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Golden Knights Analysis

Who Will Win a Stanley Cup First, Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid? (2023)

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Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup

As the consensus top two picks in the 2015 NHL Draft, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel have been compared to each other before they were even in the National Hockey League.

Similar to Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the two future superstars were pinned up against each other as top young players that the NHL would market around as they went first and second overall.

It has been eight years since then, and Connor McDavid now has over 700 points in his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers. Things are a little bit different on Jack Eichel’s end. After a rift between him and the Buffalo Sabres regarding injuries to his neck, Eichel is now a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

But one thing hasn’t changed; both players still don’t have their names on the Stanley Cup.

One year ago today, the Golden Knights made the blockbuster trade to acquire Eichel. Shortly after, we asked the question of which player between McDavid and Eichel would win a Stanley Cup first.

Our analysis then had us favoring Eichel. But we were proven wrong as McDavid, and the Oilers reached the Western Conference Finals in 2022. Alas, it was a completely different star centerman in the NHL, Nathan Mackinnon, who won the Cup with the Colorado Avalanche. So here we are again.

The Case For Connor McDavid

I think it is safe to say that the collective hockey media has run out of words to describe the play of Connor McDavid. In just 11 games this season, he has 12 goals, 12 assists, and 24 points.

That’s on pace for a whopping 178 points season. Only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux have ever scored more than that in a single season. Both greats have multiple Stanley Cups.

There’s no question McDavid is the better overall player in comparison to Eichel. But that’s not what we are asking here. In his eight-year NHL career, McDavid has made the playoffs four times with the Oilers. Only two of those times have the Oilers won a round.

Last season was a step in the right direction as the Oilers made it to the Western Conference Finals but lost to the Avalanche. It is highly likely that the Oilers will be a playoff team in 2023 again. With 55 points in 37 career playoff games, McDavid has not been the problem. It’s the team around him.

The Oilers’ Shot at the Stanley Cup

Since they drafted McDavid, the Oilers have slowly done a better job of addressing some of their roster needs. They have added scoring depth with guys like Zach Hyman and Evander Kane and switched up their goaltending this season by adding Jack Campbell.

On paper, the Oilers look like a Stanley Cup Contending team. They have two of the best players in the game, McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, at the helm too.

My biggest issue with them is on defense. Outside of Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie, the Oilers have a weaker blue line with a lot of defensemen who struggle in their own zone.

Still, I think this year’s Oilers team is just too talented not to take what they did last year a step further.

They’ll have to go through tough teams like the Calgary Flames, defending Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche, and likely the Golden Knights. But to give you an idea of how I feel about the Oil, they were my pick for Stanley Cup Champions at the beginning of this season.

The Case For Jack Eichel

Given that he was on a struggling Sabres team for six years, Eichel has never even played a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After joining the VGK last season, injuries and inconsistency caused them to miss the playoffs for the first time in team history.

Still, in the Golden Knight’s six years of existence, they have seven playoff series wins, which is more than a lot of teams can account for in recent history.

In his first full season, not only with the Golden Knights but with any team, as he is coming off his neck surgery, Eichel looks great. He has 13 points in 12 games and is on pace for 88 points this season as the Golden Knights’ top center.

Last season might have been an enigma for the Golden Knights, who are built to contend for a Stanley Cup. Eichel may be the missing piece the team needs to get them over the hump as the first modern expansion team to win a Stanley Cup.

The Golden Knight’s Shot at the Stanley Cup

Off to a record 10-2 start, the Golden Knights currently sit atop the NHL standings alongside the Boston Bruins. Last year was a strange season with injuries, and now with a healthy Eichel, Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, as well as Bruce Cassidy behind the bench, they appear to be back as contenders.

The comparison to the Oilers is almost flipped as the Golden Knights have one of the strongest defensive corps in the league and weaker offensive depth as opposed to the Oilers.

I have two big concerns with the Golden Knights. The first is goaltending. With Robin Lehner out for the season, Logan Thompson, Adin Hill, and in the near future, Laurent Brossoit are now the team’s goalies. All three are unproven as starters in the NHL but have been great early on under Cassidy’s systems.

The biggest concern for me is scoring depth. Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mattias Janmark all left in the offseason, and all the cap-strapped Golden Knights did to replace them was bring in Phil Kessel.

With Chandler Stephenson on the first line and the Misfits reunited, the Golden Knight’s top-six is currently top-heavy, and I would expect them to try and fix this at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline

Consensus

With the run they went on last season, I think the Oilers are closer than a lot of people think. But based on playoff success and the season they are off to, I wouldn’t count the Golden Knights out, either.

I would love to have this question answered in a Western Conference Final, but for this season, I am going with my gut and picking McDavid and the Oilers to win the cup first.

The key word there is first. I think it is very likely that we see both players win a Cup in their careers.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights as editor-in-chief for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for The Boulder City Review, RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now. You can follow him on Twitter @OKrepps85

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Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

JACK HANDS DOWN!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

The GOLDEN KNIGHTS are LOOKING GOOD!!
As are NEW JERSEY and BOSTON!!
I am sure that NAZEM KADRI is wishing that he were traded to the DEVILS or the BRUINS right now!!
I am wondering how many hockey fans know that the original name of the LAS VEGAS hockey club was going to be: THE BLACK KNIGHTS??!!
Almost 100% of NHL hockey players are millionaires ( I think that EVANDER KANE with his gambling problem is an exception).
I will be one in 2027 DESPITE:
ONLY a $420,000 lifetime gross income for 40 years (1987-2027)!!
Only about 60% of that is EARNED GROSS INCOME!!
NO INHERITANCE or LOTTERY VICTORIES!!
LESSON: Get an EXCELLENT financial planner EARLY!!!!
It would be interesting to point out that my lifetime gross income is what is 60% of what an NHL hockey player would make for just ONE year at minimum wage!!
A GREAT milestone for JOHN TAVARES!!
400 goals is like hitting 700 home runs in baseball!!
ALBERT PUJOLS from the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS would not be able to beat my 45:53 10KM run for males 230 pounds + BUT I could NOT even hit ONE home run in the MAJORS!!
I did hit about 15 home runs in SOFTBALL for the PURE TOUCH SERVICES (carpet and upholstery cleaning) for AUGUST of 1990 and 1991!!
I got the MVP both years!!
Sorry folks.
the PURE TOUCH SERVICES COMPANY in KITCHENER, ONTARIO.
A HAT TRICK OF DISALLOWED GOALS FOR ONE TEAM????!!!
This MUST be a FIRST!!!!!!!!!!
The LEAFS are now 2-1-2 against the THREE best teams in the league!!!
11-5-5 overall!!!
SUNDIN was GREAT!! SANDIN will be GREAT!! SYNDIN, SONDIN, SINDIN, SENDIN and SAINDIN will be GREAT later on!!!
MARNER: Just another FIVE games for consecutive points and he will have the record for most consecutive points for games for a MAPLE LEAF!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

THE FLORIDA PANTHERS.
THE ARIZONA COYOTES.
THE COLORADO AVALANCHE.
THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.
THE UTAH JAZZ.
THE NEVADA GOLDEN KNIGHTS?????!!!!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

BORJE SALMING RIP.
How many people remember the sign at MAPLE LEAF GARDENS: BORJE WILL NEVER BORE YA!!??

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

I was a competitive runner and made the EXACT same mistake that ARIELLE did!
Unfortunately, I am suffering from permanent consequences.
I have modified my exercise program substantially.
Instead of 20 minute to two hour runs a day and one hour workouts in the gym, I am doing light weight lifting, running on the spot and exercises I learned at my retirement home for 33 minutes every day early in the morning.
I combine that with long walks.
I go get a MEDIUM ENDORPHIN HIGH rather than an EXTREME ENDORPHIN HIGH when I was competing.
I was a GUINEA PIG for a company that tried to cut costs for janitorial position for a VERY LARGE AREA.
MULTIPLE janitors should have been hired!
I developed SEVERE TENNIS ELBOW after 10 months of work.
ARIELLE used BENGAY (33% METHYL SALICYLATE) whereas I used KALAYA (11% METHYL SALICYLATE).
The directions were VAGUE!
DON’t USE THIS MEDICATION WITH A HEATING PAD should have been replaced with: DON’T APPLY BEFORE HEAVY EXERCISE!!
APPLY THE CREAM AFTER THE EXERCISE AND COOLING DOWN PERIOD!!
https://scienceline.org/2007/08/ask-cooper-bengaydeath/#:~:text=If%20you%20were%20to%20then,brands%20that%20contain%20methyl%20salicylate.

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

Now that the NFL CHARGERS have left SAN DIEGO, I believe that it makes more sense for the SHARKS to move from SAN JOSE to SAN DIEGO and join the PADRES!!
BTW, what about KANSAS CITY, PITTSBURGH, CINCINNATI and ST. LOUIS joining the NBA??!!
BOSTON in the NFL??!!
HOUSTON, MILWAUKEE, BALTIMORE, CINCINNATI and (rejoining) CLEVELAND and KANSAS CITY in the NHL??!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

JOHN TORTORELLA: AUGUST, 2020:
Toronto was GREAT!! We SUCKED!!
He should have same the same thing on NOVEMBER, 2, 2022!!
The FLYERS have a MORGAN that did NOT play.
The LEAFS have a MORGAN that DID play!
The FLYERS have a GOALIE that has a last name that starts with: SANS!
The LEAFS have a GOALIE that has a last name that starts with SAMS!!
SAMS won ALTHOUGH he was BRUTAL on the FLYER’S second goal!!
The FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER SAMSONOVA could have stopped that shot!!
TORTORELLA likes the word: SUCK(ED)!!
He used it quite often in an overtime loss to the BLUE JACKETS earlier this year!!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

Sorry. The LEAF goal net came off THREE times against the WILD-NOT TWO!!
RE: MAPLE LEAFS NOVEMBER 26, 2022:
It was nice to see CHRISTINA AGUILERA again!
I remember that she made her singing debut in 1992 at the STANLEY CUP finals.
She is a HOT blonde BUT NOT as hot as PAIGE SPIRANAC!!
DESMITH??!!
I wonder if there is anyone in the world with the last name of DEJONES??!!
A MALGIN and a MALKIN this night!
MALGIN wins this time!!
That would be like a JONES on one team and a JONAS on the other!!
MARNER: Just TWO more games to tie EDDIE and DARRYL: THREE more for the LEAF record for consecutive games with at least a point!!
Do it for BORJE MITCH!!
13-5-5 is MORE THAN JUST SOLID in mt books!!
GO LEAFS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

In a few days, it will be the 22nd anniversary of the BIGGEST COLLAPSE IN MAPLE LEAF HISTORY for ONE GAME!!!
The LEAFS led 5-0 after TWO periods and LOST the game 6-5 in OVERTIME against ST. LOUIS!!
I can ensure you that the LEAFS were NOT celebrating TIE DOMI’S HAT TRICK that night!!
Exactly a month later, 33 years ago, the LEAFS made their BIGGEST COMEBACK EVER for ONE GAME!
Down 6-1 against BOSTON, in the second period, they came back to win 7-6 on WENDEL CLARK’S OVERTIME GOAL!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

The LEAFS are now 14-5-5!!
DEVILS: a 13 game wining streak.
PENGUINS: a 5 game wining streak.
RED WINGS: a 4 game winning streak.
THE LEAFS BROKE ALL OF THEIR STREAKS!!!!!!!!!!!
MARNER: Just TWO more games to go with points in a game and he will have the LEAF record for most consecutive points in games for a MALE LEAF!!
The Devils and the KRAKEN are the ONLY HOTTER teams than the LEAFS over their last TEN GAMES!!!!
Their 7-1-2 gets the edge over the BRUINS 8-2 because so far, they are 1-0 against the BRUINS this year!!
The LOUSY SHARKS are up next.
The LEAFS should be 15-5-5 after that game!!
GO LEAFS GO!!

Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

For HUNGARIAN NHL hockey players who like JAZZ (FRANK BANHAM):
HUNGARIAN GYPSY BLUES!!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGt8vcGsYfk&list=OLAK5uy_k7M-0PcT5vtPSusxNDlUYOkkVOJEwZ5vM&index=7

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