Last season the Golden Knights got off to one of the worst starts in franchise history, starting 1-4-0 and then fighting back to 6-6-0 by early November. They quickly turned it around heading into 2022 at 22-12-0, but the cracks from October burst through in the new year and it eventually cost them a spot in the playoffs.
However, under new coach Bruce Cassidy, the Golden Knights should expect a much more rewarding beginning to the 2022-23 season.
Last season the Bruins point percentage was an even .600 on December 1st. In contrast, Pete DeBoer’s beaten-up Vegas team had a .545 points percentage after their opening two months. If Cassidy’s hot start trends continue it could be the difference between the Golden Knights watching or participating for a Stanley Cup
Vegas’ Worst Starts In Team History
2021-22: 12-10-0 .545 Pts%
2018-19: 14-12-1 .547 Pts%
Boston’s Season Starts Under Cassidy
2017-18: 12-8-4 .618 Pts%
2018-19: 14-7-4 .694 Pts%
2019-20: 18-3-5 .872 Pts%
2020-21: 12-5-2 .722 Pts%
2021-22: 12-8-0 .600 Pts%
There’s no need to rehash the value of getting off to a hot start. All but one Western Conference team to qualify for the postseason (LAK) were in better shape than Vegas by December 1st. It’s simple math, quick starts help alleviate the pressure down the stretch. Not to mention it’s not ideal to be chasing teams all season long. It could cause certain Golden Knights to be overused and the need to rely on injured players in the lineup.
WCF Contenders On December 1st, 2021
Calgary 13-4-5 (31 Points) .796 Pts%
Edmonton 16-5-0 (32 Points) .761 Pts%
Minnesota 16-6-1 (33 Points) .733 Pts%
Colorado 11-6-1 (25 Points) .657 Pts%
St. Louis 12-7-3 (27 Points) .656 Pts%
Dallas 11-7-2 (24 Points) .636 Pts%
Nashville 12-9-1 (25 Points) .584 Pts%
For Vegas to get off to a hot start next October they’ll need the help of their entire roster. With the uncertainty of Robin Lehner’s recovery time, the Golden Knights may need strong goaltending from Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit. Without Lehner, the pressure is on the Golden Knights offense to produce on a nightly basis and pray no one is sidelined as they work through the kinks of learning the new systems.
There are several demanding games in the early part of Vegas’ 82-game season. In their first ten games, the Golden Knights will play six postseason contenders. In November, Vegas will play eight of their fourteen games on the road. It’ll be a challenging month to say the least. However, add Cassidy to a healthy lineup and Vegas should have no problem picking up points against most teams they’ll face in October and November.
We can worry about the other four months later.