Any time the Golden Knights lead the league in a statistic, it’s worth noting (usually with a tweet). When they lead the entire NHL by a 2:1 margin in that stat, it’s worth a full article.
Despite playing the most games in the league (tied with seven other teams), the Golden Knights allowed the fewest empty-net goals of any team. Vegas conceded into a goalie-less net just three times during the entire 2019-20 season. Columbus came in 2nd with six and then a group of nine teams finished with nine or fewer.
There were just two teams with a Goals For Percentage above 50% with their net empty, Vegas and the New York Islanders. The Golden Knights came in with five goals for and just the three against for 62.5% while the Islanders had eight for and seven against for 53.3%. Every other team in the league conceded more goals than they scored with their net empty.
Vegas did finish with the second to lowest total time without their goalie (ahead of Boston), but when the stats are adjusted for time, it remains incredibly impressive for the Golden Knights.
Vegas ranked first in goals against per 60 with 5.65 while the next closest team, Carolina, came in at 9.25. Only four teams were under 10.0.
They also finished in the top five in Shots For/60, Corsi For/60, Scoring Chances For/60, and High Danger Chances For/60 and the top 10 in Goals For/60. This all indicates that not only were the Golden Knights terrific at keeping the puck out of their own empty net, they were also putting massive amounts of pressure on the opposing goalie and chased down crucial 6-on-5 goals on five separate occasions.
You probably remember most of the Golden Knights’ handiwork with the net empty too. The most memorable goal is Max Pacioretty’s 0.3 seconds remaining equalizer in Nashville which started a four-game winning streak. There was also Nick Holden’s game-tier at Chicago, and Vegas scored twice with their net empty in one game this season, a game in Montreal. Pacioretty and Reilly Smith tallied in the final two minutes to help earn a much-needed point at the Bell Centre.
So, when the games finally get back underway and the Golden Knights trail late, don’t give up, they’ve got a better chance than anyone in the league to tie it back up.