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Golden Knights Need More From Paul Stastny

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In 92 games as a Golden Knight, center Paul Statsny has a total of 58 points (23 Goals, 35 Assists), 0.63 points per game. In the 46 wins Stastny participated in, the 34-year-old compiled 43 points (20 Goals, 24 Assists), averaging 0.93 points per game. Pretty significant impact.

On the other side, when Vegas loses, Stastny rarely shows up on the score sheet. In 21 total losses this season, he has only two points. His points per game drops to an alarming 0.095.

Ken wrote why he thinks the numbers are down, which may be fair, but the fact is since the organization committed 7.6% of their payroll to Stastny they simply can’t afford to his numbers to be where they are, no matter what the excuses are.

One thing is clear about the 2019-2020 Golden Knights, they’re offensively inconsistent, and Stastny is one of the main reasons why. He’s had 4, 5, and 8-game goal droughts this season and a 21 game assist drought to go along with other 5 and 6 game assist droughts. In a three-game span in November, Stastny had no shots on net, no points, and played less than his average TOI in each game. It was during a stretch when the club desperately could’ve used his offense.

Vegas is 4-4-2 in games when Stastny doesn’t register a shot. He’s posted a -7 rating with only one assist in those games.

Since November, Stastny has been mostly relegated to the third line, centering a group of several Golden Knights forwards. With Alex Tuch by his side, the duo should be able to drive enough offense no matter who is skating beside them. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much success. Tuch has five goals, and none of them were assisted by Stastny. Even more concerning, the veteran center only has two primary assists all season. A contending team needs far more from their second or third best center.

One and half seasons into his three-year, $19.5M deal with Vegas, Stastny has played a total of 99 out of a possible 131 games. When healthy he’s been last year he was consistently productive, helping his talented linemates succeed. However, this season with Stastny’s role decreasing and playing a position normally filled by a defensively-minded Cody Eakin, the contract doesn’t look so good. Would Stastny have found his way down a line over time? Sure, but I doubt the organization was planning on it so soon.

While I agree that less time on ice and a minimal offensive zone starts hurts Stastny’s point production, it still shouldn’t be this low. No matter how you break it down, 16 points in 42 games is very concerning. Especially, when more than half of his points are and more of the goals came in October.

Am I ready to say the miles are catching up on the 34-year-old? Not completely, but I’m also not ruling it out. Stastny has played 916 career NHL games. That’s 91 more games than Marc-Andre Fleury (825), and 182 more than Max Pacioretty (734). As a top-six player for most of his career the minutes start to pile up.

Vegas’ front office scouts players, project points, and negotiate contracts. If they felt the player would begin to fade 18 months into his deal they wouldn’t have offered $6.5M per, and definitely not for three seasons.

So, I’m expecting a turnaround for Stastny in the second half because there better be or his contract which already looks bad now is going to look really bad next season.

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6 Comments

  1. Lt

    exactly……and also notice that Stastny is MINUS 7 and Stephenson is PLUS 8 with the Knights. That is a 15 goal difference at even strength. Stastny does not fit on the 3rd line with Tuch’s speed, and so he is a wasted cap hit of $6.5 mill

  2. Vic

    Hard to argue with what you have stated, and not centering line 2 makes the stats suffer.

    The nagging problem is line 3 simply does not create offense and rarely puts more than one pass together. It doesn’t matter who plays on line 3, the problem remains. Hard to remember many odd man rushes, and only rare grade A chances. Sometimes it seems like the line 3 player’s sticks are made of rubber with pucks bouncing away from them. It also seems that when one of these guys receives a pass, there is no gap room at all, and the game shifts back to the D zone. They also rarely win battles. Not a good situation for a 1st place team.

  3. Well Ken you created quite a fire storm – interesting reading from the prosecutors concerning effort. If I am not mistaken effort and attitude go hand in hand so perhaps attitude has a great deal to do with their performance and inconsistent play. I couldn’t help but notice the feelings that the VGK have a talented team, which I have also is indicated is the case, the problem is they just don’t show up every game. Yes as one of your readers and an individual responded it takes 100% effort not some of the time but all the time to succeed. All showed up for the Arizona game lets hope they recall the great feeling and happy moments and continue going forward. There is nothing as sad as talent with winning attitude missing. Attitude is what’s special and can even propel a less talented team to victory. Go Knights Go – you owe it to yourself, fans and owners who have provided you the opportunity for a great life style.

  4. KH

    He might be a bit hurt and that third line is a death sentence.

    I like him as a player and could be the key to where Vegas goes this year.

  5. Mike StG

    Stastny’s speed is not an issue. Vegas plays an F1,2,3 offense, where F1 and F2 are first in on the forecheck. The center by design is F3, and trailing behind for defensive purposes. Stephenson helps L2 because of the added speed plus fact he is not the playmaker on that line, Stone is.

  6. Travis Norberg

    If we plan to contend this year past the first round the number one thing we need to acquire is another veteran defenseman at the trade deadline. This is where we are vulnerable and the reason we are not beating the Colorado’s and St Louis’s of the league. This was the issue last year as well but we traded for primarily offensive players. Stone and Pacioretty were great additions but ultimately defense wins championships in April. Can’t continue to expect Fleury to carry us as magical as he has been at 35. Too many turnovers in our defensive third and too many penalties. McNabb is the main culprit followed by Holden. Theodore makes a lot of mistakes but has promise and a lethal wrist shot offensively. Schmidt is our best and Engelland is solid, but 37 and about to retire. Trade the high priced Stastny and McNabb. We need room in our cap to make this happen.. We have enough fire power in our current lineup to release a 19 million dollar contract. There will be several good players out there for the picking. Sami Vatanen from NJ would be a good one. They are fire selling the team. Love our squad but feel this is where we need to improve if we want to seriously contend.

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