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Pacific Point Path Getting Easier For Golden Knights Divisional Repeat

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Earlier this week the San Jose Sharks traded away Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The move wasn’t surprising to anyone as the superstar defenseman and San Jose marriage was due to end at some point. Expectations were low to start with but without Karlsson, the Sharks became even less of a threat in 2023-24. The path for the Golden Knights to repeat as Pacific Division champions just got easier.

Erik Karlsson w/ San Jose vs. Vegas

  • Games: (19) Regular Season, (7) Playoffs
  • Points: 6 Assists, 9 Playoff Assists
  • Minutes: 24:30 ATOI, 27:15 Playoff ATOI
  • Penalty Minutes: 10 PIM. 4 Playoff PIM
  • Power Play Points: 1 Assist, 3 PP Assists
  • W-L-OTL: (4-13-2) 10 Points, (4-3) Playoff Record

Not only will it be easier to defeat San Jose in 2023-24 but one of the league’s best playmakers was shipped out to the Eastern Conference. Let’s face it, Vegas would likely win with or without the three-time Norris winner. It’s a move with a purpose that’ll likely weaken the rebuilding Sharks offense and strengthen the confidence of opponents in low-scoring affairs.

Since Karlsson arrived in San Jose, the Sharks eliminated the Golden Knights in the first round of the 2019 playoffs and then proceeded to hit rock bottom. In 19 games, Vegas won 15 and picked up points in 18. The trend should continue this season when the Golden Knights and Sharks meet four times in 2023-24. Thankfully for the reigning champs, they tend to feast on teams with anemic offenses.

There’s no question the path to the Pacific Division is paved for the Golden Knights to repeat as conference champions. Anaheim, Calgary, San Jose, and Vancouver all were eliminated from playoff contention and the consensus is they’ll miss it again. Of course, the talent on the Canucks and Flames roster could elevate them into a playoff position but expectations aren’t high. Like it has been for a few seasons now, the Pacific Division is the Golden Knights to lose. Edmonton, LA, and Seattle will have their say but all four clubs should push the postseason cut line.

Most likely, Vegas will do its job and clean up the basement dwellers as they have in years past. Even if there’s a slight championship hangover, the gaps between many teams and the Golden Knights are enormous. I know we’ve all heard that any NHL team can win on any given night speech but let’s be realistic, the Golden Knights could sleepwalk through some of their divisional matchups. San Jose should be one, or four of them.


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  1. Tim

    If you recall there was a time way back when we were all in on Karlsson but it didn’t work out. Thank you hockey gods.

    • Emmanuel

      If healthy he’s worth it. His “lack of defense” rep is mostly because he’s played on bad teams. He gets a LOT of zone exits and keeps the puck in the offensive zone and he’s way above everyone else except maybe Maker or Letang. Again if he’s healthy. If he never played another game he’s a HOF.

  2. Jake

    Great, I can listen to “Teal Town After Dark” SP? on YouTube after each game and listen to them lament and cry ad nauseum. Fun stuff LOL

  3. Mark

    You would be a fool to play in San Jose. Guys here have sprawling estates and their they have Condos ! Taxes are such a killer, an extra 13.3 % goes to Marxist Gavin Newsome. The Sharks will never be relevant again, their done as a team.

    • Emmanuel

      That’s another reason Canadians dont want to play in Canada. It’s a fishbowl and taxes are high in 3 of the provinces. It’s not just CA & Canada. NY is also very expensive and then there’s the states with no personal State Tax…….

      • TS

        Yup, we are pretty lucky in Nevada, where Gaming taxes have largely helped fund our state’s success. …and regular taxpayers get a great perk as a result…I can’t imagine having to essentially pay DOUBLE my taxes every year!!

  4. Mark

    Its true, and when your pulling in millions of dollars per year its a deal breaker where a guy would play. Think about it, Dallas, Vegas, Tampa Bay and Florida will always be top teams, they can aquire free agents easily, its a no brainer. Nobody is ever going to sign with Winnepeg or Montreal. They acquire guys by trading their upcoming free agents, not big fish free agents like Petro, Stone or Eichel. Its really unfair actually, Canadiens are really tired of getting their asses handed to them year in and year out.

  5. Jailbird

    So does stupidity!

    • THE hockey GOD

      stop being so hard on yourself.
      Some people just can’t help that they are members of brain washed cult.

      BTW have you been to the ninth wonder of world recently ? Must make
      you feel proud that your cult voted for these train wreck of a clown.

      Stupid is
      as stupid does.

      You all own it.

      • THE hockey GOD


      • Jailbird

        Finally some honesty from you. “ Some people just can’t help that they are members of brain washed cult”. You described yourself perfectly. Thank you for that!

  6. The “Marxist” state of California has produced 3 Stanley Cup Champions, 5 World Series Champions, one Superbowl Champion, and 10 Nba champions. Yeah, I forgot champions like Curry, Gretsky, Lebron. Jerry Rice would never play in California because of the high taxes. The Oilers have a shot this year to win it all.

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