After stunning the hockey world last year making the Cup Finals against Washington, the Golden Knights are 2-4 and haven’t scored more than 2 goals yet this season. Offense has been scarce on Vegas, Karlsson, (William not Erik) who netted 43 last season has yet to light the lamp and only has 4 assists. (2nd on team) One thing has been consistent and that’s been Fleury. Injuries, key roster losses, and a suspension have handcuffed Vegas. Injuries have been the big factor, Paul Stastny out for a couple months with a lower body injury, Derek Engelland is out day to day, and the Knights have started without speedy Alex Tuch, who is close to returning to the line-up and Nate Schmidt serving a suspension for P.E.D.’s.
Well here we are almost 2 weeks into the new season, and Vegas doesn’t have the spark like they did last year. David Perron and James Neal are gone, how many goals did Neal get? How many points did Perron produce? One if not both of these guys would’ve complimented the bringing of Max Pacioretty by trade. Maybe the money was a factor but we will never know, this is a very different team than the one from last year.
Watching a couple of games this year, the offense is only a step away from being its old self. They’ve had great saves to prevent goals and have been hitting the post like class bell in high school! This is a game of inches, an inch to the left or the right can have big effects in a game. Changing the angle of the shot can send the puck any which way, tipped, off a skate, or a body. I know I’ve had this happen to me as a goalie growing up!!!! Currently sitting sixth in the Pacific, it’s a good thing to start with issues this early in the year, there’s plenty of time to right the ship. Gerard Gallant is a great system coach, and a amazing players coach. He will ring in the Knights and get them on the right path, and Fleury will still be amazing in the pipes, granted he’s healthy all year….
Jonathan Marchessault is leading the team in scoring with 6 points, 2 goals and 4 assists, then Karlsson with 4 points, Erik Haula has 1 goal as does Pacioretty. So yeah that offense needs to get going before they get too far behind. Puck possession on the power play needs to more work, and more shots usually helps too. Dumb penalties haven’t helped either, leading to the 88% save percentage Fleury has right now. The penalty kill is only at 73.3% which is 9th worst in the league now, and 7th worst in goals against with 19.
Once key players return to the line-up it’s only a matter of time before all is well in Vegas, and I suspect McPhee may make a move or two before the new year. They’re only 1 game back so there’s no need to hit the panic button yet!