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Advanced Stats Say Dallas Dominated The Golden Knights, So How Did VGK Stay Afloat?

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas

One goal short.

In the seven game series between the Golden Knights and Stars, each team scored exactly the same number of goals, 16, but in the end, Dallas got one more when it mattered most and ended VGK’s bid to defend their crown as Stanley Cup champions.

Stats from the series do not indicate that it was as close as the final tally shows though. Over seven games, Dallas posted 65 more scoring chances, 36 more at high-danger, and amassed seven more expected goals.

Based on those numbers, the Golden Knights were fortunate to have even made it to Game 7. However, Game 3, despite going to overtime, was dominated by the Stars, so much so that it skewed the numbers on the series.

Game 3
Score: 3-2 DAL
Expected Goals: 5.41-1.42 DAL
Scoring Chances: 50-23 DAL
High-Danger Chances: 27-4 DAL

So, what do the numbers look like without Game 3?

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Adin Hill To “Uncover Every Stone” In Quest To Stay Healthy Next Season

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

A major storyline from the past few seasons for the Golden Knights has been injuries in the net. Since the start of the 2021-22 season, Vegas goalies have been unavailable the following game after a start 17 different times. Each of the four main goalies over the span has been injured at least three times with Adin Hill and Robin Lehner each suffering injuries five times.

For Adin Hill, he says enough is enough.

It’s the third year in a row I’ve had a bit of injury problems. Nobody wants to be injured. It sucks seeing your team battle out there without you, kind of feeling helpless in a way. I’m trying to do whatever I can this summer to try and be injury-free next season and try to uncover every stone to make sure it doesn’t happen again. -Adin Hill

Hill says he’s working with a doctor he believes is one of the best in the world on preventative measures that can keep him healthy next season.

There’s nothing bothering me right now. I feel like my body is at 100% but it’s just making sure we don’t go down that road again. -Hill

The rigors of the goalie position itself have presented a great challenge to Hill in the past.

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A Look Back On Ken’s 50 23-24 Predictions + 10 New Predictions

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Before the season began I published a list of 50 predictions for this season. With 13 games to go, let’s see how I’m doing. Then, because you’ll clearly be able to see my ability to predict the future, I’ll make 10 new predictions for the rest of the year.

  • TRENDING CORRECT – Jack Eichel will score more than one point per game
    • Eichel has 53 points in 50 games.
  • INCORRECT – Mark Stone will play at least 60 games
    • Stone will finish the regular season with 56.
  • CORRECT – Marchessault will score more than 30 goals
    • Marchessault has 38 goals.
  • INCORRECT – VGK will sweep at least three Pacific Division teams
    • San Jose are the only team VGK have/can sweep.
  • TRENDING INCORRECT – VGK will not win the division but will advance further in the playoffs than the team that does
    • VGK will likely not win the division.
  • INCORRECT – Mark Stone will score more than 20 goals but never record a hat trick
    • Stone scored 16 and had one hat trick.
  • CORRECT – VGK will win 7 of their first 10 games
    • VGK won 9 of their first 10.
  • TRENDING INCORRECT – Ivan Barbashev will score fewer than 40 points
    • Barbashev has 38 points in 69 games.
  • CORRECT – The projected starting six defensemen will player fewer than 20 games together the entire regular season
    • They played 8 together and will likely not play another one with Hanifin now on the roster.

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Golden Knight Leading Candidate For Most Important Position In World Hockey

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Everyone in Vegas remains focused on defending the Stanley Cup and cementing the Golden Knights as an NHL dynasty. For much of the rest of the world, at least some attention has begun to shift toward the upcoming best-on-best tournaments that have been missing from hockey for nearly a decade.

The NHL announced plans to host a four-nation face-off in 2025 in advance of NHL players attending the Olympics in 2026. Assuming these tournaments actually happen (we’ve been promised this many times and it often falls through), the Golden Knights are expected to be heavily represented.

Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Mark Stone, and William Karlsson are all locks assuming health and Ivan Barbashev, Jonathan Marchessault, and others could make the squads as well.

The biggest surprise though might be the fact that a Golden Knight is in the running, and maybe even the favorite, to secure the most important position on the most widely talked-about team. That’s right, Adin Hill is among the leading candidates to be the starting goalie for Team Canada.

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Golden Knights Can Not Ignore Goalie Injury Trend

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The continuing trend in the Golden Knights crease has reached a point where it can no longer be ignored or cast aside.

Adin Hill’s injury in the 1st period on Sunday marks the eighth time in the last calendar year a Vegas goaltender has been injured during a game. To make matters worse, Hill’s injury is the second time in the last nine months a goalie has reinjured himself in his first game back in action and the fourth time a goalie has re-aggravated the same injury.

It’s clear there is a problem, and a pretty serious one. What’s unclear is the cause of it and thus the solution.

After the game on Sunday, Bruce Cassidy spoke about the process the Golden Knights use before they put a goalie back in the net to start a game.

It’s up to him and the medical staff. It’s their call, it’s not mine. It’s basically the player first has to feel comfortable getting in there and then it’s the medical team has to feel comfortable that he’s rehabbed and he’s communicated to them that he’s doing well. -Cassidy

In the latest case, Cassidy said Hill returned to practice and there were specific drills goalie coach Sean Burke wanted to see if he could get through, and recover after, to make sure he was healthy enough to play in a game. Hill completed those drills and it was determined he was ready to play.

He said he was cleared and ready to go. It’s unfortunate. I don’t have the news of exactly what’s going on but it’s difficult for Adin. He’s put the work in and he’s worked hard and everyone thought he was ready to go. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way, it happens. Hopefully, it’s not long-term again. -Cassidy

The challenge for the Golden Knights is that the current process has not been successful, but there’s not many other ways to go about it. In the end, it’s always going to be up to the player himself to determine if he’s ready to return.

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Why The Golden Knights Have Selected A Starting Goalie Instead Of Going 50/50

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights entered Training Camp most viewed it as a 1A/1B situation in the goal. Adin Hill returned with a new $10 million contract after posting a Conn Smythe-worthy performance in his 13 playoff games while Logan Thompson was back healthy for the first time since January looking to build off his All Star start to last season.

Both goalies have shown to be more than capable and the expectation was they’d work as a tandem at something close to a 50/50 split.

That’s not how it has played out through four games as both the words and actions of the coaching staff have declared Hill the starter and Thompson the backup.

You go into a new year and you are starting fresh but you can’t forget what happened. So there’s a little bit of tilt towards Hill if he came out of training camp the way he was playing and he has. We still want to give Logan his starts, and he’ll get them, just not as many as Adin right now. -Cassidy

Hill was given the start on Opening Night and then followed it up by playing the third and fourth games of the season. Thompson started the lone game in between and is likely to step back in tonight in Winnipeg. Hill would then be expected to take the reins on Saturday in Chicago and then there’s just one game before next weekend’s back-to-back.

If Hill gets the game on Tuesday the 24th, which he likely will, that would mean seven starts out of the first 10 games for Hill while Thompson gets just three.

Some of it is Hill has played a lot more recently even though it’s been months. Logan hasn’t played since the end of January. We want to make sure Hill gets his starts because he earned it at the end of last year. -Cassidy

The Golden Knights used a similar rotation last year to open the season, just vice versa with the man getting the bulk of the starts. Thompson started eight of the first 12 games and eventually saw the net in 35 of the first 51 games prior to the All Star break.

Health and performance will obviously dictate what happens over the course of the entire season, but as it stands right now, the Golden Knights have a preferred starter, and his name is Adin Hill.

50 Predictions For The Golden Knights 2023-24 Season

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Everyone loves a good prediction. So, how about 50 of them?

Let’s go!

  • Jack Eichel will score more than one point per game
  • Mark Stone will play at least 60 games
  • Marchessault will score more than 30 goals
  • VGK will sweep at least three Pacific Division teams
  • VGK will not win the division but will advance further in the playoffs than the team that does
  • Mark Stone will score more than 20 goals but never record a hat trick
  • VGK will win 7 of their first 10 games
  • Ivan Barbashev will score fewer than 40 points
  • The projected starting six defensemen will player fewer than 20 games together the entire regular
    season

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