The Vegas Golden Knights went into the regular season again as a high pick for Stanley Cup favorite. According to DraftKings, only the Colorado Avalanche sit with better odds of hoisting the hardware at the end of the season.
Being an almost sure bet to getting close to the Stanley Cup Final is being tested now early on as the Golden Knights have suffered key injuries to the top line. With Mark Stone ailing and Max Pacioretty out for what appears to be 6 weeks with a fractured foot the lineup has looked depleted. Alec Martinez also went down and is listed as day to day.
Depth and secondary scoring has once again been a thorn in the Golden Knights side. The Golden Knights rank in the bottom half of the league for goals per game and right against the top for goals against. Ironically, another cup favorite the Colorado Avalanche are right there with them for goals against.
While the top line produced early on, the rest of the lineup has yet to catch up even though Stone and Pacioretty only played in 2 games. No other forward outside of Chandler Stephenson has put in more than 1 goal so far early on.
The power play which has been dreadful overall has become even more anemic. Yet to register a goal in 9 opportunities including a 5 on 3, the Golden Knights are the only team left with a 0% in the powerplay column.
Paired with uncharacteristically horrid defensive play and lackluster goaltending from Robin Lehner, the Golden Knights are simply stumbling out of the gate to start the season. Lehner is easily off to his worst start in his career since his rookie campaign and Laurent Broissot who shined in the preseason did not look good in a relief role.
Thankfully, Marc-Andre Fluery has not exactly been dynamic for the Chicago Blackhawks otherwise the trade could be seen as an even bigger disaster than it is right now.
There is now also an additional injury to Zach Whitecloud which causes further strain to the blue line. If there is any longevity to his absence, it could spell disaster for the team.
While the season is still very young and it would be foolish to hit the full blown panic button just yet, we have seen trigger moves with the franchise before. With the team appearing listless and the newly added faces to the lineup not providing much of any spark, it will be fascinating to see what comes if the ship is not righted quickly.Embed from Getty Images