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Ken’s Answers To The Athletic’s Fan Confidence Survey

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every year The Athletic does a fan survey to learn more about the confidence of the fan base in different areas of the organization. The results of this year’s survey were published today and we highly recommend you read Jesse Granger’s article accompanying the results before you read the rest of this. Trust me, it’ll all make more sense if you do (and you’ll get to see the results, which I’m purposely not sharing here so you click that link).

Now, it’s time for my answers to the questions Jesse posed to the fan base.

With Vegas missing the playoffs for the first time, what is your confidence level in the direction of the organization? (5 being the highest level of confidence)

Ken’s Answer – 2

Despite the fact that it scares the crap out of me to think about, I really think the Golden Knights are headed for a pretty hefty rebuild that will start sometime between December of this year and the end of next season. The reason why I go with a 2 instead of a 1 here is that the roster is still good enough right now to make some noise. It’s going to take A LOT to go right (including health, unexpected players stepping forward, fortunate playoff matchups, etc) but I do see a path for this team to win the Cup this year, and I’m predicting them to make the playoffs. So, I can’t in good faith give them a 1, even though the “direction” is clearly heading in the wrong way from where it was a few years ago.

What do you expect out of the Golden Knights this coming season?

Ken’s Answer – First-round exit

If the Golden Knights stay healthy the entire season, I think they’ll win the division. I don’t see that happening though. In fact, I’d guess they are more likely to be closer to last season than they are 100% healthy, which is terrifying. Thus, my projection is that VGK will finish in 3rd or in a wild card spot. If it’s a WC, they are almost certainly going out in the 1st round. If they do get into 3rd, I could see them squeaking through a round.

What is your overall confidence level in Kelly McCrimmon and George McPhee? (5 being the highest level of confidence)

Ken’s Answer – 1

For years every time I’ve begun to criticize the front office I had to remind myself these are the same people that built the team from the Expansion Draft. However, over the course of the past few summers, the front office has made a point of saying (both outright publicly and via their moves) that they found that team to be a fluke. So, I’m having a harder and harder time giving them credit for it as they continue to retool rosters that are getting worse and worse.

It’s important to note that all I care about is winning the Cup. I don’t want playoff berths, I don’t care how many rounds you win, I just want to win the Cup. I’ve completely lost faith that this front office knows how to do it. McPhee is 0 for 21 and McCrimmon is 0 for 5. It’s harsh, I know, but I’d be lying if I put any other number than 1.

Do you agree with the decisions to fire Pete DeBoer and hire Bruce Cassidy?

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83 Points? 18% Chance At Making The Playoffs?

So says stat wizard and computer nerd Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic.

Make no mistake, the Vegas Golden Knights will probably be bad, very bad even, but the degree of badness might have been oversold. -Luszcyszyn

The computer model Luszcyszyn uses spit out a range of between 75-91 points for the Golden Knights, which in turn gives them an 18% chance of making the postseason, a 2% chance of winning the division, and a nearly unfathomable 1% chance of making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

The main component to the “success” is Vadim Shipachyov.

The 30-year-old forward had 76 points in 50 games last season and was above point-per-game in the two seasons prior to that. The KHL to NHL translation factor is 0.74, so in NHL terms that’s equal to 92, 67 and 67 point seasons. Last year is an obvious outlier, especially with him scoring on 27.1 per cent of his shots, and he won’t have as many talented linemates in Vegas, but it’s not outlandish to think he can score 55 to 60 points next season for Vegas. -Luszcyszyn

Here in Vegas, the outlook isn’t quite as rosy. William Hill sports books currently list the Golden Knights with a season point total of 69 and have them as a 9:1 underdog to make the playoffs.

At the end of the article, Luszcyszyn readily admits the Golden Knights are nearly impossible to project and that it wouldn’t be surprising at all if they underperform his computer’s model, but for the optimist crowd, 91 points looks pretty darn good, right?

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