Friday, 19 October, 2018

An Inside Look at Capturing the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Season

Jets land in NHL West finals Winnipeg Jets Advance, Scheifele Sets NHL Record
Edward Snyder | 12 May, 2018, 20:41

The Knights, whose hometown of Sin City stands in stark contrast to the humble streets of Canada's Winnipeg, are playing with house money after becoming the third expansion team in National Hockey League history to make the playoffs in its first season.

Alex Tuch of the Vegas Golden Knights shoots in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round at T-Mobile Arena. Listening to too much hockey media would lead you to believe that the league was planning on awarding the Stanley Cup to the victor of Jets-Predators series, but things won't be quite that easy for the Jets. Comparing how other expansion teams have fared with the Golden Knights' experience isn't exactly apples-to-apples.

The Jets next face the red-hot expansion Golden Knights for a spot in the NHL Stanley Cup finals with game one of the best-of-seven series Saturday night. Eliminated Minnesota in five, Nashville in seven. The trio has combined for 16 goals and 39 points in 12 playoff games so far. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck has had his moments when he has struggled in the playoffs, but manages to be there when his team needs him most. The next-closest in goals for the Jets is center Paul Stastny, who has accounted for six goals and eight assists.

Sophomore sniper Patrik Laine was glad he wasn't on his way to Finland.

8 - When Vegas general manager George McPhee assembled the Golden Knights, his plan was to select players on short-term contracts so the franchise wouldn't be hampered by long-term albatrosses.

DEFENCE: Blue-liners have contributed 10 goals and 15 assists, led by Dustin Byfuglien's four goals, nine assists ... Winnipeg and Vegas each enter this series having generated more than 60 even-strength shot attempts for per 60 minutes played in the playoffs, which suggests we could be in for some high-event hockey. The Jets have allowed eight power-play goals on 31 chances, a penalty-kill rate of 74.2 per cent.

Vegas won the Pacific Division by eight points, a cakewalk in today's three-point National Hockey League era.




For a spot in the Stanley Cup finals "Winnipeg" will compete with "Vegas".

"They got a great team, all the pieces are together and it just feels awesome", Fisette said. Their combination of shooting (7.69) and save percentages (96.51) is a playoff-best 104.2. In the playoffs, the 25-year-old has continued his outstanding play through 10 games, recording four goals and six assists. The Carolina Panthers went 7-9 in 1995 for the NFL's best mark, while the 1994 Florida Panthers previously held the NHL's best expansion record at 33-34-17. After game three's overtime victory against the Sharks, Karlsson told the media that the players call themselves the "Golden Misfits". Despite playing the fewest games, Vegas leads the playoffs with 204 blocked shots and 106 takeaways and has the lowest giveaway total (83).

The best expansion team in baseball was the Los Angeles Angels, who went 70-91 in 1961.

Winnipeg is averaging 3.4 goals per game in its past five games (the team's a flawless 0-0 SU during that span).

Marc-Andre Fleury (.932 save percentage and 2.10 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Vegas.

Vrana and Djoos were expected to appear in Game 1 at Tampa Bay, perhaps joined by forwards Chandler Stephenson and Travis Boyd, who skated together on the third line at practice Wednesday.

However, since taking over for Phillipe Grubauer in Game 3 of the first round, Brayden Holtby has been nothing short of spectacular, reclaiming his rightful spot in Washington's creases.

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