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Vegas Point Streak Overshadowed by OT Losses

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the most part, fans only care about wins and losses, but they must remember an NHL season is a marathon, not a race. I know, blah, blah, blah.

Over the past five games, the Golden Knights have won just two of them. Many fans are up in arms screaming about blown leads, consistency, and scoring issues, but they should be happy with that stretch as their team earned at least one point in five straight games. Look at it as a competitive team finding a way to earn a point, even in a losing effort. Last night in Toronto was a perfect example of a well-earned point.

Somehow the Golden Knights found themselves in a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation against one of the better offensively skilled clubs in the league. With their backup goaltender in net, let’s face it the odds were stacked against them. Vegas held a team that averages 3.35 goals per game to one score in 60 minutes. Even more notable was the Golden Knights penalty killers allowed only one goal in six power play opportunities. That lone Leafs goal was scored 48 minutes into the game. The Golden Knights defensive plan, on purpose or not, worked and earned them a point.

A loss isn’t a loss in the NHL. Overtime losses are half a win, and that’s how I’m looking at the Toronto game. Same goes for Vegas’ overtime losses against Montreal and Winnipeg even though those are understandably tougher pills to swallow. Sure you can look at Vegas’ three OTL’s as late-game failures or you can see it as a step closer to a playoff berth.

This season, the Golden Knights have earned an average of 1.23 points per game. That’s a pace that would give Vegas 102 points by the end of the regular season. Remember, no team with at least 100 points has missed the playoffs. Over the past five games of “inconsistent” play, they’ve racked up seven points, which is good for 115 over an 82 game season.

Everyone, including the head coach, knows the Golden Knights have more to give, yet here they sit right in the thick of the playoff chase early in the season. Their PDO is 97.9, which is the 5th worst in the NHL. (For those new to PDO, read this.) They’ve scored seven fewer goals than the “expected goal” rates show and yet they’ve overcome it. The other teams with negative actual goal vs expected goal rates have all struggled mightily (SJS, DET, NJD, LAK). And, they have the league’s 4th worst shooting percentage at even-strength at just 6.47%. The last two years that number was 7.75% and 8.38%.

Put all of that together, and it all points to the same thing. The best has yet to come for the Golden Knights.

Of course, we can’t sit here and celebrate overtime losses for the whole season because eventually, they will have to start earning two points a night rather than one. But as long as they keep pace, an occasional OTL isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s getting them closer to the century mark.

It might sound too simple, and something you’d hear from a coach, but it’s true. Good teams find a way to earn a point. Actually, I’m pretty sure we’ve heard a coach say that.

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9 Comments

  1. Branden

    Very well put. This team is good and everyone in the league knows it. They should be scared of what they do when everything starts clicking.

    • Brian Lawrence

      I agree. People are quick to look at the W/L column and not the points total. When this team starts hitting on all cylinders, watch out

    • Edy

      Couldn’t agree with you more!!!

  2. Bill

    That’s fine for a team that just wants to reach the playoffs, good teams win and close out games. We all know they are making the playoffs, this seems like a lowered expectations skit on mad tv.

    • Jeff

      No…..the ONLY goal of the regular season is get in the playoffs. Maybe getting in relatively healthy and rested is secondary. That’s it. From there goals change but getting in the playoffs in the NHL is hard. Anyone in the payoffs has a chance to win it all. It all becomes about getting on a roll, momentum, good bounces, and wanting it more than anyone. Thus why the lowest seed in the NHL playoffs some times wins and the top seed usually doesn’t.

  3. nOT good enough

    get real, Pothier. they have gone 10 (count ’em TEN) straight reg season OT games without scoring a goal.

    And don’t forget, they also lost game 6 and game 7 in the playoffs in OT……season over.

    Blowing 2 goal leads, and the OT, and settling for a point is NOT a positive, except in pollyanna land.

    and just sneaking into a bubble spot in the playoffs means no home ice advantage, it means game 7 in SJ and a ref shaft job just like last year.

    and just look at what poor OT performance did to their playoff hopes last year.

    Ken’s column of Nov 5 about “OT woes” was spot on.

  4. Edy

    I learned a lot from this article, thank you. To all those nay-sayers that are negative about our OT losses and even our losses, be a little more optimistic. Look at the positives…points. We have a great team that is going to be there when it counts- in the playoffs. The best is yet to come!!!

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