No one, outside of the believers located in Southern Nevada, gave the Vegas Golden Knights a shot to win the Stanley Cup this time last year. The Golden Knights had injury issues and had just completed an 0-2-2 road trip leading to the All-Star break. A strong final two and a half months of the season led to a Pacific Division championship and the Golden Knights went 16-6 in the playoffs to win the Stanley Cup.
Fast forward to this year, the Golden Knights are going into the All-Star break as an under-the-radar team. The Vancouver Canucks are the darlings of the Pacific Division and rightfully so. They have earned it. The Edmonton Oilers are on a 15-game winning streak. The Boston Bruins are having a strong regular season. The Toronto Maple Leafs are giving additional hope for Canada to win their first Stanley Cup since 1993.
No one is talking about the Golden Knights. No one is talking about last season’s Stanley Cup champions having a shot to repeat.
MoneyPuck.com is not a believer. The Golden Knights are No. 15 in their power rankings.
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) January 26, 2024
MoneyPuck.com did not even list the Golden Knights chances of winning the Stanley Cup on the graph below. The self-destructing Los Angeles Kings have a higher chance to win the Stanley Cup, as do the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg Jets.
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) January 27, 2024
DraftKings Sports Book has the Golden Knights as the eight betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup at plus-1400.
This might be the proper time to bring up the amount of injuries the Golden Knights have sustained thus far. The Golden Knights have lost 235 man games lost due to injury which leads the league. For comparison, the red-hot Edmonton Oilers have lost just 49 man games due to injury. Take away Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl from that team and see how well they do.
NHL injury summary through 26 January pic.twitter.com/i8hJJ2OatP
— NHLInjuryViz (@NHLInjuryViz) January 27, 2024
Injuries happened last year and look how things turned out. William Karlsson, Jack Eichel, William Carrier, and Shea Theodore are expected back before the regular season ends. The Golden Knights only can get better after the All-Star break.
Remember how the season started for the Golden Knights? Despite being without defensemen Zach Whitecloud, the Golden Knights started the season 11-0-1 and did not lose their first game in regulation until Nov. 5.
The Golden Knights are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games without the services of Karlsson, Eichel, Carrier, and Theodore. Adin Hill just made his return after being sidelined for nearly a month.
The Golden Knights have the other 31 NHL teams right where they want them.