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Where The Wild Have Found Their Success Against The Golden Knights

This season there hasn’t been much that’s been able to slow down the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re currently leading the NHL in points percentage, atop the West Division by four points, and have scored 58 more goals than they’ve allowed in 50 games.

There is one team that has tripped up Vegas, and it’s the team the Golden Knights are facing tonight. The Minnesota Wild have defeated Vegas four times in six meetings, taken nine points off the Golden Knights, and remain without a regulation loss on home ice against Vegas.

With two important games coming up and the potential for a playoff series on the horizon, I thought it would be good to dig a little into the stats of how the Wild have tamed the Golden Knights this season.

First, it’s started with the paltry power play that has had 17 opportunities but only struck twice. That’s good for an 11% success rating which includes a streak of 14 straight in which Vegas has come up empty.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Next, is where the goals have come from. Vegas has been unable to keep Minnesota from the goal crease while the Golden Knights simply haven’t gotten there enough. I wrote a full piece on that before the last series.

It’s the who that has me interested today though. In the six matchups the Golden Knights have scored nine 5-on-5 goals against the Wild while allowing 11.

Seven Golden Knights players have been on the ice for more goals against than goals for at 5-on-5 against Minnesota. Those players are Alec Martinez, Dylan Coghlan, Jonathan Marchessault, Keegan Kolesar, Nic Hague, Ryan Reaves, and Tomas Nosek.

Meanwhile, only five players have been on the ice for fewer than two goals scored by the Golden Knights. Nick Holden, Reilly Smith, Kolesar, Reaves, and Carrier.

This shows an issue in depth that the Golden Knights must account for, especially on the road, against the Wild. Minnesota’s bottom-six has had success against the Golden Knights both in the scoring department and the chance-generating department. Even Alex Tuch, who has been on the ice for six Vegas goals, has just 37% of the expected goals in games against Minnesota. Digging deeper, a majority of the success has come when the Wild identify mismatches. The Wild’s top-six have feasted on Vegas’ bottom-six in limited time against.

The hope is that the addition of Mattias Janmark will help curb that problem in these final two regular-season games. However, with both of them on the road, being mindful of matchups must be front of mind for Pete DeBoer in these two games.

In the last 10 games, which the Golden Knights have a sterling 9-1-0 record in, they’ve only managed to pick up one point in the standings on the Wild. There are four points at stake these next two nights, if Vegas wants to avoid Minnesota in the playoffs, they’ll need improved power play performance, a grittier effort around the goals, and their bottom-six to hold serve against a feisty Wild group.

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11 Comments

  1. Tim

    Ken nice piece. Any word on Patch hopefully he’s OK but if he’s down for a couple of weeks that could be trouble.

  2. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Hey KEN, I have a question.

    A very likely scenario would leave the Knights and AVs tied with 82 points.

    This would be so if: A) – Knights split with Minn & St Louis and beat AVs & SJ. B) – AVs win all their games left with the lower teams and lose to the Knights. (all this assuming regulation wins).

    If tied at 82, the Knights would have beat the AVs 5-3 in season series.

    So my question: Would the season series be the first tie breaker or something else?

    • The first tiebreaker is Regulation wins. VGK are well behind COL in that category (because Vegas has been so dominant in OT).

      It is very odd that head to head is not the first tiebreaker.

  3. thomas pilkington

    Your piece seems reasonable enough. I’ve noticed that the Wild shut down the slot area and keep VGK to the outside on a consistent basis. Their backchecking has been a problem for us from the start. They have to sort that out tactically as well as find someone who can Q’back the horrific PP….watching Shea the last couple of games on the PP has not been fun….

  4. Tim

    I just read an article that Payton Krebs is on the taxi squad and may play tonight. That alone peeks my interest on watching the game tonight. The loss to Arizona held scoreless put a sour taste in my mouth with everything on the line and to have to go to overtime the next night showed me we need some new blood. Hopefully if Payton plays he doesn’t get bounced around like a ping pong ball.

  5. Mike StG

    Since they changed up the PP recently – last 7 games they are 6 for 25 (24%), which if they hold or improve that is sufficient. Most of the season they’ve been around 18%, and definitely not good enough.

  6. A Fan

    If we should lose (in regulation) both of these Wild games, there would be a chance that we would not only be playing the Wild in the first round, but we could possibly even end up in 3rd place which would give the Wild home ice. If the Wild were to win both our games (in regulation) they would be just 2 points behind us with 2 games each left (Wild) with the Ducks and Blues.

    These next two Wild games are VERY important.

    VGK games remaining:
    2 Wild
    1 Colorado
    2 St. Louis
    1 Sharks

    Wild games remaining:
    2 VGK
    2 Ducks
    2 St. Louis

    Colorado games remaining:
    1 VGK
    2 Sharks
    4 Kings

  7. THE hockey GOD

    is stupid cap issue causing VGK to play a man short AGAIN??n tonight?? Say it ain’t so.

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