The narrative could have easily been, “Injuries to the defense plague the Vegas Golden Knights early in the season.” Kaedan Korczak, Ben Hutton, and Brayden Pachal have done a remarkable job in the absence of Alex Pietrangelo, Zach Whitecloud, and Alec Martinez.
The next narrative could also have been, “Stanley Cup hangover slows the Golden Knights’ start.” The team is a perfect 6-0 in the new season and set the record for best start after winning a Stanley Cup.
Chandler Stephenson, Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, William Karlsson, and Shea Theodore are all on pace for 82 points this season. We are just six games in, the likelihood of five players having that type of scoring output is slim, but it is a good start nevertheless.
Adin Hill and Logan Thompson have been strong and could be one of the best goaltending duos when the dust settles. The biggest hurdle for Hill and Thompson is health. Early on that has not been an issue.
The Golden Knights rank No. 9 overall on the power play which is a nice improvement from No. 18 overall last season. The Golden Knights are also No. 9 overall on the penalty kill.
It is hard to imagine the Golden Knights getting better, but Pietrangelo appears ready to rejoin the team this week.
The week ahead
The Golden Knights have a three-game week including the team’s first back-to-back. Can the Golden Knights be 9-0 by Saturday night? It is not completely out of cards.
Tuesday vs. Philadelphia Flyers: Trap game alert! The Flyers are 3-1-1 and not performing like a team on the rebuild is supposed to. Tuesday is the first game back from a short road trip and we all know the first game back can be challenging.
Friday vs. Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks gave the Golden Knights a game for two periods Saturday night. The Golden Knights outclassed the Blackhawks in the third period. Assuming no further injuries, the Blackhawks have a tougher task in order to defeat the Golden Knights with Pietrangelo in the lineup.
Saturday vs. Los Angeles Kings: This is the first back-to-back game for the Golden Knights. It is also a back-to-back game for the Los Angeles Kings who play in Arizona on Friday.