I know, I know. It’s pre-season. But the Golden Knights are one of 5 teams that are 2-0 in the NHL currently. They also have the highest goals for differential in the league so far.
Brad Hunt began the scoring for the Golden Knights with an even-strength goal at 5:16 of the first frame before the Avalanche got into penalty trouble. Vegas took advantage of Colorado’s stick infractions as Jonathan Marchessault and Oscar Lindberg tallied power-play markers over the next 2:31 to give Vegas a commanding lead.
The beginning and the end of games this pre-season have been a result of penalties. Whether it be through face-off violations or stick penalties, the man advantage is a real phenomenon that will continue into the regular season.
The Knights had four power plays in the first period and finished the game 2-for-6 with the man advantage. The Avalanche went 1-for-8 with an extra man on the ice.
Nathan MacKinnon scored Colorado’s lone marker with 2:57 left in the second period after the club got a late power play from a Paul Thompson tripping penalty. See the trend here?
The Golden Knights have been the under-dogs in terms of odds for both pre-season games.
-135 and -110 have been the closing lines for their first two games respectively. As of now, they have defied expectations and have displayed genuine ability to score on the power play as well as play defensive.
Prior to the season, many analysts were predicting a defensive scheme for the team, as they would have a hard time scoring. This made sense, as teams can justify protecting scorers and point producers as opposed to justifying the intangibles a player contributes.
I’m excited to see this team hit the ice for the regular season. Touted as the most talented expansion team to date, we will see if Vegas can raise above the basement and go without the growing pains atypical to most expansion teams.
The Knights, who improve to 2-0 in the exhibition schedule, play at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.