Before the Golden Knights hit the ice for the 2022-23 season, the veteran lineup was well-prepared for a great start. Through five games Vegas has outscored their opponents 17-10, outshot the opposition 171-158, and collected eight out of ten points. Their successful beginning shouldn’t be a shock to the players, the organization or the fans considering who is behind the Golden Knights bench.
As we pointed out in the offseason, coach Bruce Cassidy has a track record of early-season success. In Boston, his teams took care of business right out of the gate. As we know, the Bruins qualified for the playoffs in all six seasons with Cassidy in charge.
Earning early points clearly guided the way for rewarding regular seasons in Boston. Through five games the Golden Knights have adopted Cassidy’s preparation.
Cassidy’s Early Season Win %
- 2017-18 BOS: .618 Pts%
- 2018-19 BOS: .694 Pts%
- 2019-20 BOS: .872 Pts%
- 2020-21 BOS: .722 Pts%
- 2021-22 BOS: .600 Pts%
- 2022-23 VGK: .800 Pts%
Dating back to October of last year, after a handful of defeats there was growing concern in Vegas. The Golden Knights were 1-4-0 and looking lost. The team was struggling and the injury bug began spreading. It took 12 appearances to climb above a .500 winning percentage and weeks to catch up in the standings after a taxing start to the season. Fortunately, Vegas calmly made it through the first five game challenge. Instead of dealing with early stress, the Golden Knights are feeling good about having the best record in the Pacific Division, and the most points in the entire league.
Of course, we need to contain the excitement. The Golden Knights are five games into a long 82-game season. There are several challenges ahead on the schedule and an eastern Canadian road trip in early November. However, to conclude with more premature praise, let’s give Cassidy and his team credit for earning four wins in four different fashions. It hasn’t been flawless, even sloppy at times but picking up early points is all that matters. The Golden Knights’ opening weeks could make the difference in a late-season playoff chase.