The Golden Knights haven’t been scoring much recently. They’re 1-5-1 in the last seven games and have scored just 15 times in those games. Six of those 15 came in the lone win which means in the previous six losses the Golden Knights have scored a total of nine goals.
The main reason for this is that the most important players on the team are not putting the puck in the net. Look at the last time each player in the top six scored a goal.
Reilly Smith – 12/31/22 – 11 games without a goal
Chandler Stephenson – 1/5/23 – 9 games without a goal
Mark Stone – 1/5/23 – 2 games without a goal (+7 games injured)
Jonathan Marchessault – 1/7/23 – 8 games without a goal
Jack Eichel – 1/12/23 – 7 games without a goal
William Karlsson – 1/24/23 – 1 game without a goal
It starts with us. There’s no secret that to win hockey games you need your best players to be your best players. We’ve got to show up and we have to find a way to produce. -Marchessault
It starts with the simple fact that these guys are shooting less. Over the past seven games, each of Eichel, Stephenson, Smith, and Marchessault have all seen their shots per game dip.
Eichel’s is the most drastic going from 3.48 on average over the course of the season to just 1.86 in the past seven games. He has just three games all season in which he’s been held shotless, two of them since Stone went out.
Stephenson’s shot totals have dipped by nearly a third too. He’s averaging 1.42 shots per game on the season and has seen just four reach the goalie in the last seven games. He does not have a single game with more than one shot on goal since January 2nd, 10 games ago.
William Karlsson, who is the only top-six player to have scored since Mark Stone’s injury is also the only one to see his shot totals increase in the captain’s absence. But, it’s up just 0.24, or about one shot on goal every four games.
Unsurprisingly, all five players mentioned above have a negative +/- over the last seven games as well. Eichel leads the charge sitting at a -8 and he’s been at least -2 in four of the last seven games.
Simply put, if the Golden Knights want to turn around their scoring, they need it to start at the top of the lineup. These five forwards are the primary players on the power play, they receive the most minutes at even strength, and many even kill penalties. If they don’t produce, the team won’t win, and that’s exactly what’s been happening lately.