The Golden Knights head into tonight’s game with 109 points looking to push that total to 111 and eventually 113 with another win in Calgary on Saturday. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we wanted to take a moment to show how unbelievable reaching 109 points is on its own… then, of course, we’ll project ahead.
In the 100 years the NHL has been around, there have been a total of 1,506 seasons teams have competed in, including teams from this year. Only 89 other teams have ever reached 109 points. That means the inaugural season of the Golden Knights already ranks in the 94th percentile of all NHL seasons in the history of NHL. In fact, it’s tied for the 75th best regular season in NHL history, and the Golden Knights have two games to go.
Six teams, the Coyotes, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Kings, Wild, and Maple Leafs have never reached 109 points in a regular season.
But that’s just the here and now, we’ve still got games to watch tonight and Saturday, so, let’s look forward. There are five possible outcomes over the next two games for the Golden Knights. They can earn 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0 points which would see them finish their season with 113, 112, 111, 110, or 109 points. Here’s what each of those would look like compared to all other seasons played in NHL history.
|Points||NHL Rank||NHL Percentile||Teams Never To Reach|
That’s right, with wins over Edmonton and Calgary, the Golden Knights would complete a regular season tied for the 33rd best in NHL history and be better than the best season in the franchise histories of up to 11 teams. Those include the six mentioned above plus Calgary, Chicago, New Jersey, Tampa Bay* and Winnipeg*.
Chicago’s best season ever was 112 points in 2009-10 when they won their first of three recent Stanley Cups. Toronto’s best regular season was in 2003-04 when they finished with 103 points. The Leafs currently sit at that same 103 number with two games to go, but they cannot reach the Golden Knights. Thus, it took the Golden Knights less than one regular season to have more points than one Original 6 team has ever had and with a pair of wins in the final games, they’ll cross a second off the list of six as well.
Now, of course, the Golden Knights are playing in a season in which there are 82 games, shootout wins, and overtime losses which weren’t the case for a majority of the 100 year history of the NHL. However, if you simply take points percentage which eliminates the difference between an 80 (or fewer) game season and the 82 game season, the Golden Knights will still at worst rank among the top 121 seasons in history. 110 points would be good for 104th, 111 for 95th, 112 for 83rd, and 113 for 66th.
Simply put, this is not just an historic season for an expansion team, it’s an historic season for any team, and a regular season that may not be matched for a long long time.