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Finding Mark A New Max

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Before Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty became teammates in Las Vegas they were bitter rivals. Stone’s expressive personality and Pacioretty’s endless competitiveness were always going to clash when they opposed each other. But as teammates, it was as harmonious as could be, and from the very first day Stone put on a Golden Knights jersey he and Pacioretty were essentially unbreakable as a pair in the lineup.

Over the course of the next three and a half seasons, the two played together, often centered by either Paul Stastny or Chandler Stephenson, more than 150 times and shared the ice at 5-on-5 for almost 2,000 minutes.

In that time, they were dominant together. In 139 games since 2019, when Pacioretty and Stone were both on the ice, the Golden Knights outscored opponents 122-66 at even-strength, boasted a shot share just short of 60%, and absolutely dominated the expected goals margin despite often playing against the opposition’s top line.

On the power play, with Max and Mark together, Vegas averaged 9.36 goals per 60 minutes while allowing less than one per 60 (0.71 to be exact). Both of these numbers are miles better than what it looked like with neither on the ice. And with the empty net, the Golden Knights tallied 10 times in just under 40 minutes with 61 and 67 together.

Ok, now for the problem. When Pacioretty wasn’t there, Stone’s numbers tumbled, and tumbled hard.

The Golden Knights have only scored once with the net empty when Stone is on the ice and Pacioretty is not, and that’s in about a third of the time that they scored 10 while together. On the power play, the shot volume drops by almost 20 shots per 60 minutes, goals are basically cut in half (9.36 to 5.5), and the Golden Knights generate eight fewer scoring chances per 60 while allowing three more.

And that’s not the worst of it. Even strength is. Stone has played 1,000 more minutes with Pacioretty than without, but a sample of nearly 700 minutes is large enough to still draw conclusions. Without Max, Mark’s goal share goes from 64.9% to 42.4%, his Corsi dips from 57.0% to 47.8%, and his expected goals share is also down nearly double digits (58.3% to 49.0%.)

The per 60 rates make it look even worse. 15 fewer shot attempts while allowing seven more, nine fewer shots on goal while allowing four more, two fewer goals while allowing almost one more, and four fewer high danger chances while conceding three more.

There is however a significant drop in offensive zone starts for Stone when he’s without Pacioretty. Together, they started 56% of their shifts in the offensive zone while apart Stone saw that number decrease to 47% as Pacioretty’s stayed the same.

The fact is though that Mark Stone’s numbers blow the team average out in every category when he plays with Pacioretty, while he falls short in literally every category without Max.

So, what will Bruce Cassidy do to remedy this with Pacioretty buying real estate (and finding a foot doctor) in Raleigh, North Carolina?

The first hope would be Jack Eichel. There’s plenty of reason to believe these two would thrive together, but in their short time (literally less than 40 minutes on the ice) the numbers didn’t bear it out. To be fair though, the Mark Stone that played with Eichel to end the season was a shell of the one we expect to see post back surgery to open 2022-23.

The next option is Chandler Stephenson. With Stephenson, Stone’s numbers rebound, but only to team average, nowhere near where they are with Pacioretty. There’s a 1,300-minute sample size to navigate too. When the three played together, the numbers are incredibly similar to those without Stephenson, but if you take out Pacioretty, the numbers slip to basically halfway between where they are with Mark plus Max compared to Mark minus Max.

Finally, and maybe the most exciting of the solutions, is Jonathan Marchessault. Stone and Marchessault have shared the ice at even-strength for just 211 minutes in the past three years and a lot of it came at 4-on-4. The numbers hint at success (Corsi, Fenwick, Shot Share, Expected Goals all good), but the actual results never matched (they scored just 10 times, which is significantly less than the team average in that many minutes). However, there’s always the 2018 IIHF World Championships to lean on, where Stone and Marchessault played with Pierre-Luc Dubois and dominated the tournament.

No matter who it is, it’s going to be imperative that Cassidy finds Batman his new Robin. For the Golden Knights to produce at anywhere near peak performance, they must get every ounce of production out of Mark Stone. Whether it’s with Eichel, Stephenson, Marchessault, or whoever else, Vegas needs to find a new match because since Stone got here, he’s been dominant with Pacioretty and below average without him.

**All on-ice stats for this article were sourced from NaturalStatTrick.com**

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105 Comments

  1. George T

    Max’s health was always his Achilles Heel.

  2. Henderson Knights

    BREAKING news—–Lehner is out for the season with hip surgery.

    Logan Thompson is now the #1 goalie, as he should be.

    • George T

      The way this Front Office behaves they’ll trade LT for future considerations and sign a “once in a generation” goalie from some other team.

    • WTF !!!!! Can anyone stay healthy for more than 15 minutes???? I didn’t hate Lehner like most people here, but this is bad news. It’s not good ! Ok, we have 5 million in Cap space now, pick up Stastny and we move forward from here on out. This injury bug has devastated this team, we are up against it already and camp has started. Stone needs to be 100% or we waive him, he’s too expensive to keep and I love the guy. Nobody will want him, so no trade options, hopefully, he can bounce back. Can anyone stay healthy ??? Jesus, it’s unbelievable !!!!!

    • B-Rad-Lee

      Here is a list of available free agent goaltenders:
      https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2023/sv/all/goalies?stats-season=2022
      Holtby only played 20 games last year and was 10-10.
      Could we offer sheet Jake Oettinger??

    • knights fan in minny

      time for logan to seize the moment

  3. Bobby

    Let’s hope Stone & Eichel come back fully healthy, that’s the starting point for which lines work best in Butch’s system.

  4. Obvious

    I told ya. I told ya. I told ya

    Psycho goalie was going to take fat bastard for a ride and he has

    Ba ha ha ha ha ha … like reading a book

    And the coaches get fired for not pandering to psycho boy

    This just keeps getting better everyday

    You can’t make this shit up

    PRICELESS

    • Obvious, in all fairness to Lehner, I really don’t believe his psych state of mind ( aka, ” psycho”) has anything to do with his hip surgery!! Come on, at least be realistic when you bash the guy!!

      • Obvious

        Over and over and over he games stupid people like fat bastard who are such obvious dupes.

        He is a manipulative SOB and Vegas has paid dearly for it and continues too.

        Man has he played Vegas, McPhukup and fat bastard like fiddles

        Not a chance this team makes the play offs

        • Jeff

          You need serious professional help. I bet yo weigh about 300 lbs and can barely walk to the fridge to get your next bear.

  5. Henderson Knights

    expect to see SAKARI MANNINEN as the new LW on the top nine. he is small but good. and is signed for 750k.

    • Agree, let’s see what he’s got, we are out of options !

      • Henderson Knights

        yes, here is his highlight reel.

        • Hend. Knights….WOW! Great video– this guy is going to be FUN to watch!! Very smart, crafty player. Thnx!

          • Henderson Knights

            yes, I call him a poor man’s Johnny Hockey. 🙂

        • He could be they key this year, he’s cheap for now, we need more goals and this guy is fast as can be. I give McKrimmon credit on this signing if this guy produces. We definitely need production from this guy for sure to have a shot.

          • Emmanuel

            Mani – Stephenson – Stone
            March – Eichel – Roy
            Carrier – WK – Reilly
            4th Whatever………….

            Roy and Mani can be flipped

            D is top 15 if healthy

            G is fine ( the G who “steals games” is a myth )

  6. Can I ask a favor of the 2 Mac’s ???? I know I’m an inbred hillbilly, unable to read or write. If a guy is 23 or so and doesn’t have the goods to be an NHL player, waive or trade him. We need room for 18, 19 year olds to develop. A 23 year old hack doesn’t belong in our organization, he needs to be moved out. I’m tired of reading about a guy who needs seasoning when he’s 23, played hundreds of games and just can’t pack the gear. Other than rehabbing, give the kids room to grow, an 18 year old has upside to him, not a 5 year guy that’s 23, or put his ass on the roster and see what he’s got. We need our younger guys soon, with our injuries and age, the pipeline needs to be restocked. Just an opinion from an unwashed moron and a member of the most stupidest fan base known to mankind according to the East Coast implants who invaded this once great State.

    • Sorvino

      Mark, what you are asking for seems like a bit of a rebuild bringing you to grow as a team. Seems like ownership and management does not like that at all. Prospects and draft picks in this organization have been used more as trade bait rather than future employment. It’s brought us some short term excitement with strong teams but they are going to suck for a while now.

      • Agree 100% on your post. This organization needs to slowly change their philosophy. We don’t necessarily need to rebuild, but refocus. It hurts to see our kids go elsewhere, for example Suzuki, while we lose our guys because of Cap space for absolutely nothing, for example Patches. We can’t take blows like that without suffering as a team. Think about it, 8, 9 years from now, Patches will be long retired and Suzuki will still be productive in this league. We also need to refocus on 2 to 3 million dollar guys instead of overpaying older, established 8 million dollar players for short term gain. This needs to happen slowly, not all at once. I know many agree, unless your in your early 90’s, most of us will still be here 10 years from now and want to see a competitive team.

        • Emmanuel

          Don’t be so sure most of us will be here 10 years from now the way things are going………too many people have ‘it can’t happen here’ syndrome. I’ll leave it at that.

          • Biden ?? Communists ?? Total economic collapse?? A worldwide economic dive ?? Yeah, it could happen. Tell me your not talking about Greta Dudberg, or AOC’s prediction of the Earth will end in I think 9 years now. Is that what your implying ??

    • THE hockey GOD

      MArk what you posted is violation of prime directive from the grape stomper.

      Haven’t you been paying attention the last five or so years ? And left wing nut jobs from CA invaded this state, the east coast fan especially those from NY are pretty savvy .

  7. JV

    You could see it coming with Lehner. Can’t put that kind of stress on the hip playing at a weight closer to 300 lb than the 250 he’s listed at. Either trade for a goalie( Varlamov from NYI might he available and only has 1 year left) or sign Braden Holtby to a 1 year show me deal. Going in with Thompson and Hutchinson doesn’t seem ideal.

    • Henderson Knights

      most likely they will sign Holtby to be the backup, 1B

      McPhee knows him from Washington.

      Holtby was in that role in Dallas last season behind young Oettinger

  8. John W

    Butch’s system is supposed to be “Goalie Friendly”. I think the Hockey Gods are sending a clear signal that it is time to give Logan a shot, assuming that Brossoit is a healthy back up.

    Our real need is Wingers in the 1.5 to 2.5 million range. Use the Lehner LTIR money to sign Hauge, and address that need

    • Henderson Knights

      Brossoit is not healthy… he also is out with hip problems from last year.

      expect Holtby to back up LT if they can sign him.

    • Obvious

      Goalie friendly!! Ha ha ha what the hell does that mean? Does it mean Cassidy will drop to his knees and open wide every time psycho walks by??

      Goalie friendly…. What a moronic “idea”

  9. Obvious

    Psycho leaner duped fat bastard into giving him a big contract after only a few games. Fat bastard’s hatred for fleury made him a willing dupe. Only for Psycho to then tell him he needed surgery. Vegas screwed over and based on psycho’s past history it was as plain as day.

    Now fat bastard fires the coaches who had enough if psychos bullshit and what does psycho do… hangs the team out to dry again. Who would have ever guessed. Hmmm wonder why every single other team shipped psycho off as fast as they could. Not fat bastard. He’s smarter than everyone else. Ba ha ha ha.

    You can’t even make this Vegas shit show up. Priceless.

    How McPhukup and fat bastard have jobs is baffling.

    Foley—> sheep—>pictures????

  10. Qatar

    Hey Obvious. Have you EVER kissed a girl?

  11. Ken

    Well now at least we don’t have to hear from the Panda haters all season, with him out. Of course they will find others to hate, as that’s all they know to do!

  12. Ken – like I said when RL was signed – he got his retirement package. Their panic put them in the position they now face – no team ever kept Lehner so there had to be a very good reason that was the case despite your belief you feel he is an above average goalie. This is not hate of the person this is just knowledgeable observation of his performance – lack of performance would be a better term.

  13. Jvar2

    This has nothing to do with patches & stone.. I heard Lehner was out for the season.. True or not

  14. Blitz

    So my question is, was the hip injury on the side he kneeled on during the United States national anthem or the other?

  15. FG

    1. We have no idea how well or how many games Mark Stone will play this year. Assuming he plays at an elite level all 82 games is unrealistic.
    2. Obvious has some points it may seem. How did VGK just find out RL would be out for the year? What is going on between him, the medical staff and the FO.? Total chaos.

  16. Bring Back Berube he was a Golden Knight for a couple of weeks!

  17. Tim

    In any sport to be good you have to have athleticism and in Lehener’s case he was just a big guy. Compare him to Fleury for athleticism and we all know it was night and day. Now we need a goalie if any of you think Logan Thompson will carry the mail your out of your fuckin mind. Get a goalie and sign Stansty and I’d be a happy camper. Of course the numb nuts / Splash Brothers will do the opposite.

  18. Craig

    Still over the cap!!

    • Jim

      they are NOT over the cap !

      when you figure in the LTIR situation, there is $16.3 million of potential LTIR totals from Weber, RL, Brossoit, and Patrick

  19. JV

    Just throwing this out there
    Try to sign Evan Rodrigues for RW2?
    Marchy- Eichel-Stone
    Smith- Karlsson- Rodrigues
    Roy- Stephenson- Amadio( though I’d take a cheap flyer on Milano here)
    Carrier- Howden/Patrick- Kolesar
    Maybe Seattle parts with Dreiger, even though he was hurt last season as well?

    I don’t think you can just stand pat for 25-30 games. If a goalie isn’t brought in, might as well use the extra LTIR to go over the cap more.

    • JV

      I like the way Evan plays he has grit to his game I’d say he is more of a third liner.
      My guess is he wants around 2.5 or 3.5 million.

      We could afford him problem is term we are up against the cap next year also.
      We maybe looking for a one year contract.

      • JV

        VGK fan
        I sort of consider the 2 middle lines interchangeable. Neither is a solid 2nd line, but it likely what’s affordable and will fit in the cap. Evan did well when moved up in Pitt when asked. I’m hoping it would take a 3mil x 2 or less.

        • JV

          Evan played outstanding at the beginning of the year when the Pens were missing all their stars. I know his goals dropped later but I really appreciate how he plays with a stone in his shoe. This team needs more guys like that.

          I do like your lines though.

      • JV

        and the cap for 23-24 is much the same as this season. Figure Hague gets overpaid for 3 years. Leaves only Howden and Patrick as rfa. Patrick probably is gone, and Brossiot comes off the books, so a 2 year deal for Evan is possible.

  20. THE hockey GOD

    possible goalies from teams with depth (these are three and four on depth chart)

    Some of these may be injured, or retired ?

    Subban, Bishop, tarasov, montebeault, bernier, dustan torcarski (pit)

    from western conference

    mike smith oilers (I know he’s old, and may not play, and is oiler homer), conner ingram, seattle and san jose have some depth at goalie.

    Based upon past goalie situations I wouldn’t be surprised if VGK went with
    some rookies and AHLers, like they did before in season 1. It seemed to work out pretty well . CAn they catch lightning in bottle twice?

    • knights fan in minny

      what the hell thg what else can happen to this team

      • THE hockey GOD

        players strike ???

        tornado , flood, lightning strikes T mobile???

        earthquake ???

        LT was on shaky ground, just ask Emily Kaplin of ESPN. He went out for “knee surgery’ then recovered enough to be on bench, before opting for shoulder surgery in his last week. Was he rehabbing with no. 67 ??

      • THE hockey GOD

        If inflation is “0%”, why do we need a so-called “Inflation Reduction Act”?

        • knights fan in minny

          that is the million dollar question to ask brain diseased joe blunder oh wait he is on vacation from failure

        • knights fan in minny

          did you see joe blunder try to put his coat on the other day it took 5 minutes to get it on the langry dems will probably blame the wind

  21. Obvious

    Psycho lehner took Vegas for such a ride how is it fat bastard still has a job??

    • SMH

      A constructive suggestion for you. How about starting every one of your posts with the following disclaimer – “I know that I am a miserable human being who has nothing better to do with my life than continually bash one of the most successful expansion franchises in sports history, but then again I know very little about hockey, and just like calling people names from the safety of my computer because it makes me feel like a very big brave man.”

      • Qatar

        SMH, I really don’t think that Obvious has done anything with his life. I don’t think he has actually ever kissed a girl or accomplished anything significant. You are right that he just bashes the team and calls people names. He won’t stop either, will probably do it for several months. Everyone really is just laughing at him. And I’m sure he will reply to this with something that he thinks it’s funny.

        Anyways, on to something that I actually have to do with hockey, I think that Vegas will end up with Semyon Varlamov and get him for practically nothing. He is signed for just one more year at 5 million per year. The Islanders are trying to clear $7 million of cap space so they can proceed with signing Nazem Kadri and signing Varlamov gets them 70% of the way there. I’m not saying when this is the right or wrong move but it seems like a piece that fits into place for both teams.

        • JV

          You should check out Islanders fan blogs. They actually think they will get Theodore for 1 year of Varly and make VGK take Bailey to clear their cap space.. Disclamer: I’ve been an Isles fan since 1974. I’m one of those nasty East coast hockey fans that have ruined this great state, even though I’ve lived here for 29 years.

      • Obvious

        Oh I forgot the only comments allowed are the ones YOU agree with!

        Maybe you should stick with watching CNN

  22. Bob

    What about James Reimer of SJ? They have Kahkonen and A Hill as the other 2 GTs.

    • Isn’t the goal to find one that is good?

      • JV

        Reimer was just as good if not better than Lehner last season( .911 sv% 2.90 gaa vs .907 and 2.83 for Lehner) and SJ defense was a tire fire while their offense dried up 2nd half of season. If Reimer can stay healthy might be worth it @ 2.25 M cap hit.

        • Sorvino

          I agree JV. Reimer is competent for his cap hit.

          I don’t think they’re gonna find anybody as good as a healthy version of Lehner. Varlamov is competent but not as good as the healthy version of Lehner. I guess the healthy version of Lehner doesn’t even exist anymore.

  23. Jailbird

    This place is full of right wing, rabbit hole, cult weirdos! Wow, what a horrible excuse of a hockey site. It’s just a place for the owner of this to make money. What a joke!

    • SMH

      Welcome to the Zoo! Believe it or not, there are a few intelligent thoughtful posters on this board, but you really have to take some time to separate the wheat from the chaff. Pity that there is not an “ignore” feature that you can apply to idiot/troll posters like there are on some other teams’ fan sites. I will never understand people who (a) spend so much of their time pessimistically bashing the team they are in theory supposed to be a fan of, and (b) bring nutso extremist political views up incessantly on a site that is supposed to be about a hockey team.

      • THE hockey GOD

        SMH hockey is politics, every since USA played RUSSIA ion 1960s Olympics. WAKE UP !! and wiggy biscuit took a knee because he was “woked” up ? or
        maybe brain dead like rest of entitlement folks. The dimming of America, anyone with a real brain can see that. Where’s your brain ?

    • knights fan in minny

      go cry some where else

    • Jailbird: , Agreed! We’ve ALL been enduring the political bashing since the 2020 election!! It is VICIOUS at times. These posters have forgotten that SINBIN is a HOCKEY SITE. They don’t have any concerns of offending and insulting the REST OF US. They just feel the need to BASH anyone NOT LIKE THEM. ( CODE for DEMS). PRETTY SICK OF READING THE BS!!

  24. Tim

    I agree with this is a hockey site not a political platform. What ever opinion you have in hockey is fine with me but this right left bashing has got to go.

    • Ken

      Unfortunately Tim, it will never go away. Owner of site is making to much money to ever stop non hockey comments! I sure can’t wait for Doc and the boys to come back in a couple weeks from break!

      • Ken, didn’t Doc create his own site? I read limited following, by design..I could be wrong….

        • Ken

          Yes TS, Doc and other former sinbin followers started a new site last season. I am fortunate to have been invited. They had over 150 people that joined. There is, no political , no racist comments. No name calling and 100% hockey. They hope to open to more people in future. It’s great for pure hockey fans, especially oh the Knights!

          • Blitz

            Yet here you are on! LOL I call bullshit. SMH is doc. What are you doc too? It’s so awesome that no one here even knows this amazing site other than some memory that doc joined a new site like 2 years ago. Fucking classic! LOL!

          • THE hockey GOD

            yes Ken, SMH is DOC. And Doc’s site is not free speech , an anti Constitutional, anti American site. Run by a bunch of neo Fascist , american hating lib tards.

          • Ken, will you mention me to PP? He’ll remember meeting me at Vgk practice. Maybe if he has an ” opening”?I am interested! Thnx!

        • Ken, never mind my last post-‘ I was thinking of Pistol Pete…oops!NEVER MIND!

  25. JV

    If you don’t want politics discussed, maybe the NHL and the players themselves should stay out of it. During the 2020 playoff bubble how many times was BLM plastered all over the 2 arenas, players kneeling, moments of silence, etc. every game? All I wanted to do was watch hockey without all the extracurricular activity.

    • Blitz

      I agree. It would have been so refreshing to see any of the big sports leagues come out and say, “You want politics and social matters go watch any thing else. You want to watch something to take your mind off of the noise and give you a break from it all, watch us”. Hockey did *a little better* than others. The NBA can eat shit. The NFL about ruined the game for me and they had every chance in the world to just stay out of it. Instead they embraced the shit and it cost them viewership. All the sports news channels, that is all they could talk about for a long time. I stopped listening/watching.

    • knights fan in minny

      dumba started it all

    • THE hockey GOD

      there you go JV, GREAT POINTS and it was worse during the Soviet vs Canada summit series. Hockey is politics, and politics is hockey. But don’t tell that to the unsophisticated “fans” here. It will just fall on deaf ears.

      • JV

        ThG- I was a single digit midget, but that Summit series was just overt brutality. Clarke’s two hander on Kharlamov’s ankle, that would be a 25 game suspension today. Its still on YouTube. But all those games vs the 2 Red Army teams throughout the ’70’s were politically motivated disguised as sporting events right up to Lake Placid in 1980.

        This being said, it would be good if political/ social issue comments could be kept to hockey related, like the current Hockey Canada scandal,

  26. Ken

    I don’t know who or what smh is, but I know what you are thg. You are jealous! It’s obvious. You don’t have access to Docs site and you can’t stand it. Ha ha

  27. Chuckles

    Time to regroup cut all the grandstanding.! It was the first major league team. Cut the costs. See how the season goes. It’s the NHL Baby!! We’re finding out out real fandom from bandwagon riders. Go Vegas Go! Big League and True Knights.

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