Last week we examined how the Golden Knights are taking care of business when facing non-contenders. When points are easily available, Vegas along with other threatening teams, tend to scoop them up. Now, the same can be said for when the Golden Knights face off against the league’s best, especially away from home. Tuesday in Winnipeg was Vegas’ latest example of a quality win.
The Golden Knights held leads of 2-1 and 3-2, only to walk away with a 6-5 victory. On the road vs. a quality opponent, the 31st franchise drew two penalties that changed the game. Jonathan Marchessault tallied the game-tying and tie-breaking goals to put the Golden Knights in the driver’s seat. Not only did they beat the Jets at home, they swept the season series between the two. That’s six points against a Western Conference team with a .661 points percentage.
Through 31 games the Golden Knights have several quality victories. Down center Jack Eichel and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas knocked off a dangerous Bruins team in Boston earlier this month. Also, the Golden Knights took two of two against the 44-point Toronto Maple Leafs.
2022-23 VGK Quality Wins
- 10/20: VGK 5 vs. WPG 2
- 10/24: VGK 3 vs. TOR 1
- 10/30: VGK 2 vs. WPG 1 OT
- 11/08: VGK 4 @ TOR 3 OT
- 12/05: VGK 4 @ BOS SO
- 12/13: VGK 6 @ WPG 5
There’s an argument to be made that Vegas has more quality victories this season. Both LA and Seattle are currently in playoff positions but neither are on the same level as Boston or Toronto.
Taking a deeper dive into Winnipeg, the Golden Knights were without their biggest offensive weapon and their two deep threats from the blueline. Somehow, the scrambled lineup managed to net six goals against Jets on the road. It also marked the second time this season that Vegas handled 2020 Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck.
To be fair, the Golden Knights have lost to a handful of quality clubs. In their ten losses, Vegas lost six times to postseason hopefuls. One in overtime. Starting in early 2023, the Golden Knights will play 11 of their first 12 games against playoff contenders. Vegas will host Pittsburgh, LA, Florida, Edmonton, Dallas, Detroit, and Washington. They’ll travel to Colorado, New Jersey, and New York for two games. January will be the most challenging month the Golden Knights have faced this season. Thankfully, they banked enough support points in 2022.
The first Winnipeg game in October the goalie was Rittich.
VGK home/road history:
Only losing record is 2018-19 road (19-20-2).
A bit skimpy at home last season (22-15-4) and so far has been a struggle this season but a lot of it left to play. All in all this year it’s a good thing to be so strong on the road. Home should come around.
Goals for: 104 (3.35)
Goals against: 85 (2.74)
Think they will work hard to get Miromanov playing the Cassidy defensive system. If he can prove over the next couple months while Whitecloud is out Hague imo will be a viable trade piece come the deadline. In any case he should end up 7th D replacing Hutton.