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Golden Knights Need To Rely On Others For More Offense

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last month was a big one for two of the Golden Knights’ most reliable forwards. Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone really made an impact in March, combining for an impressive 43 points in 31 days. The club benefited from the two top compilers and posted a 12-5-0 record over the month. Unfortunately, March ended and the Golden Knights began April with a shootout loss against the Minnesota Wild.

Of course, it’s only one game and Vegas picked up a point in the process so there’s no much to gripe about. Last night’s SO loss was only the Golden Knights’ 11th defeat through 35 games this season. The club has set themselves up nicely for a postseason position. However, the loss to Minnesota carried over a trend that should make Vegas fans a bit uneasy.

The Golden Knights rely so much on Pacioretty and Stone to produce offensively that when they don’t, the team struggles to score. In their 11 regulation, overtime, or shootout losses, the top two forwards have scored in just three of those games. Without Pacioretty and Stone’s one-two punch, the Golden Knights average an anemic 1.27 goals per loss.

Especially, in a division featuring a Colorado team that just scored nine in a game and a pesky Minnesota group that averages close to three goals per 60. For Vegas to eliminate both in the postseason, they’ll need to rely on more than just the top line.

Pacioretty & Stone Postseason Production Per Game

Pacioretty: 0.82 Postseason Points Per w/ VGK
0.62 Career Postseason Points Per

Stone: 1.07 Postseason Points Per w/ VGK
0.77 Career Postseason Points Per

The issue for the Golden Knights isn’t just a problem in the regular season. Going back to their first postseason series as Golden Knights in 2018, when Pacioretty and Stone’s offense dried up the team crumbled. Against the San Jose Sharks the pair tallied ten goals in the first four games of that series. Game’s 5-7, the two veterans combined for one goal. One.

Sadly, their postseason slump didn’t end against the Sharks. In last season’s playoff bubble, the two were again the Golden Knights most lethal forwards. But like the prior postseason, when Pacioretty and Stone didn’t score the team most likely lost. In eight playoff losses in the bubble, Vegas’ two most reliable wingers only produced two goals. One of them came in the Western Conference finals series loss against the Dallas Stars. It’s an unsettling pattern that’s continued into this season.

Pacioretty & Stone Goals Scored In Playoff Losses

2018-19 Postseason: 3 Goals Scored In 4 Losses
2019-20 Postseason: 2 Goals Scored In 8 Losses

Postseason Total: 5 Combined Goals Scored in 12 Losses

Under their current salary cap structure, it would take some heavy creativity to find another reliable option. Also, you could argue those players already exist on the current Golden Knights roster.

It’s pretty simple. If Pacioretty or Stone’s offense goes missing it’s unlikely the Golden Knights will advance throughout the playoffs. On the flip side, if the two spread out their offense in a seven-game series Vegas will be tough to eliminate. They’ll be even tougher to beat if they can rely on more players to generate offense on nights when Pacioretty and Stone get blanked.

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22 Comments

  1. Tim

    How can anyone put Roy or Kolesar on the third line there chance of scoring is slim to none and slim left town. We need a real center to play with Patch and Stone, leave the Karlsson line alone move Stephenson to the third line with Tuch and Garland, fourth line Nosek, Carrier, and the best of the rest . Dump Holden, Reeves, and Fleury’s contacts to make it happen. I’m fine if they don’t do anything but don’t expect a cup because the way we are it will be Ground Hog Day again in the playoffs when we can’t score.

    • THE hockey GOD

      i heard of this guy named SLIM. Some guy who ate M&Ms ,a lot, had a lot to say about him. I think his name was Slim Shady. And he left town a long, long time ago.

      Will the real Slim Shady please stand up ?

    • sb

      Seems like what I’ve been saying for months is catching on. Need Number 1 center. Move Stephenson to Tuch/Glass. PP is a Chinese Fire Drill without that missing #1 center.

      • Mike StG

        Sb, wishful thinking. #1 centers are drafted and developed. Stamkos, McJesus, MacKinnon, Sid, Kopitar, Getzlaf, Matthews, Bergeron, Schiefele, Barkov… should I go on? The last elite center who made it to UFA was Tavares in 2018 and he went for $11M. So the Leafs have two #1 centers and great wingers – they’ve not won the Cup. Stone is as good a playmaker as any elite C both at 5v5 and PP, and with Patch on his line they don’t need an elite center. Chandler is the perfect complement, he’s the F1 that streaks through the NZ to receive a perfect pass for yet another breakaway opportunity. Their need is for depth scoring, in particular the right guy at LW3 to play with Tuch.

  2. Mike StG

    Jason, I think you could say the same about other teams with highly productive F pairings or lines. TBL, BOS, COL. If their #1 lines don’t score they won’t go far either. Bottom line is that’s why they’re paid the big bucks. If they don’t carry the load the team won’t be successful. You live and die with that in the playoffs.

  3. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Every team is looking for more scoring from bottom 6, always.

    Out top 2 lines can hold there own with others top lines.

    I think Stephenson has did a good job with Stoney & Patch, but IF we could nab a pure playmaker center, then moving #20 to skate with Tuch could help.

    Man, they are going to have to pull off a major deal to make this happen!

    • sb

      That’s right. Need Number 1 center for Stone/Pac. Move Stephenson to Tuch/Glass. The 4th line is hopeless …….. limit their minutes.

  4. howard

    Alex P. way over rated. Riley Smith can not keep the puck on his stick.
    There lies the reason they are limited.
    The Avs and Tampa go at full speed all the time. We do not.
    VGT is fun to watch but no cup coming this year.

  5. LVsc

    I agree with you guys, but you need to clue in the coach and GM, cuz they both just recently said that they are fine with what they have, and anticipate no moves.

    How can McCrimmon be so in denial after watching last year’s playoffs and then looking at recent games which show the exact same perimeter fancy east west passing crap that did not work against backup goaltenders in the bubble?

    Sorry, but if you can’t beat the shitty LA Kings at home with 1st place on the line, then you have no chance to beat a much better team in the playoffs with much more at stake.

  6. LVsc

    they played with 10 forwards on Thurs, but when they have Keegan Kannotscore, Roy, and Reaves, they are essentially playing with 9 forwards most nights anyway.

  7. THE hockey GOD

    Cody Glass C, Vegas Golden Knights
    The Vegas Golden Knights have recalled forward Cody Glass from the AHL.

    Glass was sent to the minors on Tuesday and has quickly been recalled. GM Kelly McCrimmon mentioned on Wednsday that the Golden Knights are hoping Glass can improve in five-on-five situations. The 22-year-old has four goals and 10 points in 25 games this season.

    • Glass has got to be the biggest disappointment on the team. DeBoer’s moved him up to the first line for a bit, put him on the power play for a bit, both I’m sure trying to give him confidence, but he has rarely ever looked like a very early first round pick. Nick Suzuki has twice as many points and when you think about Kaprizov being a 5th round pick and has 3 times as many points, it makes you wonder who saw what in Glass. Although, I think the same can be said for Roy. His size must have been the attraction, but it’s hard to understand how he made this team.

  8. LVsc

    I think tonight’s game will determine if the Knights make a trade. they will likely have to face Minny in round 1, and 4 losses in 6 games vs Minny would not be the way to go into a series like that.

  9. Tim

    This is why the minor leagues are a joke if your good enough. If you recall Cody Glass played for the Portland Winter Hawks and had 100 points has that working out. Now this year hockey has stunted Payton Krebs growth by again wasting time in the Juniors. I love hearing how he was player of the week or month I don’t recall and really who gives a shit about those phony stats. Like I’ve always said if your good enough and are forced to play down it’s a F@@ked up system. Only in hockey is this stupidity allowed.

  10. Jeff

    They simply do not have the team talent, skill or heart of a champion.

  11. The problem is with defense… You have the 2 most over rated and over paid defensemen in hockey with Theodore and Pieceofshitangelo… Maybe only Duncan wave the stick Keith is more over rated.

    We have over paid for the “top” free agents available in Patch,Stone, and Pietrangelo who all get circles skated around them by all of Colorado… Going to be the same obstacle for years unless injuries plague the Avalanche. Only chance against them is to dump deep and make them go 200, turnovers anywhere else on the ice and they blow us out!

  12. Don’t get me wrong… Theodore has losds of skill, but the hockey IQ of a donut. It’s sad to see the dumb plays made by someone with such raw skills!

  13. Even more concerning is a league that has decided to recoup their losses from the pandemic by getting in bed with the gaming industry and fixing games… The last sport to be corrupted by money and greed! I bailed on the WWNFL years ago and it is looking like the WWNHL has arrived… SO SAD

  14. Jeff

    OK. I did not mention attitude.

  15. No problem l knew what you meant

  16. Jeff – it makes up for a lot of deficiencies

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