Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Key Advanced Stat Places VGK Among NHL’s Elite

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are in first place in the Western Conference. They are in first place in the Pacific Division. They are in 4th place in the entire league.

They’ve been among the NHL’s best teams based on record since the moment the season began. However, a lot of that was based on a torrid start to the season that has since cooled off significantly. VGK jumped out to a 13-2-0 start to begin the Bruce Cassidy era, but they have continued at just 14-11-2.

The first 15 games had them on pace for a 142 point seaon. Obviously, as that would break the single-season record by 10 points, playing at that level would clearly have the Golden Knights as the elite team in the league. The most recent 27 games though leave reason for pause, especially if you watched Saturday night’s game from start to finish. The .571 points percentage since November 10th would have them on pace for 94 points over a full season, clearly not elite.

This all came up in my mind because of a recent tweet that has the Golden Knights in a very enviable place.

Whatever you believe about the exactness of expected goals stat, there’s no denying its power in predicting the future. Each of the past four Stanley Cup Champions and six of the last seven, has finished the regular season in the Top 7 in Expected Goal Percentage at 5-on-5. Most teams in the Top 10 make the playoffs and many conference champions appear as well.

When I first saw that stat my first thought was, it’s probably mostly based on the hot start and the numbers have come back to earth. That is what happened, but not as heavily as expected.

VGK were ranked 3rd in the NHL with a 56.2 Expected Goals Percentage through the first 15 games of the season. They won the xG battle in 11 of their first 15 games and posted 60% numbers in nine. Elite.

In the last 27, the numbers have come down, but Vegas is still on the right side of the ledger despite battling through a myriad of injuries. The Golden Knights have a 51.6 xGF% since November 10th, still good enough to land in the top half of the league.  They have posted a 50% or better number in just 13 of the 27 though, which isn’t as promising.

So, the overall number went from 56.2% down to just 54.5% and the Golden Knights only slipped from 3rd to 5th in the league. They were the best team in the Western Conference in the category after the hot start, and remain there at the halfway point in the season.

In other words, being ranked among the elites in what I consider to be one of the most telling stats is not just based on a good 15-game stretch before teams figured the Golden Knights out. Despite the expected dip, they’ve maintained strong enough numbers to keep them as the best team in the West and one of the best in the league.

There is one cause for concern though, which is the two numbers that are keeping Vegas from realizing as many wins as the expected goals stats indicate.

The Golden Knights are one of just a handful of teams to be ranked in the Top 10 in both most expected goals for and least expected goals against, yet at 5-on-5 they’ve actually allowed exactly the same number of goals as they’ve scored.

VGK have scored 8.1 fewer goals than expected while seeing the goaltenders stop just 0.6 more than expected at 5-on-5. That’s a difference of 7.5 goals, the 10th worst in the league. It actually gets worse when you consider all strengths.

Typically, this should be framed in a positive light as it’s an indicator of upcoming regression (or in this case progression). But with the Golden Knights finishing and goaltending were two question marks coming into the season that remain deficiencies.

While All Star Logan Thompson has certainly impressed, it’s hard to believe that he and Adin Hill will perform at much higher levels than they have to this point this season. If they can just maintain it, Vegas would have to be pleased. Finishing has always been a problem, and as good as Jack Eichel is, he can’t make up for everyone.



Next Podcast #286: In Pen


  1. Obvious

    Nonsense statistic…its very easy to lie with stats – most people who get the flu wear socks…but there is no causal connection . Here is what you need to know about VGK – they are often exposed by more well prepared teams, their goaltending is medium to medium weak, their defense is suspect and the lines don’t really gel. They are a one a done playoff team in a weak division.

    • This doesn’t do it for you?

      “Each of the past four Stanley Cup Champions and six of the last seven, has finished the regular season in the Top 7 in Expected Goal Percentage at 5-on-5.”

    • Emmanuel

      One and done in a weak division? Thats counterintuitive.

    • THE hockey GOD

      to oblivious , stats don’t lie

      only problem is they are lagging, they tell you were you have BEEN
      and not were you are GOING.

      You can play all sorts of games with stats. Like statistical significance, trending, leading, or lagging.

      From your post, you are obviously oblivious. Move on, everyone here has pwn’d and owned you.

      • Obvious

        Coming from a guy who thinks bad ice is a thing in the NHL…dumbest fans in the league

        • THE hockey GOD

          bad ice does exist, NHL had big study in 2017, I posted the study. Only idiots like you don’t get it; real fans do.

          get lost, you are truly oblivious.

          iggy pop just released a new album just for you, it’s called Every Loser.
          get it

          • Obvious

            “Studies show aliens are at Area 51”

            Dumbest fan base in sports

  2. Sorvino

    Obvious is such a stupid piece of shit! Their defense is suspect and the lines don’t really gel? They are a one and done playoff team?

    What a complete dumbass!

    They have one of the best defense cores in the league. Whitecloud and Hague who are generally bottom pairing defencemen on this team when they are healthy can play top 4 minutes on any team in the league.

    Their lines almost always gel you dumb piece of shit. Karlsson – Marchessault – Smith have been a line 90% of the time since 2017–18. How many other teams have that luxury. There are duos like Ovechkin and Backstrom and McKinnon and Rantanen but how many trios have gelled for 5 years other then the misfit line and Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak. We also have our Roy – Kolesar – Carrier line that always gels. Obviously with injuries you have to mix it up.

    Another thing you miserable always negative useless waste of skin, this team is the complete opposite of a one and done playoff team.

    Since they entered the league in 2017 they have played 67 playoff games which is second overall in the league only behind Tampa. Hey Obvious, Einstein, if they were a one and done team they would not have played all of those playoff games. They should have played even more playoff games had they not been screwed by that 5 minute major penalty against San Jose in game 7, a call so egregious that the NHL instituted a rule change because of it.

    Fuck you and your negativity that is not based on facts or history.

    As for the vast majority of you who appreciate this team, I enjoy hearing your comments about this 1st place in the Western Conference team.

    I enjoy the comments based on facts and the constructive criticisms as well.

    Go Knights Go!! Continued good days ahead are in store. Team is getting healthier and special teams continue to improve.

    • Obvious

      Absolutely the dumbest fan base in the league

    • THE hockey GOD

      here here Sorvino, like the others responding here; you owned this POS poster who brings
      nothing of VALUE
      to this forum. EVER.

      and that is a statistically significant FACT , JACK.

  3. knights fan in minny

    i applaud you sorvino

  4. Canada

    Anyone ready to discount this team may want to wait till mid March before calling it. . This is not the Debour Country Club,Cassidy expects more and I think he will get it We have easily on paper and at the rink what it takes to get the job done . Once Cassidy gets his lines figured out the consistency will return . I’m with Sorvino and expecting to see some good playoff hockey this year.
    Go Knights.

    • knights fan in minny

      well said canada

    • THE hockey GOD

      DeBoar country club??? Talk about another poster out in left field. VGK was third in man games lost, by a wide margin. Country club hardly, more like the M*A*S*H clinic. Try again, you completely missed the mark with that comment.

  5. Emmanuel

    Finishing has always been a problem. Took the words out of my mouth.

    My concern at this point is that there are at least 2 players in the top 9 that are turnstiles. Thats gonna hurt in the playoffs.

    Interesting chart some of the teams that pop out are Florida, Ottawa & San Jose, those teams are under or overperforming.

  6. Sorvino

    Phil Kessel does not look great. He looked good in the first game after Christmas and maybe it was because he has rest. He probably shouldn’t play everyday.

    • knights fan in minny

      what do you think about a trade for max domi he can put up some points versatile also and he is pesky

  7. Sorvino

    I like it. I think Domi might be a bit of a head case as he seems to get moved a lot. I wouldn’t want him on a contract with term but as a rental he could be a nice fit on the third line. Definitely an upgrade on Kessel and as you said versatile.

  8. Tim

    It has to be a little concerning that in the last 27 games the Knights are 14-11-2. Yes they’ve had injuries but in my lifetime of playing and coaching a team that always has an excuse is a loser. The Knights and fans always have a reason for a loss and to me it’s a cop-out. You can tell yourself were a Stanley Cup team but it starts with the goalie and Thompson ain’t bad but he ain’t that good when the better teams come to play they’ll expose him.

  9. Jailbird

    They had KEY injuries, yet managed to play over .500 ! Complain,complain, complain. That’s all you really do anymore Tim. We have a good team, plain and simple. You’re going to have to live with that!

    • Jailbird – I noticed you had nothing to say to my post concerning your post after the last game loss to LA. (You always come with excuses they are first , they are playing over 500 etc etc etc.) What Tim and many others who understand sports and hockey in this case are more objective in their thinking and realists as to what is going on and by the way that’s not complaining that is simply stating things as they are. I am sure TIM, myself and most hockey fans are thrilled with VGK success to date but also realize it doesn’t necessarily equate to being a championship team. I hope they prove me wrong. I am concerned about the time between games at this time as for whatever reason they don’t seem to do particularly well on return which history has shown to be the case. We will see Thursday.

    • Tim

      Jailbird, From reading your posts I can see your a objective poster with some solid thoughts. I do think you have the rose colored glasses on at times when it comes to the Knights. Does playing 500 on your home ice give you a feeling of confidence it doesn’t me. Mark Stone on Monday after the LA debacle went on tweeter claiming ( (We’ll be ready Thursday ) I thought that was very big of him letting us know we played like shit but Thursday will be different. Really not what I want to hear from my captain. Like I’ve said Vegas is a funny town years ago UNLV basketball was king, now with the Raiders Mark Davis is pissed with the lack of local enthusiasm, The knights keep losing at home believe me the attendance will drop off. That’s a reality check for all the homers.

      • THE hockey GOD

        Tim you have been saying that attendance will drop for years.

        broken record

        “the attendance will drop”

        “the attendance will drop”
        “the attendance will drop”

        WILL SOMEONE PUHLEASE fix that broken record ???

        Calling Dr Howard, Dr Fine, Dr Howard, to the ER
        we have a BROKEN RECORD that needs mending.

        whaa haaa haaaa whaaaa
        ( i must admit, one of my better posts in long time)

  10. Jailbird

    No reason to respond to self-important, know it all BS ! Playoffs here we come. Go knights go!

  11. Obvious

    One and done…

    Amazing how dumb these fans are …they were in first place during the first part of last year and missed the playoffs…

    The goaltending is minor league… The defense is shaky…the neutral zone play is awful and is exploited by better clubs

  12. Canada

    If you look back teams that made it to the finals i. E. the Canadians 2021 . There is only one question about the Knights , do they want it and will they sacrifice for each other. Logan is getting stronger and has made some terrific saves to keep us in games we would have lost . He is a underdog i like his chances. We have seen our offence score at will when they are in the right head space and healthy , Our defence has experience and size that is second to none . Coach is Top Notch . i’m not sure what Obvious was watching on the last road trips but we took down some great hockey teams It would be foolish to dismiss this team at this point .

  13. Canada

    To the Hockey God , Comments on Debours country club came from Pacioretty’s comment on the way out the door , that’s a insider talking and where theres smoke theres fire . He stated clearly the coach and management did not hold the players accountable . The idea that they are grown professional men and can police and motivate themselves seems nice in theory . We all need to be benched now and then with few exceptions. I think Cassidy has shown he’s willing to lose the ” i hope you like me trophy” and win us a cup. That was my point.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ canada, patches comment is coming from sore loser prospective. Patches was talking about himself. How do you hold someone responsible when they are in the medical clinic? The comment is clearly biased from a player who just got FIRED from the organization. No credibility none at all. Name more than one player Cassidy has benched for non performance, who wasn’t an AHLer? I am talking about a veteran player. I can’t think of any. Back up your post with facts.

      Your point has been completely decimated, there is no point.

      • Canada

        Well I can think of two goalies being pulled marshy got sat Stevenson was sat and his top player is being moved around like a pin ball .amadio was sat . I disagree. He is trying to find the sweet spot . I think he has the balls to sit anyone . Tell me when Debour did any of this . Never

        • THE hockey GOD

          being pulled and switching lines is not
          “being benched”
          Being benched is when you sit out a healthy player and list them as a scratch.

          All the things you mentioned PDB did the same thing !

          so you are coming up a bit short again

          • Canada

            So being sat is not benched Hmm, let me see when i sat i guy he was benched but maybe you played a different kind of hockey. And when your pulled from a line its not because the coach is patting you on the back. You may not be able to look it up on Google so drop by a rink the answer may surprise you.

  14. Jailbird

    We just won 3 games in a row at home, then played a bad game vs kings. All teams have games like this. I’ll take 3 out of 4 games at home the rest of the season. If we get back all and stay healthy we WILL contend for the cup.

  15. Obvious

    Contend for the cup? Wow, in a sea of dumb fans you’re approaching the Minnie mouse trailer pedo and the bad ice moron for dumbest on here

    • knights fan in minny

      fake ass poster the only thing you contend for is dumb fuck of the year

  16. Sorvino

    Jake Leschyshyn has been claimed on waivers by the New York Rangers.

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