As Vegas prepares for tonight’s opening, a sneak peek at Golden Knights fun facts

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Steve marcus

Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) celebrates with William Karlsson (71) after scoring in the first period of Game 4 of an NHL Stanley Cup second round playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

The Golden Knights are no longer in their infancy as an NHL franchise.

Vegas will open its fifth season tonight at 7 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena against the Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s newest expansion team, with a great story that seems beyond its years. With playoff spots in every season of franchise history – which has resulted in nearly an extra season of games being won – the Golden Knights have so far staged a short but historically rich race.

They also had two head coaches, two players who finished in the top 10 in the MVP vote and now two goaltenders who dominated the net. There is more than enough data to explore, so we decided to do just that and look at the stats accumulated over hundreds of games by dozens of players.

Here are some of the most interesting leaders of all time, best streaks, and original stats from the Golden Knights’ first four regular seasons (playoff stats weren’t included).

Tips

With their formidable 2017-2018 campaign, William Karlsson or Jonathan Marchessault is the leader of the Golden Knights for goals, assists, points, over / under, power-play goals, power-play points, winning goals. and shots.

But there are a few names popping up that you might not expect. The Golden Knights’ all-time point guard in penalty minutes? Not Ryan Reaves, but Brayden McNabb, whose 160 penalty minutes are ahead of Reaves by two and Marchessault by one.

And the power-play leader isn’t even close – Shea Theodore’s 43 erases Marchessault by 13 and Karlsson by 15.

Prowess short of hand

Karlsson has seven shorthanded goals and seven shorthanded assists while Reilly Smith is second in both categories with six each. Third on the list, however, you might not get – Cody Eakin has four shorthanded goals, to take third, and Paul Stastny are the only other players with multiple shorthanded assists.

While we’re on the penalty spot, three defenders have shorthanded goals: McNabb and Jon Merrill, who are rotational penalties, but also Theodore, who scored his own in 11:31 shorthanded ice time in 2019. -20. Colin Miller also had a playoff goal, one of four shorthanded playoff goals by Vegas and the only one by a defenseman.

Game winners

The Golden Knights have been credited with 162 game-winning goals in their history, and more than half (89) have come from six players: Marchessault (19), Karlsson (16), Max Pacioretty (16), Alex Tuch (15 ), Reilly Smith (12) and Mark Stone (11). There isn’t too much of a shock among players who have scored winning goals – even Vadim Shipachyov has scored one in his three games.

What is a little surprising are those who did not. Nick Holden doesn’t have one, and his 139 games as the Golden Knight rank among the greatest without repotting a winner. Nicolas Hague does not have any in 90 games either. But they are defenders.

Oscar Lindberg has scored 13 times in Vegas, but none have been credited as a winner in any of his 98 games, by far the most games by a striker without one (Keegan Kolesar is next at 45).

Five point games

Only two players on the current roster have registered a five-point game. Stone and Pacioretty have both crossed the five-point barrier multiple times in their careers, and no other Golden Knight has done so once.

Pacioretty has two five-point games, while Stone has four, including two with Vegas. Stone scored two goals and three assists in a Feb.6, 2020 game in Florida, then set a team record with five assists (all primaries) on March 1 last season at home against the Wild.

Players with four-point games are the usual suspects: Stone and Pacioretty did, as did Karlsson, Marchessault, Smith, Alex Pietrangelo and Theodore. Another name? Nolan Patrick, who scored two goals and two assists two seasons ago.

Wonders in one shot

Do you think you could name the four players who have appeared in a single game with the Golden Knights? Hint: three of them are goalkeepers and three of them are still in the organization.

The Guardians are Logan Thompson, Garret Sparks and Dylan Ferguson, all of whom have appeared in emergency roles. Thompson and Ferguson are still in Vegas and could increase that total.

Sparks is gone, which means that unless he resigns from the organization, he will be forever linked for the least time ever to appear for the Golden Knights (at least one).

Thompson holds the record for the least ice time, with a whopping 8.15am, narrowly ahead of Ferguson’s 9.14am.

And then there’s skater Jimmy Schuldt, who played in the 2018-19 season finale after signing as a college free agent. He collected an assist, which means he’s not the only skater to play but hasn’t scored a point. That honor belongs to Jake Bischoff, who played in four games in 2019-2020.

Shots and goals

Would you be surprised to learn that the Golden Knights have allowed eight more goals than they have scored eight? That’s right – Vegas scored eight goals on November 27, 2018 in Chicago, the only time he’s scored so many. Eight is also the team record for goals against, but it has happened twice and not since the inaugural year: November 11, 2017 against Edmonton and March 14 against New Jersey.

The recorded shots are more directed towards the Golden Knights. Vegas shot 54 shots at the Ottawa net on October 17, 2019, the most ever in a regular season game – yes, that was in overtime. The most allowed was 49, another overtime game against the Blues on Oct.21, 2017 (sort of a Vegas win).

Vegas had 17 shots at the team’s lowest on December 12, 2018 against the Islanders (one win) and gave the Coyotes just 14 shots on April 11 last season, a 1-0 victory.

Goalkeeper Marc-André Fleury joked after this game: “I sometimes felt alone there all alone. It was good to get the win at the end.

Field of record flowers

Fleury holds just about every team goalie record, in a single season or in a career, except one.

Fleury’s 192 appearances in a Vegas uniform are the most significant of all, with Malcolm Subban’s 63 far behind. Only eight goalies have appeared for Vegas, and as mentioned above, three of them have only appeared once. Oscar Dansk has only six.

So yes, Fleury is the Golden Knights leader in terms of games played, games started, wins, losses, shots faced, saves, shutouts and save percentage in Vegas. He also has the single-season record for all of these, most of which came in the 2018-19 season when he started 61 games. Last year, he set new marks in save percentage (.928) and goals against average (1.98).

The record that Fleury does not have? It’s kind of a trick question, to be fair.

Robin Lehner has only made 22 regular season appearances with Vegas, but his 2.20 goals against average is better than Fleury’s 2.41 (I guess if you want to be really picky we could also include Logan Thompson, who did not allow a goal in his half-period in relief.

Christmas Wins

There’s only one full month in the regular hockey schedule (October through March) that Vegas hasn’t racked up double-digit losses in the regular season. It was December when the Vegas record of 29-8-6 was its all-time best, raised by a 2017-18 season in which it had an incredible 11-1-1.

The Golden Knights’ most all-time wins come from March, when they are 32-16-4 after a 12-5-0 mark in 2021. It’s one of three. months Vegas has played four times, after the pandemic spoiled April, October, November and December 2020, while also adding an appearance in May 2021.

Vegas’ worst month is November, with as many all-time wins and losses at 21-17-4. That’s slightly above a percentage of 0.500 points, but even 0.500 of real wins and losses. The worst individual month of all time was February 2019 with a score of 5-7-1. You will recall that during the month Vegas won three of their first 11 games, traded to Mark Stone and never looked back.

More less

Karlsson has the best plus-minus in team history, with a plus-80 differential in 283 games over the organization’s four seasons. His plus-49 in 2017-18 led the league.

Smith, Marchessault, Nate Schmidt and McNabb round out the top five, all thanks to spectacular inaugural campaigns. There are some good numbers here, but it’s more fun looking at the bad numbers.

Because no matter how good that first line was, no one else’s numbers were as good. Erik Haula had a career year scoring 29 goals and 55 points, but they were the worst team under-16. James Neal was a minus-11, and despite a team record of 50 assists, David Perron finished with a plus-1 for the season.

But the winner (loser?) Of the most extraordinary over-minus goes to Tomas Tatar, acquiring the 2018 trade deadline, who finished tied with Neal for second on the team at under-11 in only 20 games. He only played eight playoff games and was traded to Montreal in September.

Make streaks

The longest winning streak in team history came last season, with 10 straight wins from April 9-28. The best precedent was eight, which had been achieved twice.

It wasn’t the longest point streak, however, as Vegas played 13 straight games in 2017-18 without a regulatory loss. The Golden Knights won four back-to-back wins from Dec. 3-9 (one in overtime, two in shootout), lost in shootout to the Hurricanes on Dec. 12, then went on to claim eight back-to-back wins from Dec. 14 through January. 2.

The longest losing streak has been five games, which has happened twice and not since Nov. 7-16, 2019. This included an overtime loss to start the streak, which included one of three times. in team history the Golden Knights have lost four regulation games in a row.

In four seasons, it’s quite remarkable that Vegas has never seen a regulatory losing streak of more than four games. The most recent was January 7-14, 2020. That, of course, led to the sacking of Gerard Gallant as head coach and ushered in Pete DeBoer.

The Sun’s Case Keefer contributed to this report.


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