team.

    • THE hockey GOD

      yes all star M*A*S*H team

    • ulf

      To be fair, Patches and Stone are historically NOT playoff performers. We overrate Patches especially. He’s had 2, maybe 3 good post-seasons over his entire career.

      And with the FO being willy-nilly about trading picks and prospects, and with us now up against the cap, this post-season, if it exists, will be as good as it will get. It’s going to be a painful rebuild. Patches already in decline and Martinez, Lehner and others won’t be far behind.

      But let’s be realistic. Put this squad against Florida, Tampa or Colorado? Not in the same tier.

    • It’s not the playoffs yet. How can they bring back Stone?

    • Gary, I’ll attend practice today ( tuesday), and will certainly check on Stone’s return! Will let fans know in my next post…

      • Stone did not attend practice today, Tuesday. 20 players skated, which looked like a real crowd on ice, considering our shortages lately. Did not see Mcnabb, though I could have missed him. Carrier still injured, really miss him in the games.

    • Gary make the playoffs first before you start making predictions of cup there’s a team called the Tampa Bay Lightning that are two-time defending world champions and they’re not going to let someone just take it from them you have to earn it and their they’re going for the three-peat and they’re stacked and our playoff monsters so please make the playoffs before you make predictions thanks

  5. Duckboy

    Looking at each schedule here are the “definite” points (80% chance to win imo)

    La – 14
    Cal – 14
    Edm – 8 pts
    Dal -16
    Nash – 4 pts
    Vgk – 14

    Based on schedule Edmonton and Nashville are the teams most likely to lose their spot to us

    Assumption I am making is that teams that aren’t in contention will roll over
    Also that teams ahead in the standings don’t rest players or take that foot off the gas

    It’s going to be close. Hope it can be done

    • Gary

      Those two teams (Edmonton and Nashville) have much harder schedules than Vegas and Vegas has a lot of their team back and are playing weak teams.
      There is no way Vegas doesn’t get in

  6. Ken – great analysis which has been obvious for some time – the probability of a playoff appearance is slim to none. Why anyone would think differently is wishful, hopefully thinking at best and maybe even something worse. Imho. Despite what the reality of the situation is maybe not making the playoff is a positive as it will show once again the Cup can’t be purchased. Winning the Cup takes a hungry committed “team ” amd not an assembly of a bunch of over paid Iindividuals. They had the model necessary to win initially and came very close. All their tweaks have done nothing to better that performance. That is an indisputable fact as they haven’t come closer since. If l am wrong in stating their chances of a playoff appearance are slim to none l will be the first to admit l was wrong

  7. Craig

    Deboring seals our fate Tony get with the walrus in the net

  8. ChitownVegas

    Wouldn’t the available points total be less for a few of these teams to account for the fact that we play each other? For example there’s no way both Dallas and VGK win out since we have one head to head. So the point total is 53 not 54.

  9. Walrus is in net. Deleted his Twitter Account.

    Swammy says:
    Vancouver 6, VGK 4

    • Oops. Guess Swammy read his tea leaves wrong!! And good thing he DID!! We squeaked by Vancouver, on to the next! whew…
      I literally covered my eyes every time RL ended up on his shell, I mean back! The cameras cut away from him a few awkward times. Oh well, a,W is a W, doesn’t have to be PRETTY…

  10. Either way I hope your team makes it but it doesn’t matter cuz there’s a team Tampa Bay Lightning that’s going to win it all the king of the East and there’s no Florida panther or Toronto or any team that’s getting in our way in a three-game series or 4-game series Forget About It Go Lightning

  11. All we need is a coach and a goalie

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