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Round Robin Will Feature Strong Goaltending

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights must feel confident after clinching their second Pacific Division title in three seasons. The fact they’ll bypass a five game qualifying series isn’t half-bad either.

Now, with the announcement to re-seed after each round, the round-robin isn’t just for a tune up any longer. With the importance of a top seed, will the Golden Knights go all out to on win the tournament, or get prepared for a “real” playoff series?

When you look at the statistics of the goalies Vegas will face in the round robin, it’s going to take terrific goaltending to clinch the top seed. St. Louis starts a 26-year-old Stanley Cup winning goaltender who won 30 games this season. Dallas’ Ben Bishop is 6’7, and has finished top-three in Vezina Trophy votes three times. And Colorado has two goaltenders that are undefeated against the Golden Knights this season. So, if it’s Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner they’ll be evenly matched on the other side of the ice.

2019-20 Round-Robin Goaltending Statistics

St. Louis: 2.68 Goals Allowed Per Game (5th-NHL)

Jordan Binnington: 2.56 GAA, .912 Save %, 30-13-7 Record, 28 Quality Starts
vs. Vegas: 1-0-1, 3.92 GAA, .901 SV%

Dallas: 2.52 Goals Allowed Per Game (2nd-NHL)

Ben Bishop: 2.50 GAA, .920 Save %, 21-16-4 Record, 27 Quality Starts
vs. Vegas: 1-0-1, 2.48 GAA, .917 SV%

Colorado: 2.71 Goals Allowed Per Game (6th-NHL)

Pavel Francouz: 2.41 GAA, .923 Save %, 21-7-4 Record, 17 Quality Starts
vs. Vegas: 1-0, 3.00 GAA, .906 SV%

Philip Grubauer: 2.63 GAA, .916 Save %, 18-12-4 Record, 17 QS, Injured on 02/15
vs. Vegas: 1-0, 1.00 GAA, .962 SV%

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Fleury and Lehner make up the best unit in the group of four but individually there’s not much of a difference. Not only will Vegas have to stop the puck against some high-offensive teams, they’ll need to support their goaltenders with an average of three or more goals per game. Which may be difficult in the round-robin.

For the offensive players there’s a tempo element to the game that really can’t be duplicated unless you’re on the ice. With hand skills, with shooting skills, with foot movements. Until you’re on the ice doing them, it doesn’t work.-McGuire, NBC Sports

If scoring is expected to be down early on as suggested by McGuire suggested than Vegas will need balance. If goals are tough to come by, Vegas’ duo have proven to be successful in low scoring affairs. Fleury is 22-1-1 and Lehner is 12-0-3 when allowing two goals or less. However, when you break down their splits neither backstop has had any success against Colorado.

In two starts each against the Avalanche this season, Fleury is 0-2 with a 7.13 GAA and Lehner was 1-1 with a 5.59 GAA. Choosing a starter for the game against the Avs might be a coin flip for DeBoer. Here’s how both fared this season against the round robin teams battling for the top seed.

Fleury vs. Colorado: 0-2, .713 GAA, .828 SV%
vs. Dallas: 0 Games
vs. St. Louis: 1-1, 3.99 GAA, .867 SV%

Lehner vs. Colorado: 1-1, 5.59 GAA, .822 SV%
vs. Dallas: OTL, 0.92 GAA, .976 SV%
vs. St. Louis: 0 Games

Say the Golden Knights lose their first seeding game, do they then shift towards preparation and change goalies? Or go for it with two games remaining? I’m guessing the organization will use those games to choose a starting goaltender, rebuild condition, intensity, and focus. All while battling for a top seed. It sets up for some dramatic round robin games.

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11 Comments

  1. Tim

    Everyone knows how I feel about goalies like pitchers you never have enough quality. By the end of the playoffs we’ll know how George and Kelly rate the goalie position and for now we’ll leave it at that. Seeding after the Round Robin to determine who plays who will take care of itself. Where ever were seated it’s one series at a time. I’m hoping we play either Colorado, or St. Louis not both as we move on. It would be ironic if the chips fall right and we play Chicago with Lehner in goal.

  2. DOC Williams

    The round robin games will be very exciting. Not only because they will be our first chance to see hockey again, but also the top teams meeting right out of the gate. It WILL be kind of a combo of wanting to win but working on lines & giving each goalie a chance to play. I think they give each a start in first two games then, if one of them played significantly better, he would start 3rd game. Of course finishing well in these games is a plus for seeding. It’s not end of the world if they stay 3rd or whatever.

  3. Jim

    Still all a pipedream. No closer to playing hockey now then we were March 13.

    • DOC Williams

      NHL starts workouts TODAY! That’s NOT closer??

      • Jim

        Workouts???? Right… next is full scrimmages……
        Tell me Jethro….12 teams….lets say 350 players….one rink…two dressing rooms….two training/rehab/phisio rooms /areas..
        Million dollar atheletes crammed into one city…..so old Max Pax neefs his shoulder tended to….sorry buddy Sidney needs his wrist whirl pooled…..and Conner needs his knee messaged..
        The games are the no brainers.
        It’s the rest of the logistics that just aint happening.
        These are million $$ athletes. Not cattle
        The whole thing is a farce

        • DOC Williams

          Jim, you don’t need to call me names, just because you disagree What’s wrong with you? Why are you so angry? Lighten up pal!

  4. Tim

    What I don’t get is some people come on this site and make such negative comments do you really think your pulling someone’s chain? There’s an old saying stupid is as stupid does think about that when you post your comments.

    • DOC Williams

      Tim, like you I also wonder why some of these comments are not thought out at all. I finally realize that there is a certain small group that will continue this way. For my own sanity, I have decided to hold my tongue as much as possible. But it is damn tuff! 🙂

    • Jim

      What you don’t get or understand is logic

      • DOC Williams

        So Jim, lets suppose they actually DO start back playing this year. What will be your comments be THEN?

  5. Jim

    The virus has been cured…..games being played in more than 2 NHL cities……and I like the name Jethro.
    Has a ring to it.
    And you didn’t give any answers to my reasons they won’t be playing in 2 hubs

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