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Polls, Odds, And Probabilities: Are The Golden Knights Going To Make The Playoffs?

Look, I even used the same picture from that article! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

A little more than two years ago the Golden Knights were in a similar position to where they are right now in the standings. 52 games into the schedule that year we published a story with the same title as this one.

We included polls from social media, gambling odds, computer projections, and statistical probabilities to paint a picture of how much brighter the outlook of the season actually was than how it felt at that moment.

This year, we’re going back to the exact same sources, but this time, the picture it paints is actually pretty grim.

We’ll start with the fans.

Currently on a four-game slide and riding a 4-9-1 record since February 9th, Golden Knights fans are unsurprisingly a bit down on their team. We asked the simplest of questions, and more than half of the fan base took the pessimistic option.

Next we head to the sportsbook, SinBin.vegas sponsor the William Hill Sportsbook, of course.

Despite their struggles, Vegas still remains among the favorites to hoist the Cup. They sit with the 4th best odds to win it all, and the 3rd best odds to win the Western Conference

VGK to win West
+400

VGK to win Stanley Cup
+900

They are, however, slight underdogs in tonight’s game at Winnipeg, coming in at +110.

On to the computer models. These three computers spit out playoff projections based on different calculations involving much more than just the scores of the games.

The Athletic (Dom Luszczyszyn)

VGK to make playoffs
56%

Season points projection
93

VGK to win Stanley Cup
3%

MoneyPuck.com

VGK to make playoffs
55%

Season points projection
93.1

VGK to win Stanley Cup
2.2%

FiveThirtyEight

VGK to make playoffs
55%

Season points projection
93

VGK to win Stanley Cup
2%

Pretty amazing that they are all fairly similar considering the contrasting styles in which they calculate their projections. 93 points would be the same total reached by the 2018-19 Golden Knights.

In every calculation, Vegas has tumbled dramatically over the past month. The Athletic had VGK well over 90% playoff probability during the entire month of January and into February. On January 2nd, FiveThirtyEight had the Golden Knights as the 2nd most likely team to make the postseason (behind Carolina) with a 96% chance. They also had a 13% chance to hoist the Cup, which now sits at 2%.

Finally, we go to the statistical model, which unfortunately is the most terrifying. Hockey-Reference.com runs 1,000 simulations of the rest of the season based solely on the outcomes to this point.

VGK to make playoffs
41.2%

Season points projection
91.9

VGK to win Stanley Cup
1.5%

With 24 games remaining, one of the 1,000 projections had the Golden Knights finishing the season with 77 points, just nine more than they have right now. On the flip side, another had them reaching 103 points for 35 in 24 games.

However you slice it, things are starting to get a bit dicey for a team that was projected to cruise through the Pacific Division even before they added Jack Eichel to the mix. The time to start turning things around is now, and by now, I literally mean tonight.

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83 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    i am saying YES

    VGK quotes of the day

    You have the power within you to endure anything, for your mere opinion can render it tolerable, perhaps even acceptable, by regarding it as an opportunity for enlightenment or a matter of duty.”

    War Quotes
    “If It’s Endurable, Then Endure It. Stop Complaining.”- both by Marcus Aurelius

  2. THE hockey GOD

    I thought there were 21 games left, not 24 ?

  3. THE hockey GOD

    the orcs are getting slaughtered on the ground, however, they are bombing the crap out of Ukraine cities

    can anyone say NO FLY ZONE????

    experts give this ten more days, either way to end it.

    • George L.

      You know as little about war as you know about hockey.

      • THE hockey GOD

        @George, just posting the FACTS. Be enlightened, don’t go around life with your head stuck up your smelly butt 24.7.

        “If It’s Endurable, Then Endure It. Stop Complaining.”- Marcus Aurelius

      • Barney

        You got that right

    • THG, as much as I would like to see a no fly zone, its not going to happen because of the fear starting WWIII right or wrong I just don’t see it.

      As for the experts many had Kyiv falling 4 days after the war started. The Ukrainian people by all accounts have the will to fight for their land to the bitter end. As long as Putin does not use chemical weapons this war could last years.

      I’m no expert on these matters just a humble opinion from a person who is a quarter Ukrainian and biased of course.

    • Experts said Putin would take Kyiv in three days. A “no fly zone” would be impossible to implement unless we want to go to war directly with Russia.
      Give them more Javelin and Harpoon (ship) missiles and more drones, but a no-fly zone would be a disaster.

      Not a good idea.

    • THE hockey GOD

      man shut up

      • Why do you get pissy with ANYONE who doesn’t think exact like YOU?? You immediately attack ANYONE who has their OWN OPINIONS!! Man, you may consider yourself a HOCKEY God, but you don’t have God’s power to be a KNOW-IT-ALL! Seriously, could you BE more ARROGANT??

  4. Pistol Pete

    Is anyone else eyeing Semyon Varlamov and if so is it wishful thinking on my part? His career is 2.63/.916 pretty respectable. Ten gets you one Vegas will light up is game, but is he available and if so is the FO dealing for him?

    Let’s face it VGK does not go far with Brossoit and Thompson and Lehner may be doubtful for the remainder of the season. Furthermore on the face of it, Varlamov may be stronger than Lehner.

    • Pistol Pete

      light up HIS game

      Yeah, Lehner has just not worked out. Now it’s that he’s injury prone as much as questions if he can deliver in the playoffs.

      • Howard

        “Yeah, Lehner has just not worked out. Now it’s that he’s injury prone as much as questions if he can deliver in the playoffs.”

        Right, so why did McMoron sign him to term when no one else would? RL is not a terrible tender mind you, just not a 1A and clearly not worth $5M per but that’s McMoron – over paying players, bidding against himself (MAF $7M per).

        Kelly McDumbass single handily has messed VGK up with his lack of discipline signings (Petro was not a need), and his lack of understanding talent (Dadonov, not trading Shea when he was a redundancy with Petro on team) .

        Personally, even if 100% healthy, I also don’t think PDB’s system can win a Cup because his system calls for players to block too many shots, hit too much during regular season = BURNT OUT COME PLAYOFFS.

        Pete is not a terrible coach and certainly team’s struggles aren’t entirely on him, but he is definitely 1 part of the problem and needs to go.

      • Melanie Kelly

        Total wash

  5. Well, the status quo on defense and in goal isn’t going to get us to 93 points, but rather closer to the 77 that is the most negative projection.

    Can the FO even wait until Monday to make some sort of roster adjustments? There are three contests (6 points on the table) between now and next Monday.

    WPG TONIGHT
    FLA (THU)
    LAK (SAT)

    This defense and goaltending tandem isn’t going to get it done. They simply cannot go forward risking 6 points without some sort of roster change on D and in goal.

    I haven’t even heard any rumors! Are we selling, buying or just looking to trade to fix these holes. Bringing in a quality defenseman and goaltender is going to come at a price. The problem is we don’t have a lot of depth, have already given up the future in picks. Reilly Smith is the obvious trade chip, but what other roster and prospect pieces have to be packaged in?

    Any team willing to deal has leverage over us. It’s not going to be cheap. Is Chara available? Can we possibly put together a package that sends either Lehner or Brossoit to Seattle for Grubauer? What would that package look like? You might have to send both Lehner and Thompson to Seattle for Grubauer, mortgaging another key piece of the future.

    Then again, maybe we stay pat, roll the dice that we will somehow beat the odds to get in? If, and that is a big IF, we do get in will all of those on the IR be ready to go? If so, then that’s the best way forward. You get back McNabb and Martinez for D, and Stone & Pacioretty for offense. That doesn’t fix the lack of scoring though, and I don’t think it significantly improves the chances for a Cup this year. We go from maybe 3% chance to 10% with a fully healthy roster.

    The bottom line is that the VGK is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the current situation.

    • Pistol Pete

      See above re: Varlamov

      • THE hockey GOD

        PP – it took RL to be injured for the fan base to finally realize it was defense problem. Stated earlier, much earlier. Yes VGK is stuck, but I am hopeful they can get the winning spirit back as well as their injured players in time to get to playoffs.

    • Howard

      Team should sell in my strong opinion – fix issues for next year. However, McMoron won’t do that as he’s likely to make yet another panic move to further kill team’s future. McAsswipe doesn’t consider the future as he’s a child when it comes to signing every ‘shiny new toy.’

      • Willy Andara

        Man you really don’t understand the structure of the organization, do you? McCrimmon may very well get blamed and firing for the team’s failings, but the problems won’t be solved by scapegoating him.

        • Firing McCrimmon isn’t scapegoating – he is just one who deserves to be fired. It is great to have an owner intent on winning, but he needs to surround himself with mgt who know what the hell they are doing and not just going after every new toy (player) and provide them with a retirement package. Vegas send us your sick, lame and broken we will see they are taken care of. Just plain stupid – you can’t buy the Cup. I am frankly shocked Foley has put up with this. He didn’t become wealthy making stupid decisions – or letting underlings’ convenience him otherwise – guess there is a first for everything. There were no multimillion players initially and look how far they went. They were a TEAM with something to prove not a bunch of individuals who think the world owes them a very rich life.

          • sb

            When the Knights made the Satnley Cup Finals in Year 1, were you saying then that the front office didn’t know what it is doing? No. You and everyone else thought that MGT was genius. MGT has not changed. VGK MGT is very, very good. They took the chances that were necessary to bring in high-end players. Those players got hurt. I don’t know how anyone can blame MGT for injuries. Ten starters down. What team could win with that handicap? Not one team. MGT is not to blame for injuries. VGK’s healthy is a 1st place club in the Pacific and playing against the AV’s in the West Finals.

          • Daryl

            SB.
            My thoughts on year one never had anything to do with management. I watched a group of players who had something to prove and went out and played as a team. After that first season I did start looking at management as they started to deal away the players that played well with the itgers in favor of star players who didn’t play as well as others

      • the hockey God

        sell what ? the M*A*S*H unit, damaged goods all of them

  6. ulf

    I think there’s less fear and drama around the Knights making the playoffs – 99% sure they’ll be there (only hedging 1% in case more injuries mount).

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they’re bounced in the 1st round.

    • Pistol Pete

      If they make the playoffs it will be all about if Pacioretty and Stone are 100% and stay there and of course the goaltending. Not even sure they get to the playoffs with Broissoit and Thompson. Maybe.

      • ulf

        Well once they’re in there, Patches has shown he’s not a playoff performer – something like 2-3 good postseasons in his long career – otherwise he’s around 0.5 PPG, not star status.

      • Henderson One

        Both Patches and Stone choked in the playoffs last year so not sure if they will make a difference.

  7. On the prospect of Reilly Smith. He’s a C+ winger, meaning that he is a solid 3rd line player. He’s making $5 million when his value is really at about 3.5 million.
    So, if we don’t trade him at the deadline we get nothing and that’s okay. If I am McCrimmon (and I am glad I am not) then I offer Smith a pay cut to stay in Vegas next year at $3.5 million. If not then it’s no big deal, his fat $5million contract is gone and he is a free agent to sign elsewhere, and there is no club that will give him $5million.

    • THE hockey GOD

      RR team plays much better with Smith in line up. He brings the X factor, he’s a leader in locker room, where’s the A since day one.

      In today’s high inflation slojoe out of control economic environment I doubt anyone will take a pay cut. Especially a sports player with a short earning shelf life Now with prices going through the roof and powers at be unwilling, unable, or just plain inept at doing anything right .

      • THE hockey GOD

        wear not where
        tear not there
        English is funny

      • Howard

        THE hockey GOD – about the smartest comment you have made in awhile amongst a forrest of idiotic comments, well done!

        • THE hockey GOD

          forest gump ? Howard ? I don’t know if I should thank you or cry ?

          An another note, in an effort to motivate the team with another inspirational movie, the staff decided to show the team the classic movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Last movie night had The Batman.

          Same bat channel
          same bat time.

    • Richie=Rich what makes you a judge of Smith being a C+ player? Do you have any experience in that category – I think not, but would be interested to read otherwise. Smith has been one of the few two way players Vegas has or had from the start. Has he had a time where he struggled, yes along with every one else, but that doesn’t make him the C+ you referenced. When healthy he gives them 100% more than I would say about many others.

      • sb

        Smith is a solid B winger for 2021-22. A solid B. I betcha NY will pay him $5 for 4 years.

  8. THE hockey GOD

    Mike McKenna gives VGK a pass in this weeks team goalie ratings (I would have rated them a tad lower, and certainly not above LA KINGS)

    17 (Previous Ranking: 19) Vegas Golden Knights: Robin Lehner & Laurent Brossoit

    Injuries continue to plague Lehner. He’s 21-15-1 this season but has only managed 37 starts due to a variety of ailments. Lehner’s .909 save percentage is 29th in the NHL among goalies who have played 10 or more games. Brossoit has already played a career-high 23 games. But wins have been elusive in Lehner’s absence. Brossoit is 2-5-1 since the NHL All-Star break.

    • Howard

      Lehner has only started more than 40 games 3 times in his career btw – u would think McIdiot would have known this before bidding against himself where NO TEAM WAS WILLING to offer RL TERM.

    • Blitz

      Have to look at it as a whole though. LB has been bad since the break, but the entire team has been bad since the break. I would much rather have the hurting nov/dec team than the current one. If Lehner was smart he wouldn’t come back for a while cause that slight winning record is going to be less slight if he does. LB and LT are going to continue eat shit until we either get a few guys back or we get past these 6 harder teams and start the soft schedule. That’s why I will say it again, it doesn’t matter which 3 goalies are in at this point. Lehner is (arguably) our best option and he typically plays off the defense in front of him. Right now that defense is decimated.

      • THE hockey GOD

        yes decimated like the Ukrainians are doing to the orc’s tanks; so much so decimated that the Ukrainians used up all their weapons and need more !

      • Galdom

        Arguably??????

  9. Blitz

    They might need to pull some funding from the Hunter Biden coke/whore flex account.

    • the hockey God

      @blitz, WHAT ACCOUNT .. oh I get it. I may be born yesterday, but not that late in the day.

      so far none of pundits on CANADA pre trade day are mentioning the VGK. NONE . ZIP. Silence.

  10. There is speculation the Isles are starting Varlamov against the Caps today to showcase him as prospective trade. Lehner might be out the rest of the season.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    if vgk were trading on new york stock exchange I would have shorted it weeks ago

  12. The team is struggling for leadership and direction. The fan base has proven itself loyal but the FO has overpaid for mediocre players while sending fan favorites who always play with their hearts out. Schmidt is maybe best example.
    Martinez is a great player, we needed to sign him, but gone all year. Pietrangelo was a great addition to team but cannot do it alone. Literal elephant in the room, Lehner is not the goalie. Have the powers that be figured that out yet or are they still thinking he is so great they let Fleury go for nothing? Moves like that can wreck a franchise as we are witnessing. Since Chicago came here and won on Jan.8 the team has lost itself. The team needs a goalie now. Even if we make the playoffs will be knocked out in first round and probably in an embarrassing fashion.

  13. Vic

    William Hill makes a fine Cabernet, but 4th best odds on the VGK hoisting the cup? That is as crazy as having the Jackets at +155 the other night. There will be no hoisting other than the players hoisting golf bags in May.

  14. Nddirt

    Never been a fan of Lehner, But you can not win if you are not scoring.
    Waiting for DeBoer to get fired, our last coach left while in first place.

  15. VGK losing streaks (3 or more games in regulation):

    2017-18:
    (2) 3 game losing streaks

    2018-19:
    (3) 3 game losing streaks (including 4 out of the first 5 and 5 out the last 6)
    (1) 4 game losing streak

    2019-20:
    (2) 4 game losing streaks

    2020-21:
    None.

    2021-22 (through game 61):
    (2) 4 game losing streaks

    2018-19 was the worst season pending 2021-22 with the record through game 61 being 32-25-4 (3 games over .500). This is identical to the current record through game 61 this season. Finished 43-32-7 (4 games over .500). As noted above lost 5 out of the last 6 of the season (for 3rd place in the division). A massive struggle for Gallant and the team this season and missing only Perron as the only real key player not resigned. The “Gallant magic” had faded to be confirmed in the horrendous series loss to the SJS.

    • For the Gallant lovers I would like to remind that when he was fired after losing 4 games in a row in Buffalo the record stood through game 49 at 24-19-6 (1 game under .500). The “Gallant magic” had completely vanished.

      • Gallant lover

        The goaltending went south. MAF dad was dying and died. Subban sucks. That’s what went south. But this isn’t on PDB either. Management has no clue.

    • Never 5 in a row in regulation. Hopefully not today!

  16. Loosing streaks during a long season are nothing new. Tampa Bay, Colorado all just had 3 game loosing streaks. What I believe is causing the anxiety in the fans is the “what about the future question?”
    GM making it a point to contact the Review Journal and squash the internet rumor of a possible Fleury return to the team was not only not necessary, but childish. He screwed up, he sent him away and if possible to rectify better get it done.
    Also have to address the fact that coaching staff needs a shake up, are the extreme amounts of blocked shots causing all these lower body injuries? Why can’t we get it going on the PP goal after 2 years. We went from unstoppable flying high to will we get in? Vezina trophy winning, Jennings trophy to hopefully the wild card?
    Karma is not kind.

  17. have another donut

    93 points is NOT likely going to be enough to make the playoffs.

    96 sounds more reasonable.

    remember, they will have to finish 3rd in the Pacific to make it, because 5 teams from the Central will likely make it.

    Dallas 1 pt behind the Vgk with FOUR count ’em 4 games in hand, Dallas will certainly get ahead of the Vgk soon.
    Col, St louis, Minn, and Nash are almost locks to get in, and Dallas would be Central #5 to get in.

    now, in the Pacific Calgary and LA have opened up big leads on Vgk. it is coming down to Edm vs Vegas for the 3rd and final spot.

    and Edm has the same # of pts as Vgk with 2 games in hand, and they are not reeling lately like Vgk is. even Van is 3 pts behind the Vgk with 1 game in hand, and moving up lately.

    Edm has 23 games left and going 14-9 and getting to 96 or even higher, is very reachable for them.

    bottom line= VGK in a big world of hurt and uncertainty, and the odds of them making it into the playoffs are “slim”, and another loss tonight would put “none” into the picture as well

    all I can say is good luck Paul Cotter and Pachal, cuz it looks like McCrimPhee is gonna do NUTHIN’ to bring in help.

  18. The Jets are going to kick their ass just like Pittsburgh did and Columbus. Keep smiling they are running out of time to get their shit together. Just so you don’t forget I stand by my original post to you some time back concerning your 10 million man Eichel – he isn’t and won’t be the solution to Vegas’s problems. Buffalo got a better ROI in the trade than did Vegas.

    • Pistol Pete

      Is that to me? If it is, just to eliminate confusion, I suggest clicking on Reply under the post you would like to respond to.

    • sb

      Of course Eichel is not the answer. He is just one 20 players. No one player has ever carried a team. It’s a team game. It takes 20 players. Now with Vegas, ten of those starters are injured. And you thing Eichel, on his own, should carry the team. I was wondering how long would take for the hacks on this site to blame Eichel. Did Mario carry his team? Did The Great One carry his team? Did Howe carry his team? No. It takes 20 players.

  19. Pistol Pete

    I do think tonight will be challenge, in fact sadly I am prepared for a loss. The roster is seriously depleted not making it any easier. I had to endure that OT loss in T-Mobile on 1/2. Always the Jets can be dangerous it seems.

    A loss will please the VGK detractors. C’est la vie.

  20. Pistol Pete

    Sure would be nice to see Eichel centering Pacioretty and Stone. That is what I was always bullish on.

  21. sb

    I think trade Wild Bill for Forsberg. Move Chandler to Line 2 center with Smith and March. Forsberg with Eichel ……… and if available, Pac. Don’t resign Smith in the off season and then have the cap space to sign Forsberg.

    • Galdom

      Filip Forsberg is a tremendous player who is trending upwards. Averages about 35 goals a year and this year is scoring at a 55 goal pace, 0.67 goals per game. It’s easy to see why he is in demand. He is just 27 years old and still getting better. I know that Ken mentioned the price to get him could be a first round pick, a decent roster player and a highly regarded prospect. I think that might still not be quite enough.

      But, maybe we are wrong. Maybe sb is on to something saying we should trade Wild Bill for Forsberg. I think Nashville would jump all over that. I think Nashville is salivating at the notion of acquiring an overpaid third line centre (disguised as a second line centre on the VGK) who has come back to Earth and has become a 10-15 goal scorer. I think Nashville would also be excited about how his defensive game is even starting to decline and the great thing about Wild Bill is you don’t have to try to sign him to a contract as he is locked up at another five more years at 5.9 million. If Nashville is foolish enough to want to pass on this incredible opportunity we should probably put Logan Thompson in the offer as well and that will seal the deal. They might see an undrafted inexperienced 26 year old goalie with no NHL experience but what they don’t understand is the VGK fans know better and that he is the future goalie of the franchise.

      Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!!

    • Pistol Pete

      sb, I have been hot on Forsberg’s trail, think they need Varlamov too. Doubtful they go far with Brossoit and Thompson. With all this IR I don’t see why they can’t make some major deals, especially if Lehner and Smith go long term. This team has been decimated by injuries otherwise they are playoffs bound for sure.

  22. Galdom

    I hope Robin Lehner gets injured. He looks awful tonight. I think this team would be much better off without him.

  23. let's go McCrimmon

    that does it. hopefully they leave DeBORE and Kolesar in Winnipeg

    season over.

  24. goalie trade

    Goodbye playoffs.

    they should be a SELLER at the deadline.

  25. Pistol Pete

    Varlamov gives up three to the Caps losing in a SO. If he’s on the block not the greatest showing not the worst. Better than Broissoit is probably an understatement. VGK needs a starter.

  26. Galdom

    Wow. Seven goals on 20 shots in this game isn’t even over yet. How’s everybody enjoying the alternative to Robin Lehner? Yeah he’s big, looks a little funny, but one of the craziest little things and the most important thing is he stops pucks at a career .916 rate and this year above league average .910. Do you guys like goalies that stop pucks at a better than league average rate? Apparently not.

    I like that one guy in the comments said that Lehner is “arguably” their best option.

    ROTFL

    “Arguably”

    At least this team was a playoff team with Robin Lehner.

    • Daryl

      Barely above lwage average shows that he is an average goalie…. Are we supposed to be happy about that?

  27. Pistol Pete

    Seven to Jets makes twenty-two in Brossoit’s last six starts. You need defense in front of you but still, not good. VGK needs a starter.

    • Pistol Pete

      What’s to lose starting Thompson after that performance? Even vs. FLA .That’s ridiculous but I had to say it lol.

      • Did not realize after the first four Brossoit was pulled. Thompson let in three.

        Btw Galdom, before the Jets game NHL.com was listing Brossoit at somewhere under .900. After the Jets he’s .895.

  28. Greenbay

    Downhill since they lost Fleury and Revo. They were THE HEART of the locker room along with Marchy. BUT the way they handled the Flower situation is what has brought them to the present. KARMA is a bitch gentlemen.

    • Oh shit, you just triggered a forthcoming diatribe and flood of emails from The hockey God about Fleury and his agent, and a ton of emails and spittle from Galdom about Robin Lehner. Please stop bringing up Fleury because it triggers these two very badly!!!!!

  29. Greenbay

    Sorry to cause sjit but Bad Karma is no joke. It wont right itself until the price is paid. Gonna be a high price for someone I think. Not my rule.. it’s the rule of the universe

  30. The REAL hockey god

    Most of the success early for this team was because of Fleury.

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