Vegas Golden Knights – Sophomore Slump or Bad Start?

Vegas Golden Knights - Sophomore Slump or Bad Start?

Regan Brown, Sports Editor

The Vegas Golden Knights are the newest addition to the National Hockey League (NHL). They played their inaugural season last year and took the world by storm. As an expansion team, many NHL fans counted the Golden Knights out before the season had ever begun. How could an ice hockey team in the desert possibly be successful? The assumption that they would fail couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Golden Knights had an amazing start; they made it known that they were a force to be reckoned with. The wins kept pouring in for Vegas, shocking hockey fans everywhere and amassing an astounding fan base that would frequently sell out the arena that created an unrivaled atmosphere. The Golden Knights had made it clear that they weren’t simply a team of rejects. The Golden Knights had made it clear that they were bound and determined to put up a fight.

After only losing 4 games in their first month as a team, The Golden Knights made stars out of players such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonathan Marchessault, and William Karlsson, all of whom were previously regarded as just ‘average’ players. The Knights became seemingly untouchable, going on to become Pacific Division Champions as well as set a record for most victories by an expansion team, all with still a month left in the season. The teams advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs and persisted, making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals. Despite their tragic eventual loss in game 5 of the Final, Knights’ fans couldn’t be anything but proud of their record-breaking team and the odds they had defied.

Eagerly awaiting a hopeful repeat season, Golden Knights’ fans were given a surprise they weren’t expecting. As the new season commenced earlier this month, the Knights fell short of the high expectations they had set for themselves. Losing their season opener was a change of pace for a previously unstoppable franchise. However, it didn’t stop with just a single loss. The losses kept coming for the Golden Knights in their first few weeks of play, and they have already amassed 4 losses in their first three weeks, which is the same amount they lost in their first month of play last year. The disheartening statistics are leaving many fans asking, “what happened to the Knights we knew?”

For starters, they’re not scoring enough goals. Not to state the obvious, but last season, the Knights were typically a high-scoring team, yet this season they have averaged only about two goals per game. Stars such as Karlsson and Marchessault are still performing well, but they aren’t as consistent as the powerhouse first line they created last season.

They are currently ranked in the bottom half of their division and have only won 4 games thus far. A 4-4-1 record isn’t horrible necessarily, as there are a few teams that do have worse records, however, it came as a shock considering the drastic and apparent change in their performance level.

Not to fear, Golden Knights fans, the 82-game season is just starting and there are months left to improve their skills. The Knights have more time to get themselves together and improve upon their playing level. Hopefully, for Golden Knights fans everywhere, their beloved stars from last year begin to play to the same caliber as they did last season.

Fortunately for the Vegas Golden Knights, it appears that although they got off to a bad start, once they get back into the swing of things, more wins will pour in and the Knights will be back to climbing up the standings.