Heading into the faux bye-week, the Golden Knights are 23-14-2. They are in 1st place in the Pacific Division, both by points and points percentage. However, Vegas sits 5th in the West and 13th in the league in points percentage.
It’s been a bit of a rocky road to get here. After dropping three of their first four games in regulation, the Golden Knights ripped off 11 wins in their next 15 games. Then they lost three of six before winning seven of the following eight. Now, they are amidst a stretch of four losses in five games.
One of the main reasons for the ups and downs to this point has been the health of the roster. The Golden Knights still lead the league, by a wide margin, in both man-games lost and cap-hit of injured players.
The next man up stuff is getting a little old. You just hope it all evens out. I think we’ve been hit harder than anybody this year and ou group hasn’t used it as an excuse any night. -Pete DeBoer
To this point in the season, the Golden Knights have played the 13th hardest schedule in the NHL (per ESPN.com). They have the 8th easiest schedule remaining per Tankathon.com. This is excellent news because they have struggled a bit with the better teams in the NHL. It has affected all of their totals, but it’s been specifically impactful in the road record.
Unlike most years in the past, the Golden Knights have been better on the road than they have at home. They’ve boasted an 11-5-0 record on the road while just 12-9-2 at home.
Sometimes that’s just how it goes. Sometimes there are years where it’s the opposite. I feel like at home we’re playing with a lot of energy too so it’s not like at home we’re not playing well. I think the standard has been set pretty high of how we play at home. -Alex Pietrangelo
It’s not just a coincidence though. It has really come down to who the Golden Knights have played and where.
|Record||Points %||Goals Per Game||Goals Against Per Game|
|Non Playoff Teams||13-6-1||.675||3.75||2.85|
|Home + Playoff Team||5-4-1||.550||3.30||3.00|
|Away + Playoff Team||5-4-0||.556||3.33||3.33|
|Home + Non-Playoff Team||7-5-1||.577||3.38||3.08|
|Away + Non-Playoff Team||6-1-0||.857||4.43||2.43|
The number that jumps off the page is Vegas’ record against non-playoff teams away from home. They are 6-1-0 in those games and have outscored their opponents by an average of two goals per game (4.43 to 2.43).
In those games, the Golden Knights have been so much more dominant than in any other situation, which has radically skewed the home/road split numbers.
So while there shouldn’t be much cause of concern on how they are playing at home, there should be a bit of consternation about how the Golden Knights have played against playoff-caliber teams. They are just 10-8-1 against teams currently in a playoff spot and dropped two games to the Oilers when Edmonton was leading the Pacific Division.
It’s fair to point to injuries and believe the Golden Knights will fare better in the future against these upper-echelon teams, but it also paints a bit of a scary picture for where Vegas sits right now.
Luckily, the arrow should be clearly pointing up. The schedule gets easier, there’s a lot of time in between games, and in theory, health should improve.