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Tag: Injuries

Deja Vu: Comparing The Injury Situation Between This Year And Last

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the injuries continue to stack up for the Golden Knights, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the similarities to last season. I don’t think it’s necessary to remind anyone of the overall picture of what happened last year, but the specifics certainly tell a story that looks somewhat ominous for this year.

It all starts with the difference in roster construction which gave last year’s team a massive head start when it comes to dealing with injuries.

Both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 teams played their first game of the regular season with a healthy roster totaling $75.2 million. This year, that was missing just William Carrier. Last year, it was missing Carrier, Alex Tuch, Nic Roy, Brett Howden, and Mattias Janmark. Thus, that’s a difference of $8.3 million in injured, but eventually expected to be available, players.

In other words, while the team played opening night last year with five man games lost, they were actually icing the exact same value of healthy roster as this year’s team.

Then, 10 games into the season, the Golden Knights increased their value of injured players when they traded Alex Tuch for Jack Eichel. Once that trade happened, Vegas had between $92-94 million in players either on the ice or on the shelf but expected to play that season. Meanwhile, this year’s team has been between $80-83 million, and unless there’s a significant trade, that number isn’t projected to rise.

38 games into the season last year the team had already amassed 218 man games lost of players not ruled out for the season. This year’s number is just 70. Last year’s team averaged $61 million in the lineup each night through the first 38 games, this year’s team is at $70.4 million.

This year’s team has a slightly better record than last year’s at this point, which based on those numbers is not terribly surprising given their extra $10 million in the lineup each night. However, it’s just three points. This year’s VGK sits at 24-12-2 for 50 points in 38 games while last year’s team was 23-14-1 for 47 points.

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Dispelling Two Potential Reasons For The Never-Ending String Of Injuries

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights take the ice tonight, they’ll be without Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, Alex Tuch, Nolan Patrick, and Zach Whitecloud (and potentially Mattias Janmark). That’s a little more than $29 million worth of salary on the shelf or about 36% of the salary cap.

Amazingly, until Karlsson misses a game, the Golden Knights are not the team suffering from the most salary cap money lost to injury. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been without Sidney Crosby, Evgenii Malkin, Marcus Pettersson, Brian Rust, Kris Letang, and Tristan Jarry for an insane $36 million missing due to injury.

Nonetheless, with Crosby returning to action and Jarry and Pettersson expected to return from the COVID-19 list soon, the Golden Knights will take the injury crown by the end of the week.

The elephant in the room continues to be a lingering question about why the Golden Knights are seeing so many injuries.

One theory is Pete DeBoer’s “non-negotiable” commitment to blocking shots. The Golden Knights currently lead the league in blocked shots per 60 minutes with 18.1, nearly two shots better than every other team besides the New York Islanders. Vegas has blocked 147 shots in eight games, just two blocks behind the Red Wings who have played nine games and the Ducks who have played 10.

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