Since the start of the new year the Golden Knights haven’t been at their best. Vegas is 1-2-2 in 2022 but still managed to add four points to their Pacific Division leading 23-14-2 record. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the Golden Knights dominate opponents like they did throughout the month of December, which may have changed minds across the league. When in reality, Vegas picked up four points in five games without playing up to their potential and missing a myriad of starters.
Every so often we like to check in on NHL power rankings across the league. Vegas was a preseason Top 5 team but ever since the injuries piled up they’ve mostly been stuck in double digits. According to aggregate site Power Rankings Guru, this week the Golden Knights checked in at #11.
The consensus was, Vegas had an incredible month of December but took a step back once the calendar year ended. A little dramatic if you ask me.
Let’s start with the league’s site. Vegas rounded out the top ten for the second straight week on NHL.com. Up until they’re fully healthy expect Vegas to be ranked in bottom part of the top ten.
NHL.com – #10 (Previously #10)
The Golden Knights won an NHL record 14 straight regular-season games decided in overtime before losing 5-4 to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, the first time they lost in OT since Dec. 19, 2019 (5-4 at the Vancouver Canucks).
ESPN had a little fun by publishing a Disney themed NHL power rankings. Greg Wyshinski and crew went light on Vegas, only dropping them one position.
ESPN – #12 (Previously #11)
To honor this magical place, and with no small amount of corporate synergy, we’ve decided to use this week’s NHL power rankings to match all 32 teams with the Disney World attractions — rides, food, characters — that best fit their vibes.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. A multimillion-dollar world of imagination that offers thrilling rides, lasting memories and the unwavering feeling that it never goes quite as far as you’d like it to go. That weird feeling in your stomach about the Golden Knights in the playoffs is not because you drank too much blue milk …
Sportsnet has routinely had Vegas outside of the top ten. One of the reasons for the lower grade is the injuries to Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty and Alec Martinez. Once those three impact players return I’m sure SN will raise the local boys in their rankings.
Sportsnet – #12 (Previously #13)
Jonathan Marchessault is leading the Golden Knights’ goal-scoring charge with 18 – good for 10th in the NHL – and is on pace for his best statistical season yet.
Rookie Optimism Edition: The first three draft picks in Knights history — Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom — have all been traded. Their fourth selection in 2017 was defenceman Nicolas Hague, who looks like a good one. No. 5 was 62nd overall pick Jake Leschyshyn, who has played 19 games with the club in his NHL debut this season. For what it’s worth, their next pick that year — third-rounder Jonas Rondbjerg — also cracked the NHL this year and has two goals in 13 games.
Out of all hockey publications SI has believed in the Golden Knights the most. Last week they had them ranked fifth overall in the league and ninth before their December run. Stephenson also impressed the printers of the Swimsuit Issue. I can only imagine how much more they’ll like him when he’s anchoring a threatening third line.
Sports Illustrated – #7 (Previously #5)
Chandler Stephenson. On Tuesday, less than halfway through the season, the 27-year-old forward reached a new career high in points with 36 in 38 appearances.
CBS and NBC Sports lost faith in the Golden Knights the most since the start of the new year. Both networks previously had Vegas in their Top 5 but dropped them significantly after a mediocre five game stretch.
CBS Sports – #10 (Previously #3)
One of the only things keeping the Golden Knights from being a well-oiled machine is their goaltending. Robin Lehner has been surprisingly leaky so far, and Laurent Brossoit has been… Laurent Brossoit. I don’t expect the former to keep struggling, so maybe Lehner finds his game after returning from injury.
Sure, Vegas’ goaltending hasn’t mirrored the success of last season however it’s rarely costing them games. Lehner’s .905 is still top ten in the league even though he’s averaging three goals allowed per 60. CBS can certainly have goaltending concerns now but we all know it’s been offensive droughts that’s eliminated the Golden Knights from past postseasons.
NBC Sports – #7 (Previously #4)
Being traded to Vegas was a career-altering move for Chandler Stephenson. He is currently their leading scorer. Vegas has lost three out of four, but every day that goes by brings us closer to Jack Eichel’s debut.
Stephenson continues to impress the rest of the league with his 0.95 points per game. The center has been a massive impact this season for Vegas. When he scores the Golden Knights are 7-3 on the season but most importantly he’s performing far above his pay grade. Once Eichel is healthy, Stephenson could be a lethal addition to the third line in the playoffs.
There’s no doubt the Golden Knights are considered a Stanley Cup contender but as for right now they’re not considered the favorite, or even close. However, the Golden Knights should be considered one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Without their stars Vegas is considered an unknown threat, but they’re secretly in the back of every contenders minds. Fully expect to see the Golden Knights in everyone’s power rankings by the end of the season.
THE hockey GOD
with all injuries
it’s turning into chronic geriatric clinic.
who next ? no .7?
Not good for franchise
but we have miracle worker, the savior, the messiah, waiting the wings !!
And if that should fail, hey trade a couple of no. 1 draft picks for the next , coolest, shiny object.
And to make things more interesting , get an agent to throw the team under the bus.
THE hockey GOD
CBS = fake news, they know nothing about hockey at CBS. The statement quoted from these clowns is completely contradictory, reeks of oxymoronic content, and as Charlie Harper would say “jibber jabber”. I don’t think CBS has broadcast a game since May of 1980 according to Wikipedia. Maybe we should get some quotes from the Hong Kong daily horse racing tout paper ? ?
How about quoting some real experts on the game of hockey like folks
at TSN , or Hockey Night in Canada. Folks that live, breath, eat, sleep hockey 24/7. The real experts on the game ?? CBC.
Injuries are a part of the equation for every team and VGK has had more than its fair share through January. However, when you take a look at the level of talent, we don’t even have a forward or defenseman in the top 10 as far as ratings go for these positions. We already know that the VGK has regressed in net.
Getting every single player healthy will help, and we can only hope Eichel will return to his prior form as a top line center man.
The last few years the VGK has been ranked in the top 3. This year the VGK hasn’t been able to crack the top 10. That is very revealing in terms of whether or not the team is headed in the right direction or not. It seems to me that McCrimmon is scrambling. The moves he has made haven’t made the team better. A case can be made that his efforts have made things worse.
The goal tending question has come into focus. This position is not Cup contending quality, not even close. The Lightning, Leafs, Hurricanes, Panthers and even the Rangers all have better goalies.
There is no doubt that the VGK will make the playoffs. Roll the dice, bring Thompson up and put him in net and lets see what he can do. VGK can likely get something for either Brossoit or Lehner. Do it. There really isn’t a helluva lot of difference between Brossoit and Lehner. Regardless of which goalie is in net, the VGK will have to score 4 plus or more goals against teams in the playoffs. There is plenty of time now to put Thompson to the test. The VGK will still make the playoffs if they do so.
At this point in the season, Lehner has had plenty of time to prove himself and he’s not passed the test.
THE hockey GOD
Thompson has not passed any tests, too early to throw him out there.
It’s a team game as well as a game of match ups; how many times have VGK beat the Rangers despite supposed better goalie ? The stats don’t mean a thing and reflects the depth of team, the coaching ability to get most out of no name players, and attempt to play defense, which has been lacking putting the goal tending at risk. As displayed in last game.
The only goalie to fear is the TBL goalie.
When this team is healthy they play as a team, they can control almost every team in the league. Except for TBL. That is aspect that RL , and MAF, haters forget. Too many people are quick to blame the goalie, blind to what else is happening on the ice. It’s not goalie who makes or breaks it (unless the goalie pulls a Marc Andre Billy Buckner move, and puts team in deep hole which they never can recover from). It’s the defense, and team play in front of the goalie that matters.
In Bettman’s revised NHL rules it doesn’t matter if team is down three goals or more. It doesn’t matter on “timely saves” because teams are making up the three goal difference in no time flat. Who’s to say a “timely save” in 30 seconds of game , is just as “timely” as one in third period. It makes no difference in the new norm It’s the new normal in NHL and the stats don’t cover the new normal. Applying stats to new norm is not that effective.
IF VGK plays as a team and play defense as a team, puck control can beat the new norm. The teams they have problems matching up with are TBL , Wild, Bruins (when healthy) The SC goes through East and through TBL. So far no one in the west matches up. Last year if the NHL didn’t mess up and impose the “bubble” restrictions VGK most likely would have gone to finals, instead they get beat up, run out of gas, and play a more rested Canadian division team that gave them some of edge in semi final ; including all the other factors that came into play mentioned earlier that I am not going to repeat. Hopefully with all the rest between games, and the break, and the injured players coming back the team will be in better position. If the old mean don’t start falling apart again. That is first sign of a declining team. Veterans getting injured all the time, not the goalie. Or the misconceived “goalie situation”. Unless the goalie gets injured. Hey wait a minute, I will give you that one. The goalie has been injured. If it continues , then look out. He won’t make it through the playoffs. But would be more on injuries , than quality of play.
enuf said, call Ed.
THE hockey GOD
and the jets, they don’t match well up with jets; but I think they can beat them !
THg – THe most important thing you sad started with IF VGK play as a team – the rest of the ramming was just that. Your continued defense of the goalie situation is really old and proves your ability to really see what’s going on is extremely limited at best. No doubt they have to play as a team to win and that only comes about with the mind set to accomplish that – unfortunately that is missing more often than not. There is a negative under current which attributes to their inconsistent play and that seems to be contagious night in and night out. There is way too much uncertainty which exists and that doesn’t lead to improve play or the proper team winning attitude.
THE hockey GOD
ty for the kind words, HD biker 7851. It is appreciated.
My goodness, you are dumb…
Dumbest fan base in sports
Dumbest fan base in sports history
R-R what do you think of Lehner’s career playoffs numbers (2.19 GA/.919 SV%)?
I would say Lehner’s season thus far is below par for him. Question is, is it a permanent decline or can he rebound in the second half of the season and play at his peak for the playoffs? I can’t believe the coaches are not driving Lehner towards peak performance with the implication being a change could come if he can’t improve his GA. I agree btw, get Thompson more starts–might even be able to move Brossoit out and save around $1.5M in cap.
Has Lehner won a Cup? What do I think of his career playoff numbers? Well, they are decent. He hasn’t won a cup and he hasn’t been playing well for quite some time. Fleury carried the team last season. Lehner has had a chance to prove himself worthy of a cup run. I had predicted we would know by mid-January whether or not VGK could count on him.
For me, the results are in. Lehner isn’t the guy. Time to put Logan to the test. VGK cannot win with the current goal tenders unless they score 4 or more against top tier teams. That’s it. That is where this team is. Time to test Thompson, otherwise this team will go maybe 1 or 2 rounds at the most.
I agree Thompson should given some starts. I also think Lehner remains capable of playing up to his playoffs numbers. What’s happened so far is the first half of regular season. First half of the regular season is one thing, heading into the playoffs is another.
Bring back pylon kerbs. He can push pac around in his wheelchair
knights fan in minny
your a bone head
Lehner like him or not he’ll be in net for the playoffs. Personally I cringe every time a puck goes to the net I’m not confident Lehner will stop it. That’s just me if you think he can take us to the promised land that’s your opinion and I respect that. Injury wise the only one of consequence to me is Patch I think his body is giving out or he’s just had some bad luck. I’ll say one thing about Jack Eichel in the warmups I watched he has a knack of shooting the puck high over the goalies shoulder where most of our shots hit the goalie in the pads or breadbasket. I will say it was encouraging to watch him shoot. On the flip side he nay get hit on the boards one time and be done for the year hopefully not. Were short handed and we’ve got some big games coming up so we’ll see how we respond.
Power ranking are absolutely useless
Very much so looking at VGK and where they are in these useless numbers.
They been banged up and have had more injuries than any other team and it’s not even close.
We saw a glimpse of them somewhat healthy in December and look what they did. Still without Martinez and throwing Eichel in the mix.
When healthy, on paper it’s them in Tampa Bay.
End of story.
I agree with you JDeFranza. When healthy I do believe that they are the class of the Western Conference. There’s no guarantees that they will ever be healthy. Robin Lehner definitely has to be better. I like the passion of this fan base but but I think they can all relax and take a deep breath. We got to peak at the right time which is 14 weeks from now.