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

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Heading into the 2019-20 season the idea of the Golden Knights missing the playoffs felt ludicrous. 52 games and a head coaching change later, and all of a sudden it doesn’t seem that crazy anymore.

So, I decided to poke around hockey Internet to try and see where exactly the Golden Knights stand with 30 games left on the schedule.

First, we start with the fans.

The Golden Knights are generally an optimistic bunch, so of course the results are going to skew towards the positive. We asked the exact same question on all three social media platforms. All three polls came in right above 80% in favor of Vegas making the postseason.

There’s also a heavy level of optimism from the sportsbooks in Vegas. William Hill has the Golden Knights listed as the co-favorites to win the division, the 2nd favorites to win the Western Conference, and 5th favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

Pacific Division
VGK +300

Western Conference
VGK +500

Stanley Cup
VGK +1000

Like fans, there’s a reason for their optimism though. Odds are set based on betting patterns. The more money that comes in on a specific team, the lower the odds go. Obviously, Vegas fans like to bet on their own team, so the numbers can go a little crazy in the Golden Knights favor.

Finally, we head to the prediction machines. There are three great ones out there that all use drastically different methods to come up with their probabilities.

First, the one I trust the most, is Dom Luszczyszyn’s playoff projections model on The Athletic. He updates it daily and uses “Game Score” to run 50,000 projections of what will happen the remainder of the season.

Make Playoffs
VGK – 61%

Points/Record Projection
VGK 91.5 (41-31-10)

Pacific Division
VGK 11%

Stanley Cup
VGK 2%

The next best model is from MoneyPuck.com. Their model uses a game predictor based on a variety of factors such as team strength, health, home/away, rest, and even more in-depth stats like expected goals and special teams percentages. They run 100,000 simulations daily to come up with their probabilities.

Make Playoffs
VGK 71.5%

Points Projection
VGK 92.7

Pacific Division
VGK 17.9%

Stanley Cup
VGK 6.9%

Finally, there’s the model on Hockey-Reference.com. This is is very much statistical-based. Rather than trying to guess the outcomes of upcoming games, it uses every stat possible to give a percentage chance each team has to win each game. They run 1,000 simulations daily.

Make Playoffs
VGK 52.5%

Points Projection
VGK 90.0

Pacific Division
VGK 4.7%

Stanley Cup
VGK 1.6%

As you can see by all of the results, the odds are still very much in the Golden Knights favor to be playing beyond April 4th but they are definitely headed more towards a coin flip as a certainty.

There is a trade deadline between now and then though which could bring Vegas some much-needed reinforcements.

However, no matter how you look at it, Pete DeBoer has his work cut out for him and if he can’t get the job done, it’s going to be a long offseason of questions for everyone who receives a check from The Creator.

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24 Comments

  1. Herby

    Do not see how the VGK will make the POs. On top of the existing problems:

    -Goaltending
    -Below NHL average D
    -Wing depth
    -3rd line

    the front office added a coaching problem (VGK simply does not have enough D quality to play Deboer style hockey) On top of all of this, the remaining schedule is the opposite of easy.

  2. Vic

    One troubling factor is Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary all playing with the passion, hunger, intensity, and attitude needed to win the division and then go far into the playoffs. If the VGK can get cranked up, of course they can compete for the division. The problem is the current trajectory places the VGK in the wild card/also ran group a notch or two below the three teams mentioned above. No need to worry about the prospect of facing the winner from the east as it’s difficult enough to win one game against the eastern top 5. Rooting for a winning streak.

  3. Mike G

    At some point they need to get on a run and string 5 or 6 wins together. Looking at the remaining schedule that’s going to be tough to do. Keep in mind VGK has typically dominated Pacific division opponents. If that trend continues they’re in. The last 6 games of the season will be wild.

  4. DOC Williams

    Hey KEN … Very interesting with the 3 different projections. This is where you shine baby! I gotta think we will make the PO’s. But, if it is as wildcard … not sure we have much of a chance to advance very far. Hey also. I know you are a guy that doesn’t care for the fighting … but you have to admit the tremendous buzz around the Flames/Oiler game last night. It was great, and the game more than lived up to the excitement! Kudo’s to #19 dropping them with a bigger, tougher guy!

  5. Before you all write them off and call out the hearse to cart them away, maybe just maybe they can dig deep and remember what everyone said was impossible before. They have the same problems then they have know the only difference is they didn’t believe it. They had a winning attitude, they had something to prove and went about their business to get it done. Am l optimistic they can do it again, no not with the current attitude, but attitude is easier to change and accomplish versus aquring all the missing pieces and can be done now. Is deboer the answer l guess come season end we will know. The players will be the determining factor not the coach anyway. Go Knights go and peliminate any doubts.

  6. not looking good

    Poor goaltending and lousy 3rd line and 5 slow dmen………opponents racking up points while the Knights take 10 days off……and any trade made will be too late to do any good, it should have been made NOW while they had 30 games left, and some time to assimilate into the team. Karlsson and Glass still not practicing.

    if they lose 3 of the 4 left on this road trip, it will be lights out.

  7. Tim

    As Don Meredith once said Turn Down The Lights The party’s Over. Just to many problems to overcome without much cap space. If we all know the goaltending, D and third line are a problem I’m sure George and Kelly know it. Just can’t fix it all in 30 games.

  8. I love the Knights but I just don’t think this team has the “it” needed to advance. If that is true, I would love to see the Knights be big time sellers at the trade deadline. It is time to retool and try to draft and find some younger talent at all levels. This “cleansing” will offer long term benefits. Win-Now doesn’t seem to be in the cards, IMHO. So many teams just appear to have better talent on the ice, including the top Pacific teams. Prove me wrong players, play like every minute is life and death survival. I would love to be wrong. My two cents.

    • Eugen

      @KH
      Great comment! Could not agree more.

      The Kinghts have sold their future (Brannstroem, Suzuki, Gusev, draft picks) for short turm success (Patchioretty, Stastny, Stone and Flury). Knights should trade Stastny and Patchioretty for young prospects and draft picks.

      • Perhaps the president and GM also see the dearth of talent and the erosion of the team this year and decided it was best to create a “Fall Guy” in Gallant, find the coach they coveted, DeBoer, and retool and sell for the future, with their own futures preserved, for a time. I like the DeBoer hire.

        Aging stars along with nearly zero production from Will Bill, Tuch, Eakin, Schmidt, the goalies, and the “less than advertised” and injured Glass make this a tough finish. Perhaps De Boer will bring some magic and make the GM a genius!

  9. Interesting comments – are there a lot of younger stars available? We are all Monday morning quarterbacks who have all the answers with zero authority to do anything about it. Rather than provide solutions for what we don’t have lets address what we do have and what can be done to ignite a winning spark. We were all spoiled year one and expected it would repeat itself and walk away with the big prize. Let me remind you all the Capitals waited 34 years to win. I do agree at this moment or in the first 50+ games they didn’t have the “it” as you referenced KH and have serious reservations they can develop it now – the question is why – do any of us have that ANSWER which would be much more helpful. Keep in mind its real easy to support a winning true fans appear when the going gets tuff. Are we happy with the situation of course not, would we like it to be different absolutely. They just need to go out there and play the best hockey they can and let the chips fall where they may. I can’t help but wonder what all these posts would be if they were winning.

    • You can support your team AND still share critical input about the team, production, possibilities, trades, as a fan, it seems to me.

      I hope Vegas does well, will always support them, but I think some of the roster moves have not played out that well to this point, and the team is paying a price. There are 30 games to play and Vegas has a chance but it is getting more razor thin by the night.

      Bottom line, this team doesn’t look ready to win a Stanley Cup, at this point. Might be the time to sell and build for the future. My two cents.

  10. DOC Williams

    Guys ….. I agree (and disagree) with comments made here. BUT, I am a Knights fan period! Have been from day on. WHAT my main criticism has been as we got about 15-20 games into this season … was the lack of effort & passion, PERIOD! I remain in the belief, hat we have, right now, most of the talent to make PO’s & some kind of run. It takes effort…effort…effort AND passion! Now, to win the cup, this year, would only be possible with adding a couple players. Don’t know if our twin GM’s have what it takes (or “money”) to pull that off. Honestly, if the team doesn’t play hard EVERY game from here on out, NO CHANCE!

    • The Vegas Players contracted the Vegas Flu.

    • Well Doc you reference lact of effort and passion , KH calls it lack of ” it” l call it attitude and believe attitude is synonymous with your references so guess we are on the same page. Unfortunately it must be contagious. There is a cure but it starts down deep in the gut and shows up as pride. The criticisms are fine but just my opinion not particularly helpful. So Knights prove us wrong, walk tall, look up , not down and get out there and play the hockey the best you can – put in the effort and surprise everyone

  11. Herby

    I sold my company when I was 40.
    Made enough money for the rest of my life. Allows me to watch a lot of hockey all over the world.

  12. Herby

    Not as much as I would have loved to as I had to work 14 hours 7 days a week, but it did pay off.

    • But you did watch some. Therefore, you were not 100% focused on your business at all times. You spent 10 hours per day, 70 a week doing something else. Don’t by hypocritical when judging the lives of athletes.

  13. DOC Williams

    Good for you Herby … say you worked hard & made enough bucks to last the rest of your life. Not many of us can say that. ON topic, about players doing commercials. I would guess not a lot of time is really invested in making these spots. At any rate I’m sure they are done on the players days off, with some maybe even shot in summer or before training camp. IF I was seeing the same players making them for many business, then ya might think spending to much time on this. But, mainly it’s just one client each, they are making these for. (But, when a team is having problems, the commercials are an easy target for some to criticize. (low hanging fruit, it’s called)

  14. The victory over the Hurricanes was huge. The lead collapsed but a great gut check to win it! Tuch and Schmidt are now on the scoreboard again. Stastny appears to be a great fit with the first line. Maybe Will Bill could rejuvenate the third line at center when he returns! Great job of coaching and effort. Win at Nashville and the Knights will have a road streak!

  15. Herby

    Yes beating the Preds is key. Just as last time.

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