Our Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020 notes that this team had a solid regular season last year. This Vegas Golden Knights Preview observes that their 93-point year was good enough for the third Pacific Division playoff spot. In the opening round of the playoffs, the Knights drew the San Jose Sharks. Vegas saw their postseason end in an almost unfathomable fashion. After going up 3-0 in game seven, they allowed four goals on a five-minute Sharks’ powerplay. They would tie the game up, but would ultimately lose in OT. Our 2019 – 2020 Vegas Golden Knights season preview looks at whether the team looks to be in line to make a third consecutive playoff appearance.
Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020: Goaltending
Marc-Andre Fleury has continued to be solid in net even as he faces his 35th birthday. He posted another terrific year last season. Fleury played in 61 games while turning away .913 percent of the shots he faced. He allowed 2.51 goals per game and compiled a 35-21-5 record. While he saw his save percentage dip from the year prior, Fleury is as reliable as they come in the cage. He is still capable of handling a large workload, and every night he gets the nod, he gives Vegas a chance to win. Look for him to put together another solid season in his Hall of Fame career.
Fleury’s backup will once again be Malcolm Subban. Our Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020 observes that to this point in his career, Subban has been a little unremarkable. He started a career-high 20 games last year but finished with less than stellar stats. He only won eight games and allowed 2.93 goals against per game. He finished with a .902 save percentage as well. Subban hasn’t proven that he can handle a larger workload in the NHL. This, coupled with Fleury continuing to be solid, makes it look like the split in games will work out similar to last season. With this being the case, the Golden Knights should be very solid in net.
Vegas is very deep upfront. They won’t rely on a single player to drive their offense. During the 2018-2019 season, no player posted 60 points. Their offense came from a large number of players with seven forwards finishing with 40 or more points. Last year, Jonathan Marchessault led the Golden Knights in points with 59, including 25 goals. Over the Golden Knights first two seasons, he’s formed great chemistry with linemates William Karlsson and Reilly Smith. Karlsson and Smith finished second and third on the team in scoring respectively. Karlsson had 24 goals and 32 assists. Smith finished with 19 goals and 24 assists.
Our Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020 observes that Vegas also has a very solid second line. It will be centered by Paul Stastny who missed significant time to injury last year. However, h was among the club’s best players when healthy. Stastny posted 42 points in 50 games. The second line will also feature Mark Stone, who was acquired at the trade deadline last year. Stone is by far Vegas most skilled player. He had 33 goals and 40 assists while splitting time between Ottawa and Vegas. He will likely be among the Golden Knights’ top scoring players. The second line will have Max Pacioretty on left wing. He accumulated 40 points in his first year as a Golden Knight.
The Golden Knights also have a third line that will be very effective. Cody Eakin had 41 points last season. He will be instrumental to the club’s penalty kill. Along with Eakin, Alex Tuch will play a large role for Vegas. Last season he had 20 goals and 32 assists in 74 games. He is still young and will likely improve upon these totals.
Golden Knights Preview – Defense
While the blueline will be the weakest part of Vegas lineup, they still look to be at least average if not a bit better. The biggest upgrade from last year will be having Nat Schmidt for the entire season. Last year, Schmidt was suspended for the first 20 games due to a positive PED test. He had 30 points in 61 games and led the team in ice time while. Along with Schmidt, Shea Theodore and Brayden McNabb will be important pieces for Vegas. Theodore had 12 goals and 25 assists while playing over 20 minutes a night. McNabb had 16 points on the year.
Our Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020 finds that Vegas could look to use Jimmy Schuldt a decent amount this year. He played one game with the Golden Knights last season after finishing his senior year at St. Cloud State. With St. Cloud State, Schuldt posted 35 points in his 39 games. In his single NHL game, he managed an assist. We think that he could spend significant time on the ice this year.
Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020: Outlook
Our Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020 finds that this club is very solid from front to back. Fleury provides a great backbone for a team that is deep both at forward and defense. They have a plethora of players that can score and get hot at any moment. Of any Pacific team, the Golden Knights may be the most complete club. Look for Vegas to make their third-straight playoff appearance in their third overall season.
Vegas Golden Knights Preview 2019 – 2020: Prediction
Record: 48-25-9,105 points
Finish: 1st in the Pacific Division.
NHL 2019 Preview Link