The Vegas Golden Knights rolled into this week sporting a 9 game winning streak that saw them dispatch the Arizona Coyotes twice, the L.A. Kings twice, Anaheim Ducks three times, and the San Jose Sharks twice. While one could argue these wins were all grabbed against non-playoff teams, great teams win the games that they are supposed to.
After snuffing out the Colorado Avalanche to slam home their tenth in a row make no bones about it, The Vegas Golden Knights are a great team.
From the first Coyotes game back on April 9th where depth scoring reigned supreme in the 7-4 drubbing, the Golden Knights have turned up another gear in their Stanley Cup contender season. While the top guns like Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Chandler Stephenson have kept firing on all cylinders, the depth players like Tomas Nosek, Nicolas Roy, William Carrier have been popping up on the scoresheet more often than at any point in the season prior. Newcomer Mattias Janmark has slotted into the lineup well and is producing out of the gate. Players who were vital to the inaugural season success like William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Tuch and Riley Smith (who back in late March I noted here that they needed him to get going) are all surging along with the wins. The scoring is coming from all areas on the ice including on the point.
Another area I noted in the linked article was the powerplay that needed to get going. During this 10 game stretch, the Golden Knights have cashed in a powerplay goal in all but 2 of the games. They’ve netted a total of 8 in 31 chances which puts them right around the top (4th) of the league with a 25.8% – tremendously better than their current 18.4% overall for the season that has them sitting at 23rd.
The schedule for the Golden Knights will get a bit more interesting after this upcoming set with the Coyotes but by the time they hit the Minnesota Wild for a difficult battle, the Golden Knights could find themselves sitting on a 13 game win streak padding their already 6 point lead on the West division. The games against the Wild will certainly be a test and key for victories as the Wild are the only team that the Golden Knights sport a losing record against. While the previous losses have come with the top guns quiet on that stat sheet, the Golden Knights are generating offense up and down the lineup, something they had not done consistently throughout the season. The Golden Knights offensive production paired with the walls of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner will be an almost impossible task for any opponent to overcome. With only one more matchup against the Avalanche coming before the close of the season, the division is now soundly Vegas’ to lose.
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