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VGK Must Boost Analytics To Avoid Inevitable Regression

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Since the All Star break, no one has been winning more than the Golden Knights. Their 12-2-2 record is the best in the league since the beginning of February and they’ve done it while playing one of the toughest schedules of any team.

The wins are continuing to cement VGK’s place in the playoff picture and have them as clear favorites to win the Pacific Division with less than 20 games to go. What the wins are not doing though are impressing the stat nerds (myself included).

While the Golden Knights have beaten many of the best teams in the league over this recent stretch, they are doing it in a bit of an ugly way. They’ve been outshot in 11 of the last 12, have given up at least eight high-danger chances in 13 straight games, and have lost the expected goals battle in 8 of the last 11.

Over the last 16 games, the Golden Knights lead the league in points percentage, while ranking 20th in expected goals, 25th in Corsi, and 25th in scoring chance percentage at 5-on-5. One of the main reasons for the difference in results vs. analytics is VGK’s shooting and save percentage. They rank 2nd in the league in shooting percentage and 3rd in save percentage for a wildly inflated PDO of 1.051.

So the question becomes, over the course of a larger sample size, how reliant are the Golden Knights’ results on their analytics?

The first way to analyze this is to look through a bunch of different 15-game segments the Golden Knights have played this season. There are a few awesome ones, a few poor ones, and some average ones. Comparing them to the analytics will help show the correlation or lack thereof.

GamesPoints %xGF%Chance %CorsiPDO
1-15.867 (1st)56.23 (3rd)52.87 (9th)48.85 (21st)1.026 (3rd)
10-24.700 (9th)52.74 (11th)48.43 (21st)48.25 (22nd)0.999 (15th)
16-30.500 (24th)48.64 (21st)45.24 (26th)47.99 (25th)0.989 (24th)
31-45.567 (16th)52.15 (11th)51.88 (11th)50.88 (11th)0.975 (27th)
37-51.433 (27th)51.18 (16th)51.44 (15th)50.51 (17th)0.986 (22nd)
46-60.600 (11th)55.26 (5th)51.95 (11th)50.88 (14th)1.018 (6th)
52-67.813 (1st)48.02 (20th)45.43 (25th)46.26 (25th)1.051 (2nd)

The first number that jumped off the page for me was Corsi. VGK’s Corsi, or shot attempt percentage, is consistently below average compared to the rest of the league. Meanwhile the results range anywhere from best in the league to 27th. The Golden Knights’ best runs of results have come while generating well under 50% of the shot attempts in that segment’s games. Even when Vegas’ Corsi is at its best, the results really didn’t seem to change much.

The Golden Knights’ three best Corsi games of the year are all losses and their three worst are all wins. They are 19-8-4 (.677) with a +50% Corsi and 21-10-2 (.667) with a -50% Corsi. In short, there’s little to no correlation between winning the Corsi battle and winning the game.  So, we can throw that one out.

Chance percentage and Expected Goal percentage seem to match up a little more, aside from the most recent stretch. When the Golden Knights are above average at generating chances and expected goals, the results typically follow. When they struggle, the wins dry up.

The Golden Knight are 26-9-4 (.709) when they have more expected goals than their opponent. They are just 15-18-5 (.461) when they are on the wrong side of expected goals count. They’re 19-7-3 (.706) when out-chancing their opponents, while 20-13-2 (.600) when being outchanced.

These numbers fall pretty much in line with every other team in the league over the course of the last decade. Which means, the Golden Knights are not an outlier in terms of their analytics matching their results, in the long term.

Thus, either the analytics must strengthen for the team to keep winning, or the winning will inevitably stop.

**All stats are sourced from Stats are 5-on-5 specific unless otherwise noted.**


Vegas Versus The Mighty Eastern Conference




  1. Richard L Evans

    The problem with looking at stats by themselves.

    This is arguably the most challenging stretch of schedule of the season. A stretch of games against the finest teams in the league. Which arguably means the numbers SHOULD be down.

    For something you can actually draw useful conclusions from, compare these numbers those of each playoff bound team during THEIR most challenging stretch of the season.

    Then you’ll have something to compare that actually is apples to apples.

  2. Rashaad

    Kenny, my brotha, what up KB!! Analytics are very overrated. There is some value to them, but not as much as people think. Arizona is one of the most analytic driven organizations in the league, and they are terrible. Their former GM John Chayka was obsessed with analytics. He was very bad at his job.

    Peace out!
    Rashaad is out.

  3. B-Rad-Lee

    Twain, Mark (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835–1910):
    Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  4. Ken – if you enjoy all this stat stuff go to it, you have way too much time on your hands apparently. LOL. I enjoy your site keep up the goods work. What is rather annoying is some of the other BS postings about everything other than hockey, but which has been pointed out a number of times has something to do with free speech etc. additional BS, but it is what it is. While you’re love for the stats is interesting, they mean little to nothing in the end unfortunately which is really what makes the games interesting as you never know. Around hockey being raised in Canada whereas you know you probably know they learn how to skate before learning how to walk almost.

  5. Jailbird

    Hey boys, ignor all the nonsense on this site. Just listen to those real fans that ARE here and play hard tonight. If you want to win the Div/Conf, no letdowns are mandatory ! Go get them boys!

  6. Jake

    The biggest question IMHO is:

    How many more games before Kessel’s streak is ended by statistics, healthy, younger, better players and Cassidy?

    • knights fan in minny

      i was thinking that the other day don’t be afraid to tell phil to sit in the stands when the injured comeback phil should be odd man out

  7. Knights fan in minnie

    I like anything anal

  8. Rashaad

    kfim, why??? What’s wrong with you!!!


    • knights fan in minny

      eat shit rashy that is your fake ass brotha alex

    • TS

      Rashard, the “minnie” above is an imposter, not real “minny”. OFF- TOPIC” is a nice way to say it’s PRETTY DAMN PERVERSE! There are a few websites, I’m told, for PERVERSIONS like his…

  9. Rashaad

    “Man, if we was up north in Minnesota we would have crushed you/But then we in the streets, brothas should haven been stuck you/Plucked you like a chicken wit’ your head cut off/They’ll find you wit’ your back open and your bruised up.

    • knights fan in minny

      get the shit out of your mouth so weez can understand your jungle talk alex you imature punk

  10. TS

    Whoa…outta my wheelhouse….pass on analytics– my head hurts just lookin at it all!

  11. THE hockey GOD

    stats tell you WHERE you been, not WHERE you are going

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