Once a year, in normal years, the Golden Knights bring the players’ fathers on a road trip. And once a year on that trip, the Golden Knights dominate.
The last two games in Nashville and Minnesota were the seventh and eighth games the Golden Knights have played with the dads in attendance, and they’ve won all but one. Even the one loss, in December 2019 in Vancouver, Vegas fell behind 3-1 at the end of the 1st and battled back to send the game to OT. On the four years of father’s trips, the Golden Knights are 7-0-1, they’ve scored at least four goals in seven of the eight games, and have outscored their opponents 35-16.
Dad’s trips have been especially successful for the Misfit Line. In the eight games, Jonathan Marchessault has two goals and three assists, William Karlsson has two goals and four assists, and Reilly Smith leads the pack with three goals, two assists, and a game-winning shootout attempt.
Unfortunately, father’s trips don’t last forever. For the Golden Knights though, success typically has continued even after the dads are gone.
In 2017-18 the Golden Knights had just experienced their first three-game losing streak of the season a week before the trip. That ended right before the trip with overtime and shootout wins against the Coyotes and Ducks. Returning home after the trip, Vegas lost in overtime to the Hurricanes in the first game back, then ripped off an eight-game winning streak.
The next year, 2018-19, Vegas had dropped back-to-back games in overtime before the Christmas break. With many of the fathers already in town gearing up for the trip, Vegas beat Colorado in the final game of the homestand. When the trip ended, they rattled off another four consecutive wins to push the win dad-inspired win streak to seven.
The Golden Knights came into the 19-20 dad’s trip playing well. A three-game win streak came to an end with the OT loss in Vancouver. Then, after the trip, they returned home and lost a game to the Avalanche before losing again on the road in Anaheim. But, like always, they quickly picked it up and won four straight.
6 Games After Dad’s Trip
With the two wins in hand off the trip, VGK’s next six games set up nicely for them to continue the trend. Next up are a pair of winnable home games against the Ducks and Sharks, then a tricky one vs. Tampa followed by a winnable trip to Chicago, and closing out with home games against the Flames and Stars.
It’s a crucial stretch for the Golden Knights as the schedule really gets tough through the month of March. Riding the dad’s trip wave for as long as possible will go a long way to relieving pressure down the stretch.