The Golden Knights: Best in the West

How the Golden Knights Have Maintained Dominance at the Halfway Point of the Season

Anthony Bracha, Journalist

This season the Golden Knights have been one of the most dominant teams in the NHL with a division leading 16 wins in 23 games. The Golden Knights have been the best team in the Honda West Division by a decent margin. They have one of the best all-around players in the league in Mark Stone as their captain, and Marc-Andre Fleury has been one of, if not, the best goal tenders in the NHL.

As far back as 2016, the saying in the front office of the Golden Knights has been, “Playoffs in three, Cup in six.” With even Golden Knights owner Bill Foley saying, “I don’t think it’s quick at all. Playoffs in three, Cup in six. Period, no excuses, that’s the standard. I consider that being very patient.”

I don’t think it’s quick at all. Playoffs in three, Cup in six. Period, no excuses, that’s the standard. I consider that being very patient.

— Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley

That saying was not only achieved but obliterated when the Vegas Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season back in 2018. Since then they have been one of the best teams in the league year after year, but the Stanley Cup has still alluded them. It is currently halfway through the Golden Knights fourth season and this may finally be the year that they not only make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but win it as well.

Sophomore Michael Bracha says, “I think that they have a pretty good chance of winning the cup this year if they keep playing the same way. They have a few issues that they may need to resolve before they get there, however. I think that at the rate that they are going they can win.”

Photo Courtesy of: Las Vegas Review Journal

During a game against the Los Angeles Kings on Super Bowl Sunday, goaltender Robin Lehner, sustained an undisclosed injury which has lead to Fleury having to play almost every game since then. Fleury has started 13 games since and has won 9 of them. Fleury, at the age of 36, is currently having the best season of his career with a career high .938 save percentage.

“Marc-Andre Fleury has been great this year and it feels as though he has been the best goalie in the entire league so far,” said Bracha

Photo Courtesy of: Michael Bracha

This is also right wing Mark Stone’s first season as the Golden Knights’ captain and he is also the first captain in franchise history. Stone is one of the best defensive forwards in the game, but he is also an elite scorer. He has 6 goals and 22 assists in 22 games played and is currently the 13th highest scorer in the NHL.

“I think Mark Stone has been great for the team not only as a player, but as a captain, he has given them confidence. It seems like when he was gone for a game, the team really struggled and it felt like they were missing something,” said Bracha.

“I think that their biggest threat is either the Avalanche or the Wild; they have been the most difficult teams for the Golden Knights to beat this season, but I think that the Golden Knights can beat them when the playoffs roll around,” said Bracha.

So far the Golden Knights have 2 wins and 2 losses against both of these teams. They are two of the other teams in the division competing with them and are the only two teams to have beaten the Golden Knights twice so far this season.