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VGK’s Head-To-Head Dominance Over Pacific Division Slipping

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Since the Golden Knights entered the NHL they’ve done nothing but dominate the Pacific Division.

Not just in the overall standings, in which the Golden Knights have won the division two of the three years they’ve competed in it, but also in the postseason where Vegas has been the last team standing three of the four playoff seasons.

One of the main reasons for this dominance has been the head-to-head play between the teams. Of the six teams still in the division (Arizona left for the Central), the Golden Knights had a combined record of 68-21-8 record coming into this season. That’s 144 points in just 97 games or a points percentage of .742. Against all other teams, VGK have earned 226 points in 194 games for a points percentage of .583.

Literally almost 40% of the points the Golden Knights have earned in franchise history have come on the backs of just six teams. But this year it hasn’t gone as well.

Record against ANA, CGY, EDM, LAK, SJS, and VAN
21-22: 2-4-0 (.333)
20-21: 21-3-0 (.875)
19-20: 13-5-2  (.700)
18-19: 18-8-3 (.672)
17-18: 16-5-3 (.729)

The Golden Knights have won just two games against Pacific Division opponents not named Seattle while dropping four. They’ve lost both division games they’ve played on the road (at LAK, at ANA) and have allowed their opponent to grab at least a point in every game but one, a game they trailed 2-0 six minutes in (vs VAN).

Winning in the division has been a staple for the Golden Knights’ success and one has to wonder what their overall record will look like if they are not amassing huge point totals against the Pacific Division.

Obviously, Seattle has helped as Vegas has beaten them twice in two tries, both in regulation. However, those games were both at T-Mobile Arena and the Kraken appear to be improving as the season progresses. The next two matchups in late March and early April may not be as easy.

There are still 18 games left against division opponents. Including Seattle, the Golden Knights have recorded eight points in the first eight games. To reach their normal pace against the division (.742), they’d need to go 15-2-1.

Making that even trickier, 10 of the 18 games are on the road, including a pair in Edmonton and Calgary who are in 1st and 2nd in the division.

Adding this all up, the fact of the matter is, the Golden Knights are going to need to play much better out of division than they ever have before to reach the playoffs.

There’s no better time than now to start that as nine of the next 10 games are out of the division.

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31 Comments

  1. Tim

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Word is Rangers and Knights are talking trade Reilly Smith for a first and either a middle round draft choice or a prospect. Since we lost our first in the Eichel trade getting one back is probably a priority for the boys. Just like the Eichel trade Brisson was his agent Brisson’s kid drafted by the Knights and I might add a pretty good prospect told me that was a done deal long before it happened. Anyone else think Nick Hague had a good game. To me he’s to slow and chokes on his shot way to often. Kolesar it’s really not worth mentioning he is who he is and we keep playing him to cut down on any chance of scoring. Let’s see when we had the kids up we won 5 out of 6 now there gone and I don’t see the same level of enthusiasm. Lastly management has to be panicking about Lehner one game good,
    one game mediocre, one game bad. That doesn’t work in a 7 game playoff series. Speaking of playoff series it’s becoming clear we don’t have an easy path and I see a 50/50 chance we don’t make it. Now that would scream a change is coming. I’m loving watching the Rangers Gallant was washed up here now he’s in the Big Apple doing his thing. This bullshit he took them as far as he could in nonsense the truth probably is he didn’t like some of the moves they made and made his point known and next thing bingo your out the door. This Arizona game will be interesting if we take another dump this site will blow up.

    • THE hockey GOD

      if we finish bottom 11 at least we get a chance at shane wright so it’s a win win as to whether or not we make the playoffs imo. kolesar is a future 1C imo

      • THE hockey GOD

        ^^^fake post by wanna be hockey God. ^^^

        thou shalt not imitate the hockey GOD

        • Tim

          THG, you’ve got to feel violated someone posing as you.

        • Blitz

          Only in christianity and islamic religion is there one god. THG you are not the only one and to THG welcome. Ha!

      • THE hockey GOD

        real hockey GOD poster has purple icon, not gold on purple lego like he man icon

        you have been outed !!!

        PS must be a rookie poster, icon doesn’t match anyone recent. Could be Doc in disguise.

        • Tim

          THG, there you go blaming Doc the Sin Bin punching bag.

        • Blitz

          How come everyone else got a face and i got a galaga space ship? And why the hell does Daryl and Doc get real images?

    • Blitz

      Tim, good post. There’s alot there, but it is pretty inline with my thoughts as well (50/50, turk, kolesar, RL, etc) . Hague is interesting. He’s a huge guy, shown that he can hold his own in the fight game (watched several old fight vids), but his personally and game play is very soft with attempts at finesse. For someone that size i want to see him be a physical force and intimidate those he is up against. A softie…I hate that part of his game, because he is too big and slow to be finesseful, but no real grit to be physical. He has some offense to his game though. I thought he put himself in great positions last game to score and think he had 6 shots on goal. With that said I think he had a good game last night, but how many whiffed shots and passes has he had the last few games? I think Hague is an ok bottom 6 or maybe even the 7th d man. If he could get pissed off and smoke some guys I would move him up.

      I think VGK wins the AZ game and all will cool down for a day, but then we have the flames and we will be back at it again. However a loss to AZ, get the fan out, cause we are all bringing the shit. LOL!

    • Tim – moving on Smith accomplishes nothing and is a losing proposition as he is one of a few (hardly any) two way players they have, You are optimist concerning their chances making the play-offs. They have more than a few issues to correct and have put themselves in a financial s–t box. For people to think the walrus will be sufficient to handle the load even before playoff are delusional – way too many softies allowed. The opposition knows his weaknesses and it will only get worse as time goes on. It’s going to prove really interesting if Eichel doesn’t progress as expected which very well could happen – hopefully not for his sake as back issues are tricky.

      • Blitz

        With Eichel the eggs are all in one basket (stupid phrase, but whatever). You are right if Eichel for what ever reason isn’t *elite* things are going to get rough. This is it.

        I am not a fan of giving up Smith. He is so valuable to this team. More than alot of people are giving him credit, but you also can’t really up his pay to keep him. If he will play for his same pay you have to keep him. Have to! Someone does have to go though and there ain’t alot at the bottom. Maybe some nickel and diming Janmark, Carrier mixed in with a McNabb can get you there. Really I think the two higher valuable guys who are most expendable are Dadinov and Theodore. Dadinov probably can be an asset with the Eichel team, but to me he isn’t special. Probably a great shooter with an awesome distributor, but also doesn’t have history here. He would be my choice if a 5+ million dollar guy goes.

        Theodore just isn’t worth his pay in the PDB system. He has dropped off big time. I like Theodore alot and I know what he CAN bring to the table. It just isn’t working. He needs to go elsewhere and if I were him I would welcome that and get back on track.

        Anyway, that’s my thought. You will hear them again. I am sure. 🙂

        • Tim

          Blitz, Your thoughts are solid but Vegas is known as a heavy and Carrier and McNabb are a big part of that I think they stay. Janmark will be gone and I believe there’s already a deal in place for Reilly Smith to go to the Rangers. It’s something that works for both teams they get a top 6 forward and we get our #1 draft pick back + either a prospect or another draft pick.

          • Blitz

            Tim, it will be interesting to see if the Smith trade goes down like you said. I am a big fan of Turk, and Smith would make a good Rangers team even better. Doesn’t help the VGK, but better than him going to the ~enter a team here~. Now onto the negative stuff about this. Who replaces him? Maybe one of the young guys? I mean there has to be a future Reilly Smith in the AHL ranks, in theory, you would think. In with the new out with the old, that’s the NHL cycle. Maybe Kolesar? Roy? Howden? God help us (not THG lol). The answer: I don’t think you can replace him in the short term or next year term. That is going to leave you with a top heavy L1, a weaker L2, and Stephenson and some bottom end players on L3. L4 could be called the “welfare line”. All this work and all this expense and you became every other super top heavy team. Plus you just weakened the defense on your top line and possibly even your L2.

            At the end of the day, the misfit team was an entire team of middle tier guys w/ good chemistry. Seems like a solid blue print, but not many care to try it and you end up with max-cap top-heavy failures. David Perron 4 million a year, ugh, better let him go.

      • Tim

        Reilly Smith although a great team players seems to be the best option and with the Rangers wanting him and what we can get for him I see it as a win for both sides. I’m not Delusional Lehner will not lead us to the playoffs or beyond to many soft goals and we don’t score enough to compensate. I don’t think Eichel will save us although I think he’ll help but if we can’t stop the opponent from scoring it won’t matter. We are a flawed team in more ways then one.

        • Tim – how do you figure getting rid of Smith is a win – win. A draft pick is nothing more than a gamble – replacing what you know you have with a ??????? doesn’t equate to a win – win. It’s just another gamble they would be taking like the 10 mill one they are settled with along with the Lehner deal that no one else would come up with. Smith is not only a good two -way player he is a leader with this team without the “C” .

      • Pistol Pete

        I realize the neck is the upper end of the back but I believe this is a more problematic situation with lower vertebrae. Lower back is more “a back problem” than the neck especially when it comes to ADR.

  2. Pistol Pete

    It appears Eichel is back skating, doing three weeks of post operation rehab in North Carolina. That should mean he begins skating with team practices and more on the ice training around the first of the year or a few days earlier. One can be sure he is brainstorming every single Knights game.

    • Pistol Pete

      I expect he’ll do his off season routine of daily workouts in the exercise room followed by skating. The intensity of the routine especially the gym will accelerate as he nears full recovery. That should happen by early February three months after the procedure. If all goes well that will be about the time he’s cleared to play.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.reviewjournal.com/sports/goldenknights/golden-knights-star-center-skating-again-after-neck-surgery-2489586/amp/

      • Pistol Pete

        If indeed he skates every day at City National that will attract spectator interest.

        • Pistol Pete

          Obviously he will spend an enormous amount of time with the team and coaching staff as soon as he’s back in Vegas.

          Although he IS coming back from injury there is world of difference in terms of acclamation to a new system when you have more than a month of skating with the team and additional month of classroom
          compared to going in cold in a normal trade situation.

      • PP – do you have Dr. in front of you name or MD after???? l guess not just wishful thinking and believing on your part he is the savior of the knights – a little delusional as they have a number of issues that need to be corrected before even making the play-offs let alone raising the Cup. I hope Eichel recovers for his sake let alone what he brings to or doesn’t to the Knights. Back issues are very tricky – good one day not the next. No l am not a doctor but have been down the back issue road.

        • Pistol Pete

          I realize the neck is the upper end of the back but I believe this is a more problematic situation with lower vertebrae. Lower back is more “a back problem” than the neck especially when it comes to ADR.

          • PP – you do realize l hope the upper end of the back holds up the head which is one of the heavier parts of the body. Remember it’s all connected or should be to function so it’s not quite as simple as you seem to make it out to be. You are absolutely wrong not associating any issue with the back becoming a “back problem”. YOU obviously don’t have MD behind your name or you would know better.

  3. Daryl

    Ee all knew VGK dominance over the Pacific wouldn’t last, at least from how it has been. Other teams are getting better. The problem is, the other teams aren’t that much better yet and VGK should still be dominating them. Yes I know VGK has had multitudes of injuries, but do have other teams, albeit not as many as VGK. Not winning as many Pacific games means VGK has to find a way to beat the better OOC teams. We shall see

  4. Tim

    Daryl like everything else nothing lasts forever. I think we’ll be a competitive team for years to come with a core of Eichel, Stone, Petro, Karlsson, Marchy, Roy, Whitecloud, Stephenson, Theadore, sprinkle in some of our better AHL players, and add some of our better college player in particular Brisson from Michigan and Morasov from the KHL who I think both will perform at a high level and we’ll be OK. Probably won’t win the Stanley Cup but will keep us going to the playoffs.

    • Pistol Pete

      Don’t see why VGK can’t win a Cup. Not that Eichel is the ONE piece added that will get them there, but without a doubt it will help. That is what I have heard a number of pundits saying. It’s obvious—why does the scoring dry up in the postseason, the time of the season when the goals are the hardest to come by? Lacking an elite 1C.

      Something about Eichel is his competitiveness. He’s never played a playoff game. The motivation and incentive will be immense.

  5. Pistol Pete

    Injuries played a role in the record vs. Pacific teams though less so last game vs. ANA. With all this doom and gloom that VGK is no longer what they once were including based on the record thus far vs. Pacific teams, the season is just more than 25% in and a lot can happen, positive imo. Have not even seen you know who yet—and he’s just one piece with upside.

  6. Pistol Pete

    I would not consider it outside the realm of possibility that Karlsson will experience a mid-career surge towards that 43 goals of 2017-2018 (followed by 24/15/14. Absolutely no reason he can’t get back to 25 or more. No reason why not, in fact with Stephenson’s fast start this season it should be all the more motivation.

  7. Pistol Pete

    I’m not getting these ESPN+ only NHL days. If I researched it would probably turn out ESPN is paying higher than normal fees to show the games and testing the ESPN subscription model. Sure does suck if you are not a subscriber.

  8. Tim

    To do the same thing over and over borders on insanity.
    I’d like to get a vote from the other posters on this.
    would you rather have a third line of
    Janmark-Kolesar-Dadonov or
    Carrier-Janmark-Dadonov
    Would you rather have a fourth line of
    Carrier-Brooks-Amadio or
    Paul C.-Jake L.- Jonas R.
    For me Kolesar- Brooks-and Amadio would be scathed, traded, sent down .put on waivers. your choice,
    Paul C, Jake L, and Jonas R. have a chance to bust or blossom where Brooks, Amadio, and Kolesar have no chance to help the team. Am I in left field on this or if not let me know your opinion. Picking shit guys up when you have better younger players makes no sense to me.

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