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NHL Edge Data Shows VGK’s Hardest Shot, Fastest Skater, And Most Distance Travelled

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After years of teasing it, the NHL has finally released the advanced stats gathered from player and puck tracking data. All of the stats can be found at NHL.com/edge including team, skater, and goalie specific numbers.

One of the most interesting numbers tracked is distance travelled. Jack Eichel led all Golden Knights last season travelling the most distance in a single game. On March 3rd against New Jersey, Eichel skated almost four miles in his 23 minutes of ice time. He finished the game with a total distance of 3.89 miles travelled, almost a full mile more than the league average of 2.92 per game.

Eichel also led the team in distance travelled per 60 minutes played. Brett Howden was a close second and Paul Cotter leads the pack so far in 2023-24.

(Measured in miles)2022-232023-24
Eichel10.079.79
Howden9.909.97
Amadio9.899.66
Karlsson9.869.94
Stephenson9.709.84
Kolesar9.639.67
Barbashev9.549.96
Cotter9.5110.04
Roy9.519.75
Marchessault9.489.28
Dorofeyev9.49.34
Carrier9.289.55
Theodore8.959.13
Stone8.918.9
Hague8.578.23
Hutton8.328.61
Pietrangelo8.328.36
Whitecloud8.25N/A
McNabb8.027.99
Martinez7.967.70

Another good piece of data is the hardest shot. Sine the data has begun beign tracked in 2021-22, the Golden Knights have seen two shots recorded at over 100 mph. One by Alec Martinez last year, and one by Nic Hague against Anaheim this season. Eichel, Dorofeyev, and Amadio recorded the hardest shots by forwards last season.

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Roster Down To 26, Who Will Survive The Last Round Of Cuts?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With eyes set on 23, the Golden Knights training camp roster of 66 has been cut all the way down to 26. The VGK front office have just a few more decisions to make. But, these final ones are always the toughest.

The 26-man roster included 15 forwards, nine defensemen, and two goalies. Three more players will have to find their way off this group before Vegas can drop the banner celebrating the Stanley Cup and begin their quest to repeat.

Obviously, the two goalies, Adin Hill and Logan Thompson are expected to suit up on October 10th, with the playoff hero Hill expected to start between the pipes against the Kraken. Down to 24.

Forwards Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Chandler Stephenson, Ivan Barbashev, Nic Roy, William Carrier, and Keegan Kolesar are all guaranteed, if healthy, to be on the roster as well. That puts us at 15.

On the back end, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, Alec Martinez, and Nic Hague are all locks. So, we’re down to ten.

Ten players. Seven will be on the roster, three will be not.

They are Michael Amadio, Brett Howden, Paul Cotter, Pavel Dorofeyev, Max Comtois, Brendan Brisson, Zach Whitecloud, Ben Hutton, Brayden Pachal, and Kaedan Korczak.

The first variable is always health. Right now, one of those ten players, Zach Whitecloud, is not healthy, and has already been ruled out for the rest of the preseason. If he’s not available to go to start the season, he’ll be placed on injured reserve (IR) and would represent one of the three that would not be on the official 23-man opening night roster. That being said, if Whitecloud can play, his name would have been up there next to Pietrangelo and Theodore as a lock.

Amadio, Howden, and Hutton are all as close to locks as you can be as well. The Golden Knights are not immune to throwing a surprise at us every once in a while, but in this case, it would be a bit of a stunner if the 23-man roster drops without all three of their names.

So, we’re down to six players for two or three spots (depending on Whitecloud). In order, here’s who is most likely to make the final 23.

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Call Me Crazy, But… (Ken’s 2023-24 Picks)

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s hot take time. Using our favorite format, we’ll be sharing some of our off-the-wall opinions on how we see the 2023-24 season going for the Golden Knights. At the end of each article, we’ll also share some of our favorites from the SinBin Discord. Ken’s first, Jason tomorrow.

Call me crazy, but Adin Hill will receive more Vezina votes than Linus Ullmark and Ilya Sorokin combined… and still not win the award.

It’s weird that it almost feels like expecting Adin Hill to be good is a hot take. After the insane run he went on in the postseason there’s an expectation of regression from most. However, I don’t have it, at least in the short term. I expect Hill to step right back into the goal and continue doing exactly what he did in his 16 playoff appearances. He’s a perfect fit to tend the VGK goal when the defense is clicking, which I expect it to be for most of the season.

Call me crazy, but VGK’s power play will finish in the Top 10 in the NHL this season.

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Reilly Smith Sized Hole In Forward Lines Will Force Decisions

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

On the 22-game road to glory, the Golden Knights were able to maintain remarkable consistency with their lineup. From Eichel, Marchessault, and Barbashev on the 1st line to Carrier, Roy, and Kolesar on the 4th, Vegas rolled out a similar-looking set of forwards throughout the entire two-month run.

Heading into 2023-24, as they look to defend their title, it’s unlikely Bruce Cassidy will be able to lean on the similar lineup that brought home the Stanley Cup, unless the team adds another forward.

The trade of Reilly Smith leaves a fairly significant hole in the middle of the Vegas lineup. While the Golden Knights do have a number of capable options to step in and play in Smith’s place, none of them are truly a like-for-like option to Smith.

The two leading candidates to take the place are Paul Cotter and Pavel Dorofeyev. Both have shown they are able to play at the NHL level but neither would be considered a defensive stalwart the way Smith was. Simply replacing Smith with either Cotter or Dorofeyev makes the roster look much different, as the third line no longer carries the identity of a shutdown line the way it did with Smith and Karlsson.

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VGK Have Plenty Of Younger Players, But Most Of Their Offense Comes From Players North Of 30

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This season, the Golden Knights’ top two scorers are smack dab in the primes of their careers. Chandler Stephenson’s All Star campaign has the 28-year-old on 50 points in 61 games while Jack Eichel leads the team with 22 goals and has tallied 45 points in 48 games.

The next group of players on the Golden Knights’ scoring list are not exactly in their primes though. Six of the next seven top scorers (so 6 of 9 overall) are at least 30 years old. The first player under the age of 26 on the stat sheet is Paul Cotter, checking in as the 13th-highest point producer on the team, and expected to be a healthy scratch tonight.

Simply put, the Golden Knights are old, or at the very least, their most effective players are old.

47.9% of the offense has come from 10 players aged 30 or above. Only five teams in the NHL have received more ice time from 30+-year-old players, and three of them have won a Stanley Cup in the last six seasons. VGK’s 240 points from 30+-year-olds is 4th most in the league behind Washington (373), Pittsburgh (311), Boston (277), and the New York Islanders (255).

In the present, that’s really not a problem at all. The problem lies in the group of younger players behind 30+’s. The Golden Knights have used 20 players under the age of 30 this season, so there are plenty of 20 somethings to choose from. However, outside of Eichel, Stephenson, William Carrier, and for his age Cotter, that group has not made much of an impact.

Despite ranking outside of the bottom 10 in games played, VGK rank in the bottom five in goals, assists, points, and points per 60 by players aged 25 or younger.

Now, you may be saying, “ok, but Eichel is 26, add him in.” With Eichel included, the Golden Knights rank 25th in goals, 28th in assists, 26th in points, and 29th in points per 60 by players aged 26 or younger.

It looks even worse in graphical form, including when you add in 27-year-old Shea Theodore, and 28-year-olds Stephenson and Carrier

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Golden Knights Continue Search For Right Combination On Third Line

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s a problem that’s common around the NHL, and it’s certainly not new here in Las Vegas, but the Golden Knights have once again found themselves searching for the identity of their 3rd line.

The top six, bolstered by superstars Jack Eichel and Mark Stone, and supported by The Misfits, have set the tone for the team both offensively and defensively. It’s clear what is expected of them each and every night and typically they deliver.

The 4th line, which has mostly been anchored by the pair of William Carrier and Keegan Kolesar, has been dubbed the “Energy Line” by Bruce Cassidy. Their expectation is to play a physical, north/south style of game in order to make life difficult on the other team no matter which line they play against. They’ve done exactly that the entire season and have even chipped in a bit more offense than expected along the way.

But the 3rd line remains a bit of an enigma. Is it a checking line? Is it a defense-first shutdown line? Is it supposed to be the main source of supplemental offense?

What is the identity of that line supposed to be?

Well, I know what I’d like it to be but you can’t make players something they’re not. I’d like to have the type of line that can play in any type of game. Forecheck game, check well in close scoring game, and secondary offense. We have some guys at the top of the lineup that are giving us good offensive numbers so we don’t necessarily need just an offensive line. We need a 200-foot, heavier type of game line would be the best way to describe it. -Bruce Cassidy

Even before the injury bug hit the Golden Knights a bit, it’s been a bit of a revolving door on the 3rd line. While each of the top line (Stephenson, Eichel, Stone), the Misfit Line (Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault), and the 4th line (Carrier, Roy, Kolesar) have seen at least 16 of the 27 games together, no 3rd line has started more than seven games together.

There have been nine different 3rd line combinations with six of them playing three or fewer games together.

In a perfect world there would be some similarities to the Carrier, Kolesar (line). Physical people that maybe have a little more offensively tilted game, but that’s not Phil (Kessel), we know that. It is Nic Roy, so that’s why we moved him there and if we can find the right left-winger to complement both of those guys then we’ll have something. But until we do we’ll keep trying. -Bruce Cassidy

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 BOSTON 3 SO (19-7-1, 39 PTS)

The Golden Knights wrapped up their road trip with an emotional game in Boston. Vegas came out motivated to preform for their head coach Bruce Cassidy in his first matchup against his old team. Paul Cotter scored 1:36 into the game, giving his team and coach an early lead. Minutes later Jonathan Marchessault fired in his 10th goal of 2022-23.

Again, Cotter immediately got back to work in the middle frame. This time it only took 0:51 to pick up his second of the game and extend VGK’s lead to 3-0. Boston made a push in the second half of the period and cut Vegas’ advantage to 3-2 after two periods played.

Boston evened the score early with a PP goal 3:08 into the final period. Both teams would have several chances but couldn’t break the tie. The heavyweight bout would need overtime and eventually a shootout to settle the score. Reilly Smith ended the game with a five hole winner.

The Golden Knights record improves to (19-7-1) defeating the Bruins 4-3 in shootouts. After a successful Eastern Conference road trip, Vegas will head home for a three game set against the Rangers, Flyers and Bruins. Wednesday’s game vs. New York is scheduled for 7P PT.

(Tweets/Analysis by Gold Medalist Connor Fields)

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