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Vegas Golden Knights Off To Strong Start In Return

The Dads are proud. In addition, so are the players and the vibes in the locker room are high. As it is the annual fathers’ road trip with the team, the Vegas Golden Knights returned from the break in top form. They have won their first two games since returning to game action. This is a totally different team and here’s an analysis of the Vegas Golden Knights dominance early on.

Vegas Golden Knights Return From Break Strong

Prior to the All-Star break, the Golden Knights lost their final four games. In addition, they were all on the road which is uncharacteristic given how good of a road team they have been all season long. The break came at a price as captain Mark Stone went down with a lower-body injury. He would go on to have back surgery and is now out for the season. Frustration had set in and nothing was going right for this team. In addition, the gap they had for the division lead has dwindled down. However, the break did the team justice and Vegas is off to a strong start since returning.

Vegas Strong Since Return

Here we will dive into a Vegas Golden Knights analysis of how they have been since the return. They have begun the break on a road trip where they played the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild. The tides turned for the club. Prior to the break, they outscored 13-5 in the final four games. However, the last two games have seen the team burst to outscore their opponents 10-2.

An Analysis Of The Underlying Metrics

Here is the Vegas Golden Knights analysis of the return so far. There were so many positive things to take away from this start. Production came from all four lines and the group was firing on all cylinders. Alex Pietrangelo paved the way with two goals of his own, and depth players in Paul Cotter, Michael Amadio and Nicolas Roy all scored goals. But the biggest thing for a boost of confidence was Jack Eichel. For the first time in nine games, he scored a goal and it was beautiful. With Stone out, this is the one guy they need to get going and lead the way.

Vegas dominated at 5v5. Seven of their ten goals came in this area of play. In addition, they dominated the xGF% with 61.70%. However, the possession metrics were below 50% (49.20%). A real key takeaway from these two games was their level of play in the high-danger area of the ice. Defensively they did not give an inch, only allowing six shots from the area. They fired 19 shots, scored three goals, and had a whopping 65.63 HDCF%.

Vegas Goaltending Was Stellar

Our next Vegas Golden Knights analysis is how the goalies performed. The goaltending was sensational. Hill stopped 16 of 17 shots and finished with a .941 save percentage. Given the quality of the chances, he finished the game with 0.95 goals saved above expected. The next night belonged to Thompson. He was rock solid in net as he finished with a 1.04 gsax. Minnesota threw a lot of quality shots on net and Thompson rocked a .958 save percentage. As good as he was, the game came at a price.

The Return Came At A Price

The injury news gets worse for the club. Logan Thompson went down with a non-contact injury in their game against the Minnesota Wild. He did not return to the game and the extent of the injury remains uncertain. Thompson is having a stellar campaign as the Calder Trophy favourite has thrived all season long. He owns a 2.66 goals against average, .914 save percentage, and a -2.6 goals saved above expected. For the club aiming to make a big playoff push, it will have to rely on Adin Hill and Laurent Brossoit, who will more than likely be called up.

The team returns home on Super Bowl Sunday to take on the Anaheim Ducks. With the Seattle Kraken, Los Angeles Kings,ย and Edmonton Oilers all within three points of them, home cooking is great for keeping the momentum going.




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