When the Seattle Kraken take the ice tonight, they’ll be playing the second half of their eighth back-to-back this season. That’s the second-lowest total of any team in the NHL.
The team with the least… the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas has had one of the most favorable schedules in terms of rest of any team in the NHL this season. The Golden Knights not only had just seven back-to-backs this year, but they also faced 15 teams playing their second game of a back-to-back. Only five other teams have had more.
Tonight’s 15th game will give the Golden Knights a chance to clinch the division (with some help from Colorado) and lock in home-ice for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
However, the Golden Knights haven’t been great playing against teams on a back-to-back. They’ve won just four of the first 14 in regulation and added three more in OT. The seven losses saw just two go past regulation giving VGK a 7-5-2 record in games against tired teams.
VGK’s record when they were on the back-to-back was also not great this season coming in at 2-2-3. As HockeyViz.com points out, in four of those seven games, the other team was on a back-to-back of their own as well. Vegas went 1-1-2 in those four.
All the Golden Knights can do is play the schedule in front of them, but there’s been no doubt the schedule makers helped out quite a bit this year.
If the Golden Knights can take advantage of it one more time, they’ll likely have carved out a slight advantage in the first few rounds of the playoffs too.