The Golden Knights’ next two games are a home and home with the Oilers. Edmonton is an important team on the schedule not just for where Vegas finishes in the standings, but also for establishing some dominance over a potential playoff opponent.
Like any team, the first focus on Vegas’ mind this weekend will be stopping, or at least slowing down, the league’s two leading scorers, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
In 17 games played against the Oilers, the pair had been responsible for 16 goals and 24 assists against the Golden Knights. That’s 2.35 points per game and it’s a big reason why VGK have a franchise tally of 7-8-2 against Edmonton, their worst record against any Pacific Division team.
Amazingly, the Golden Knights have held both McDavid and Draisaitl pointless in four of the last seven meetings between the two teams. Connor missed one of those games, but for three straight both guys played and came up blank on the scoresheet. Oddly, the Golden Knights went just 2-2-0 in those four games, needing overtime to win the one McDavid was out.
Overall though, holding down the Big Two has been crucial in VGK’s success. In the seven wins, the Golden Knights have allowed McDavid and Draisaitl five goals and four assists. In the ten losses, those numbers balloon to 11 goals and 21 assists. Thus, in Golden Knights wins, 97 and 29 average .71 goals per game and 1.3 points per game, while the losses see those numbers at 1.1 goals per game and a whopping 3.2 points per game.
One part of the game where Vegas has had above average success against the Oilers is on the penalty kill. Edmonton has just scored seven power play goals in 17 games with McDavid and Draisaitl on the ice together, but they’ve also allowed VGK to score twice shorthanded. Vegas won both games in which they tallied a shorty.
Finally, outscoring the Oilers at even strength with these two on the ice is critical for the Golden Knights to come out on top. When they do, the Golden Knights are 4-0-0. When they are outscored in the time when McDavid and Draisaitl are on the ice, Vegas is 0-5-2.
It’s not surprising, but it absolutely is true, if the Golden Knights want to beat the Oilers, it starts and ends with limiting the damage done by their two superstars.
We’ll slow them down enough somehow. Enough teams do to where they never even win the division. Last year they lost to Dallas in the west finals. Despite all their firepower they always fall short for a very long time now. But for all that Ken your stats ARE telling. We need to collar The Big Two. Hyman, Nugent-Hopkins and Kane as best we can too.
Did any one see what happened to Smith? Was it a hit or non contact etc? If they showed a replay I didn’t see it. Losing Smith for the EDM game is a pretty big blow. He is the best 200ft player on the team. I hope it is short term.
More than likely it’ll be Stephenson-Karlsson-Dorofeyev. He was double shifting Stephenson after Smith went out. I would think he’ll put Cotter on LW with Roy and Kessel. Will be tough without Martinez.
THE hockey GOD
don’t worry P PETE
EF HUTTON to the RESCUE !!
THE hockey GOD
he was smashed along the boards with body check,
vegas now website has a video replay of it on Owen’s site.
Marty is out too?
The success all starts with McNabb. Get ticket for boat that was just missed. Lol
With points like these shouldn’t the +/- be stronger? Draisaitl especially is atrocious. Weak goaltending is a factor but bigger is poor two play. Check out the +/- of Bruins scorers and you’ll see a huge difference.
McDavid: 138 pts (+16)
Draisaitl: 110 pts (+2)
two way play
Doesn’t do you any good with high powered scoring when you can’t defend. Imagine if VGK had McDavid. He might give up some points to the 200 ft. game but VGK would win the Cup with him for sure. EDM just never figures it out. Pretty dumb if you ask me lol.
Eichel needs to shoot more. Surprised he’s having that issue. His 200 ft. has improved a lot though. Think he realizes defense wins Cups.
Dorofeyev has been holding his own defensively, a key to him staying where he is. EDM will be a big test for him.
THE hockey GOD
BREAKING: The Republicans just passed the Parental Bill of Rights!
This is a great day for PARENTS, for American freedom, and for every child in this country!
Not a single Democrat in House voted for this.
Tell you all you need about the DEMS , party of EVIL , HATE, perversion.
So tonight, will be Quick or is LB ready? Who draws in up front Cotter or Kolasar? I think these back to back vs Oilers may decide if we win Div/conf?