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Krepps: 4 Reasons The Golden Knights Are Off To Their Best Start Ever

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Vegas Golden Knights preseason v Colorado Avalanche (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)
Vegas Golden Knights goal celebration (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Vegas Golden Knights are first in the NHL a month into the season. They have a 12-2 record and have won a total of eight straight games. Everything seems to be clicking for the team, and with three more wins, they can break the team’s winning streak record.

What has worked so well for the VGK? Here are our thoughts at Vegas Hockey Now.

Proving Themselves

I think the biggest reason why the Golden Knights are off to such a good start this season stems from just how bad last season was. Everyone was either hurt or inconsistent last season. Heading into training camp this year, the Golden Knights had oodles of personnel itching to have bounce-back seasons.

Logan Thompson wanted to prove that he can be a starter. William Karlsson wanted a bounce-back season. Phil Kessel wanted to show that he can still play.

“I think Karly has been playing tremendous to start the year now. If me and Reilly (Smith) can gold onto pucks a little bit longer and come to each other, it will make our lives easier for sure,” said Marchessault on Karlsson.

Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, and Reilly Smith all wanted to bounce back from injuries. Even Bruce Cassidy had a chip on his shoulder, being let go by the Boston Bruins.

So far, everyone on this list has done just that.

Eichel Everybody

The biggest player looking for a “prove yourself” season on the Golden Knights has easily been Jack Eichel. Acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in a blockbuster deal, Eichel is now playing in his first full 82-game season since 2018-19.

“He had a three-month surgery when he got traded to us. Got surgery and then was back in three months, so I don’t think it was easy. Then when he came back, everybody else went out.  There were 7-8 guys out of the lineup when he came back, so a lot was on his shoulders. So now we got the whole band back together kind of, and we are starting to see the benefits that he provides when you have depth in the lineup,” said captain Mark Stone on Eichel

With his neck repaired and a full offseason to recover, Eichel has 15 points in 14 games with the Golden Knights. He’s been fitting in great with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson on the first line. His overtime play netted two of the team’s wins on their current eight-game streak as well.

As arguably the flashiest and most talented player in Golden Knights history, Eichel has lived up to the hype in 2022-23, and he has been a huge part of the team’s early success.

Contributions From Everywhere

But it’s not just Eichel. The Golden Knights are getting contributions all throughout their lineup, especially after Cassidy re-arranged the training camp lines. Only three skaters on the Golden Knight’s active roster have not scored a goal this season (Alec Martinez, Alex Pietrangelo, and Brayden McNabb).

The team has had extraordinary performances from the fourth line of Keegan Kolesar, Nicolas Roy, and Will Carrier recently. The Eichel line and the Misfit line of Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault, and William Karlsson have been driving offense well.

“We have a really good lineup with a lot of good players. Obviously, last year we had so many injuries, so that was different, but we always knew how many good players we had,” said Nicolas Roy.

The defense as a unit has looked solid, as they have four players in the top 20 in the NHL with blocking shots. Alec Martinez leads the charge with 61 blocked shots in 14 games. The defense has kept opposing teams to the outside and made the lives of Logan Thompson and Adin Hill easier.

But when needed, both Thompson and Hill have been great. The duo is second in the league in save percentage with a .928%.

Typically, when good teams are winning, everyone is buying in, and that’s exactly what the Golden Knights are doing. They’re finding ways to win too, which will be crucial come playoff time.

“It’s important to find different ways to win games. You’re not always going to score four or five goals. You’re gonna play good defensive structured teams and good goalies. So you need to find different ways to win. It’s been good to see that we’ve been doing it, and we’ve been getting contributions everywhere,” said Eichel

What’s Next

We’ll see how long the Golden Knights can sustain this success. A big concern that I have is that they may be peaking too early in the season. A lot of the good teams in the NHL that the VGK will have to face in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are finding their footing.

I’m sure the VGK would much rather take the top spot in the league as opposed to, say, the St. Louis Blues, who have lost eight straight. But my point here is that the VGK could be using up all their energy just trying to prove themselves again.

“Just because you’re winning games and having success doesn’t mean you don’t go back to the board and keep learning. You take the things we didn’t do as well, look at those as a group, and work on those in practice,” said defenseman Zach Whitecloud.

Outside of this, I’m still not sold on the goaltending. Cassidy’s systems have been great for both inexperienced goalies. But I’m not sure if they can last a full 82-game season.

I also still think the VGK needs to add a forward or two. I didn’t mention the third line of Phil Kessel, Brett Howden, and Michael Amadio in my praises because they have been bad; I just think a contending team needs to do better.

The Golden Knights play the Buffalo Sabres next on Thursday at 4 p.m. It will be the second return of Eichel in Buffalo as the VGK look for a perfect road trip and nine-straight wins.

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

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??!!
The LEAFS are in TOUGH against the DEVILS tomorrow night!!
As a LEAF fan, I would be satisfied with just ONE point or even just a ONE GOAL LOSS!!
SURPRISE SURPRISE!!
The result was BETTER THAN EXPECTED!!!
If the LEAFS can beat the DEVILS they should be able to beat thew WILD!!
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!!
The LEAFS are 10-5-5: NOT BAD but their OVERTIME record is AWFUL!!
They could EASILY be 12-5-3!!
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

For TWO great athletes from the ARIZONA AREA: PAIGE SPIRANAC and AUSTON MATTHEWS:
BLUES FOR THE DESERTS OF WESTERN AMERICA!!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAKOt4G7kLg&list=OLAK5uy_k7M-0PcT5vtPSusxNDlUYOkkVOJEwZ5vM&index=3

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