Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

VGK Took Even-Strength Dominance To The Next Level In Playoffs

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

The Golden Knights are Stanley Cup champions. I probably don’t need to keep telling you that, but, I’m going to anyway.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with a friend about how incredible the run to the Cup was. How great they played, how healthy they stayed, and how they wound up proving they were unequivocally the best team in the world this season.

During said conversation, because I am quite the nerd and get obsessed with things, I found myself pulling up a whole bunch of even-strength specific stats from the 22 games and found myself in awe of so many of them. So much so that I decided to turn it into this article.

Without further ado, here are a bunch of crazy stats and facts on just how insanely good the Golden Knights were at even strength on route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The Golden Knights outscored their opponents in the playoffs at even-strength 71-38. That means 65% of the goals scored at even strength in VGK games were by the Golden Knights. The Boston Bruins, who went 65-12-5 en route to the best regular season in the history of the NHL managed to boast 64% of even-strength goals, 1% less than the Golden Knights in the playoffs.

Vegas scored 66 goals at 5-on-5 in the playoffs. That’s the most by any team since the NHL began recording goals by strength in 2010. The next closest to VGK’s 66 is Los Angeles with 60, and they needed 26 games to do so, Vegas played just 22.

The Golden Knights finished the playoffs with an even-strength shooting percentage of 12.86%. That was the best in the NHL this season by nearly three percentage points and also the best since this stat has been recorded.

Even more insane was VGK’s high-danger shooting percentage. According to, the Golden Knights’ high-danger shooting percentage was 27.98%, or basically 28%. To put that in perspective, the Edmonton Oilers’ record-breaking power play operated with a high-danger shooting percentage of just 26%. And that’s with an extra player on the ice!

Here’s a simple one. In 1,135 minutes of even-strength play, the Golden Knights scored 71 goals, that’s good for 3.75 goals per 60 or a goal about every 15 minutes of play.

Part of what made the Golden Knights so darn good at even-strength was their ability to score when they got a good chance. Vegas generated 306 scoring chances at even-strength, or about 26.7 per 60 minutes. That number is actually not all that impressive as it ranked the Golden Knights 13th out of the 16 playoff teams. However, Vegas scored 65 goals on those chances, or about 3.44 per 60. The next closest team was the Dallas Stars who scored 37 goals and the next closest in rate was Tampa Bay at 2.58, almost a full goal per game behind.

On top of that, the Golden Knights were stellar at keeping dangerous chances out of their own net. Vegas gave up the second-most scoring chances in the playoffs with 527 over the 22 games. They conceded just 26 goals on those chances, which was the best stop rate of any team in the playoffs, and fewer than four teams that played at least five games less than VGK.

Finally, the expected goals numbers are out of this world. A quick refresher, expected goals models were created using historical shot data over the course of multiple years to project how likely a shot is to go into the goal. Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s one of the best measurements we have.

Yet, the 2023 Golden Knights embarrassed the model. As mentioned above, the Golden Knights scored 66 goals at 5-on-5 while allowing 33.’s expected goals stat projected the score of VGK games at 5-on-5 to be 48-43. That means the Golden Knights outscored their expected goals tally by 18 and allowed 10 fewer than expected. That’s a differential of 28 goals over the course of 22 games.

MoneyPuck’s data goes back to the 2009 playoffs and only three other teams have ever surpassed 20 (11 BOS, 19 STL, 22 NYR) with the highest being the 2011 Bruins at 22.2. VGK had 28!

Simply put, no team in the history of the NHL playoffs has ever been as dominant at even strength as the 2023 Vegas Golden Knights.


Reilly Smith Sized Hole In Forward Lines Will Force Decisions


VGK’s Top 6 Stanley Cup Playoff Goals


  1. Former season ticket holder

    When Ken Daniko praised VGK after the cup was one, as the most dominant team he had seen since the 80’s you know we were that good. Awesome article!

  2. Great article but they have traded (given) away one of the players who helped in a number of ways to achieve those stats. A huge mistake on the part of the FO. Of course there are some posters who believe otherwise but time will determine the validity of that mistake.

    • Jailbird

      Hell, who’s going to even listen to you seriesly . You had the Knights done and chokers, after game one vs Jets.

      • I frankly don’t care who listens or not. That wasn’t the point of the post. As l stated l was sure there would be some different opinions. Why anyone would consider the post a downer is beyond me as no one was any happier to see Vegas win. There are not a lot of 200 foot players on the team Smitty happened to be one and if you all noticed Cassidy always use him when the chips were down.

        • JB

          I agree, Smith has delivered since Yr1. An awesome Misfit that has contributed well to this team including the recently concluded season. Shame VGK Org disposed of him when in fact Smith together with Karlsson are some of the best duos in VGK. They can read each other’s moves. Now they have to train a new Knight to partner with Karlsson.

        • VGK Fan


          I think there are some fans out there that only look at a players point production. The Smith/Karly line was our most dominate shut down defensive line in the playoffs. Smith was always on the ice at the end of games to close them out. I’m grateful to management and the ownership for bringing us the cup. I’ve been a season ticket holder since year 2 and I will miss Smith.

          Smith should have a great year with the Pens. I’ve been a Pens fan since the early 80’s and I look forward to watching Smith play on the same line with Malkin and I’ll be rooting for him.

    • knights fan in minny

      are you serious they just one the cup sometimes you have to sacrifice get outside and get some air debby downer

    • Sorvino

      Holy shit HdBiker!!


      Just wow!

    • knights fan in minny

      is he related to obvious the one who made a ass out of himself

      • THE hockey GOD

        did this poster just wake up after being in coma for last two months ?

  3. Richard Evans

    I would really be fascinated with how those numbers look as the individual series went on. An eye-test pattern of each of the series was that in these extended series the VGK wore down their opponents. Early in the series things seemed more even in most cases, but come the final game the opposing team was a step slow and mentally defeated.

    Looking at the final scores for each clinching game:

    Jets 1 Golden Knights 4 (win in 5)
    Golden Knights 5 Oilers 2 (win in 6)
    Golden Knights 6 Stars 0 (win in 6)
    Panthers 3 Golden Knights 9 (win in 5)

    I expect a closer look at those statistics on how they changed within each series might be even more interesting…

    • TS

      Those stats say EVERY series ended with a dominant WIN. E xclamation points on STEROIDS!! NO ONE WAS GONNA DENY THE TEAM THE CUP!!

  4. Jailbird

    Didn’t take hd long to get into his negative game face! Smity was a very good 200 foot player for us for six years. We all know that, but given the choice between keeping him or. Much younger player that shined in the playoffs, was a no brainer for management. Hope the best for him in Pitt, but it was his time to move on.

    • knights fan in minny

      loved watching smitty and wild bill kill penalties the other team had to be on their toes.

  5. Vic

    Three things come to mind:
    1. Staying out of the penalty box is good .
    2. Eichel helped the stats with elite puck control, passing, and playing two ways.
    3. The FO is playing the Belichick game when moving on from people like Smith. Players know it’s a tough, but very lucrative life.

  6. John W

    RE: The Smith trade… was tough, but consider:

    1 – Assume that losing Smith was essentially a trade for Barby, and getting a 3rd rounder. Large benefit was that we got roughly 4.5 years younger, which will be more and more important as our core ages.

    2 – The playoff was a small sample size, but Barby outplayed Reilly by a significant margin.

    3 – Trading Smith’s 200ft game for Barby’s physical play is a wash. One of the reasons we dispatched Florida was Barby crushing Gouda on the boards.

    4 – May be hard to swallow for some VGK fans, but chemistry on the Eichel line is more important than on the Karlsson line.

    I could go on, but trust the FO here.

  7. TS

    The team pretty much REWROTE THE BOOK on Playoff records. It’ll be tough to top the Domination we showed. We got BETTER as the playoffs went on!! The opponents threw everything at us. ..Dirty Plays, Intent to take out players like Stone, trying to bait us into committing penalties..ALL their strategies to beat us FAILED. We far exceeded our opponents’ abilities and desires. We played with more HEART, more CONFIDENCE than others. We were UNSTOPPABL E!!! NO ONE WAS GONNA DENY US THE CUP. NO ONE!!

  8. I still cant get enough of watching you tube or nhl network to see the boys dominate and celebrate THE CUP…..however I had forgotten…or tried to forget lol….that we got smoked by the Jets in Game 1 and vgk trailed 1-0 in the 2nd game too….was i shaking my head…damn straight i was…it didnt hurt that 2 of their best players were out and /or injured but we were still clearly the best team….but i digress….

    Cotter should and will be the replacement for Reilly…i have been a Cotter guy going back to his first 2 goals as a call up..and couldnt figure out why DeBoer didnt call him up 2 seasons ago when we were struggling to score late into the season and in the playoffs…he will make some learning mistakes defensively but you can see he has the desire to be better and get better for his teammates.

    Lastly…do any of us realize we have a superstar in our midst…barring injury #9 is in line to be a 40/100 player…he has the drive and will to showcase his skills and we are in for a real treat watching him all year long!!

    • Sorvino

      Jack Eichel next year………
      Wins the Selke Trophy

  9. THE hockey GOD

  10. THE hockey GOD

  11. THE hockey GOD

    good morning liberals

    what are you “offended’ by today ?

    • TS

      Just you, for asking that absurd question!

      • THE hockey GOD

        TS identified as whiney liberal

        but we here, already knew that. TS can’t run and hide, after that post !!

        heee heee
        haa haa
        ho ho

        • TS

          Thanks for laughing at yourself! I do better if I laugh at you, TOO!! Now, don’t let the heat make you dizzy!!

          • THE hockey GOD

            the whole world reading is laughing at you for outing yourself.

            lib tards are so easily triggered.

          • TS

            Curious how you think of it as ” outing me”. Like I’ve been HIDING in a CLOSET somewhere! Fyi: Democrats aren’t HIDING from ANYTHING. I have NOTHING to hide , unlike the Trumpties in America who HIDE FROM THE TRUTH. WHO’S HIDING, AGAIN?? Please, Thg, just STOP BEING AN ASS. PLEASE. STOP. YOU DO NOTHING BUT EMBARRASS YOURSELF!

          • THE hockey GOD

            “Curious how you think of it as ” outing me” “you denied being a far left lib whack job for years hiding behind “your a teacher, with no far left agenda” lie. By responding, in whining way to my post you outed yourself. There is nothing wrong with that. Stop the lying and the truth is revealed. We all know what side of aisle you stand on. Pedocrat party member alert.

          • TS

            FYI: it is DISTURBING that you find pleasure in bashing ANYONE NOT LIKE YOU. Elitist, arrogant attitude, dude.You feel you’re ENTITLED to your constant ridicule and False Accusations of others. You ATTACK without FACT. . Remember you CALLED me UNSPEAKABLE, VILE, NAMES, BASED ON YOUR FALSE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ME, AS A DEM. IN TRUTH, YOU KNOW ZERO ABOUT WHAT I THINK. WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO SLANDER OTHERS WITH NO KNOWLEDGE?? YOUR SELF- ORDAINED GOD STATUS???

  12. FG

    Ken, the entire article you failed to mention PDO and how VGK was the luckiest team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    • knights fan in minny


    • Anand

      FG, numb nuts. Ken has mentioned multiple times the VGK’s absurdly high shooting percentage, and save percentage. It was an article that came out in the middle of the Dallas series that said that Vegas had a crazy high shooting percentage, and that led me to believe that they were lucky and the scoring could suddenly dry up.

      But it didn’t dry up which restored my faith that this team is ridiculously good. When they smelled blood, they scored at will like the 6-0 victory over Dallas. That was an ass raping that should never be talked about again, and I hope children didn’t watch that game. But then it got worse as Vegas scored nine goals in the final game.

      FG, I’m sorry that whatever horseshit team that you support but did not list because of your embarrassment didn’t get as “lucky” as Vegas.

    • THE hockey GOD

      lucky , lucky ? Lucky how!

      well eliminating AVs and Bruins helped a lot, staying healthy for most part is streaky since last year they were hit with endless injuries.

      you think I am lucky ? Lucky how ?

  13. Sorvino

    I’m still waiting for all of those scumbags that said that Jack Eichel was a locker room cancer and you can never win with him to come back to this site.

    97% of what Hd Biker says always gets proven wrong, but at least he doesn’t runaway from it.

    • knights fan in minny

      still waiting for obvious to apoligize all he did was rip mcrimmon everyday i bet we never here from that coward again

      • THE hockey GOD

        ” i bet we never here from that coward again” anand is obvious.

      • What coward is that you are referring to? You people amuse me – at least l am consistent, acknowledge when proven wrong. I notice there were plenty of posters on this site who believed the FO (the two Mcs) screwed up and now because they won you all think they walk on water. Talk about cowards that can’t stand up for what they post.

        • THE hockey GOD

          HD he was directing his post to obvious, not you. pay attention.

        • knights fan in minny

          get lost whiney bitch

          • knights fan in minny

            meant for hd

          • You’re even a bigger moron than l originally believed. I guess l hit a nerve as you apparently are one of the posters l was referring. Take about a whiner.

        • Jailbird

          Yes hd, you are consistent ….. consistently wrong!

          • Jailbird -I guess that depends if you are a rose colored glass type guy. Whatever rocks your boat.

      • Anand

        Good luck with that. Don’t think we will ever hear from obvious again.

        Or that clown oilers fan GW North

  14. THE hockey GOD

    thank you Mr. Don Cherry

  15. THE hockey GOD

    “I no longer identify as a conspiracy theorist. You may refer to me as “the guy
    who was right all along”.

  16. THE hockey GOD

    speaking of dominance

    mission impossible part one
    was so good in theaters just coming out, going to go see it again !!

    in 65F theater full screen AC !!

  17. LVsc

    Looking back at the rally, I remember that Reilly Smith jokingly said something about he maybe should retire as a cup winner. Now, he was likely just trying to just inject some humor…..OR did he know some whispers of his possibly getting traded, since the math was obvious that someone around the $5 mill level had to go to keep the rest of the playoff group intact.

    I thank him for his service over 6 years….. but the team survived the moving of Schmidt, Perron, Reaves, Fleury, Tuch, Pacioretty etc., and won a cup without any of them.

    The team approach, the zone D strategy used by Cassidy, and the much more aggressive net front play at both ends was the needed ingredient to get them over the playoff hump.

    to repeat the first line of this article,
    “The Golden Knights are Stanley Cup champions.”

    case closed.

    • knights fan in minny

      hell yeah LVsc

    • TS

      I ‘m sad to say you’re right about WHY the moves w Smith/ Barbashev make sense. Coach/ mgmt have to plan for long-term success, and with our core players starting to reach the end phase of their careers, mgmt HAS to make the hard choices. Fans grow very attached to the guys, hard to see them go.

  18. THE hockey GOD

    if NHL didn’t have silly lib tard socialistic sal cap, we wouldn’t even be talking about R. Smith leaving in the first place!!

    Pantyhose wearing Bettman gives every super straight male the willies and creeps.

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