Two seasons ago the Golden Knights got off to their worst start in team history. VGK’s poor October and November ultimately cost them a spot in the postseason. Since Bruce Cassidy took the helm, the Stanley Cup champions are on top of the list of early performers.
Last year we noted Cassidy’s success in the early months of an 82-game regular season. While other coaches are forced to deal with an autumn stumble, the Stanley Cup-winning manager is annually daydreaming about home-ice advantage.
With Boston, Cassidy’s teams had a tendency to succeed early… In contrast, Pete DeBoer’s beaten up Vegas team had a .545 points percentage after their opening two months. If Cassidy’s hot start trend continues it could be the difference between the Golden Knights watching or fighting for a Stanley Cup. -SinBin.Vegas, July 2022
For the record, we were going to hold off on this article until the Golden Knights reached the desired sample size of games. We said screw it, the reigning Stanley Cup champs are undefeated through their first six games of 2023-24. That’s enough evidence for us.
Cassidy’s Early Season Points %
- 2017-18 BOS: .618 Pts%
- 2018-19 BOS: .694 Pts%
- 2019-20 BOS: .872 Pts%
- 2020-21 BOS: .722 Pts%
- 2021-22 BOS: .600 Pts%
- 2022-23 VGK: .800 Pts%
- 2023-24 VGK: 1.000 Pts%
There’s no need to rehash the value of getting off to a hot start. Most Western Conference teams to qualify for the postseason were in good shape by November 1st. It’s simple math, quick starts help alleviate the pressure down the stretch. Chasing teams all season could cause certain Golden Knights to be overused and the need to rely on slightly injured players in the lineup. Having a cushion alliviates all of that.
Pacific Playoff Teams By November 1st, 2022
- Vegas: 9-2-0 (18 Points) .812 Points%
- Edmonton: 7-3-0 (14 Points) .720 Points%
- Seattle: 5-4-2 (12 Points) .545 Points%
- LA: 6-6-0 (12 Points) .500 Points%
There are several demanding games in November. The Golden Knights will see Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, and Vancouver for the first time this season. They’ll have rematchs with Dallas, LA, and Winnipeg too. Stuck in the middle of the month is a five-game, 12-day road trip. It’ll be a challenging month, to say the least. However, it’s unlikely Cassidy’s early-season trend will fall apart.
Realistically, the Golden Knights could begin the season 11-0-0 before they face the Avalanche on November 4th. Combine Cassidy and a healthy lineup and Vegas should have no problem picking up points against most teams they’ll face in October and November.
Trust the champs to worry about the last four months later. They’ve got even better trends to continue in May and June.