The Vegas Golden Knights have been excellent since they began play as an expansion team in the 2017-2018 NHL season. They made it to the Stanley Cup final their opening season and won their division last year, with a first-round playoff loss during the 2018-2019 season. Now, just a little over ten percent of the season in, the Golden Knights are rising once again to the top.
Although early, the Vegas Golden Knights at 5-1-1 are first in the realigned Western Divisions, just ahead of the St. Louis Blues, with the Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and Minnesota Wild all in the mix. Around the entire NHL, Vegas is tied for second in points with the Washington Capitals, behind only the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite losing their last game, the Golden Knights has dominated opponents most nights, outshooting them in all but one game this season. Even in their lone loss this season at the hands of St. Louis, the Golden Knights nearly doubled the shot output of the Blues, 46-25, losing in a shootout. They are 4-0-1 at home and while the road schedule awaits, at the moment Vegas appears to be the strongest team in the league. Statistically, Mark Stone leads the Vegas Golden Knights with 11 points on two goals and team-high nine assists. Max Pacioretty has been a goal-scoring machine, already with six goals, including a hat trick. Vegas has great depth, with six players already with at least two goals this season. In the net, Marc-Andre Fleury is a perfect 3-0 with a slim 1.00 goals against average. Robin Lehner is 2-1-1 with a 2.95 goals against average and has been excellent with the exception of the game against St. Louis.
With a long way to go before the end of the season, it’s too early to project the Vegas Golden Knights final position. One thing is becoming clear and that is the Vegas has what it takes to contend again this season for top honors and a potential deep post season run.