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Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knights Find Themselves In Scarily Familiar Spot At Break

Unless you were a member of the Colorado Avalanche, you likely want to forget the 2021-22 NHL season. It was another COVID-19-impacted season, with…



Unless you were a member of the Colorado Avalanche, you likely want to forget the 2021-22 NHL season. It was another COVID-19-impacted season, with several games being moved, and players missing games due to the illness. The Vegas Golden Knights want to forget last season for another reason, as it was the first time in franchise history, the VGK missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Injuries, COVID, and inconsistency plagued the VGK all season, and it cost head coach Peter DeBoer his job in the offseason. But when you look at the current state of the Golden Knights, a lot of those same issues are creeping up on them once more.

Without captain Mark Stone, the Golden Knights have limped into the All-Star break, losing eight of their last ten games. They have struggled to score, scoring three or fewer goals in eight of their last ten games. Several teams are gaining ground on the VGK in the standings.

Here's where the Golden Knights currently stand in the NHL playoff picture at the All-Star break.

Western Conference Standings

Pacific Divison

  • Seattle Kraken 29-15-5, 63 points
  • Vegas Golden Knights 29-18-4, 62 points
  • Los Angeles Kings* 28-18-6, 62 points

Central Division

  • Dallas Stars 28-13-10, 66 points
  • Winnipeg Jets 31-19-1, 63 points
  • Minnesota Wild 27-17-4, 58 points

Wild Card

  • Edmonton Oilers 28-18-4, 60 points
  • Colorado Avalanche 27-18-3, 57 points

  • Calgary Flames 24-17-9, 57 points
  • Nashville Predators 24-18-6, 54 points
  • Blues 49 points, Canucks 43 points, Sharks 41 points, Coyotes 38 points, Ducks 37 points, Blackhawks 34 points

Note: The Los Angeles Kings have one game remaining before the All-Star Break on Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Golden Knights are right in the midst of a playoff hunt with the Kings, and surprise team of the year, Kraken. Both Alberta teams, the Oilers and Flames, are pressuring the VGK hard in the Pacific. As it stands, the Golden Knights are still in a comfortable spot heading into the All-Star Break

But when you take a look at last year's standings at the pause for the All-Star break, things look strikingly similar. And when you remember how last season ended for the VGK, things start to look grim.

Last season at the All-Star Break (2/4/2022)

Note: Underlines signify teams that made it into the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Pacific Division

  • Vegas Golden Knights: 27-16-3, 57 points
  • Los Angeles Kings: 24-17-7, 55 points
  • Anaheim Ducks: 23-16-9, 55 points

Central Division

  • Colorado Avalanche 32-8-4, 68 points
  • Nashville Predators 28-14-4 60 points
  • Minnesota Wild 28-10-3, 59 points

Wild Card Race

  • St. Louis Blues 26-13-5, 57 points
  • Calgary Flames 23-13-6, 52 points
  • Edmonton Oilers 23-16-3, 49 points
  • Dallas Stars 23-18-2, 48 points
  • San Jose Sharks 22-20-4, 48 points
  • Vancouver Canucks 20-20-6, 46 points
  • Winnipeg Jets 18-17-7, 43 points
  • Chicago Blackhawks 16-23-7, 39 points 
  • Seattle Kraken 15-27-5, 34 points
  • Arizona Coyotes 11-30-4, 26 points

Last season was the year of misleading standings, as several teams were having their games moved around due to COVID issues. This left some teams. like the Golden Knights, to play far more games than some, like the St. Louis Blues, who had to have multiple games rescheduled.

But at the end of the season, all 32 teams finished their 82-game schedules. 16 moved on to play more games, the Golden Knights not one of them.

2021-22 Final Western Conference Standings

Pacific Division

  • Calgary Flames 50-21-11, 111 points
  • Edmonton Oilers 49-27-6, 104 points
  • Los Angeles Kings 44-27-11, 99 points

Central Division

  • Colorado Avalanche 56-19-7 119 points
  • Minnesota Wild 53-22-7, 113 points
  • St. Louis Blues 49-22-11, 109 points

Wild Card

  • Dallas Stars 46-30-6, 98 points
  • Nashville Predators 45-30-7, 97 points

  • Vegas Golden Knights 43-31-8, 94 points

There are countless things different from last year's Golden Knights team to this year's team. For instance, Nolan Patrick was the team's first-line center in their final game before the All-Star Break last season, and Jack Eichel had still never played a game with the team at that point.

But this similar outlook on the standings has to be a motivator for the Golden Knights not to go down the same path they went down last season. 

Golden Knights Lineup v Buffalo 2/1/2023

Max Pacioretty- Nolan Patrick – Mark Stone

Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson– Reilly Smith

Mattias Janmark- Nicolas Roy- Evgenii Dadonov

William Carrier- Brett Howden- Keegan Kolesar

Brayden McNabb- Alex Pietrangelo

Shea Theodore- Daniil Miromanov

Ben Hutton- Kaeden Korczak

Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit

Jack Eichel, Alec Martinez, Zach Whitecloud, Nicolas Hague Chandler Stephenson (COVID), Dylan Coghlan (COVID), Ben Hutton (scratched), Michael Amadio (scratched), Daniil Miromanov (scratched).

It's astonishing how much of a change a year can make.

Golden Knights Lineup v Islanders 1/28

Paul Cotter- Jack Eichel- Jonathan Marchessault

Reilly Smith- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio

Will Carrier- Chandler Stephenson- Phil Kessel

Brett Howden- Nicolas Roy- Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague- Ben Hutton

Logan Thompson/Adin Hill

Mark Stone, Daniil Miromanov, Zach Whitecloud, Nolan Patrick, Robin Lehner, Shea Weber.

The Golden Knights will return from their All-Star Break on Feb. 7th against the Nashville Predators on the road at 5:00 p.m.