The Vegas Golden Knights were finally able to end their four-game losing streak last Tuesday, just one game shy of tying their young franchise’s longest losing streak, and they have been on a hot streak ever since.
After starting off the season on the right foot with a win against the Seattle Kraken, the VGK train was in a downward spiral until last week. They had lost four consecutive games, including three straight games at home, and they were only able to score a total of six goals during the losing streak.
Games haven’t been the only thing that the Knights are losing. They have been hit by the injury bug throughout the first eight games of the season.
To start the year, Vegas knew that they were going to be without one of their best players in Alex Tuch. Tuch, who was dealing with a shoulder injury for the latter part of last season, had surgery over the summer to repair his injury and is expected to be out for around six months. This puts his return time frame around January or February.
In addition to Tuch, many other top Golden Knights players have found themselves on the injured list just three weeks into the season.
Mark Stone, the first captain in Golden Knights history, suffered a lower-body injury during the team’s second game of the season when they played the LA Kings. His time frame for returning to action is still unknown at this time, but the team has put him on the injured reserve list.
In addition to Tuch and Stone, Max Pacioretty is also on the long-term injured reserve list. He was the Knights’ leading goal scorer during last season with 24 goals in 48 games. Pacioretty is going to be out until at least late November with a fracture in his lower-body.
Even with all of these injuries, and losing three straight games, the Vegas Golden Knights were able to turn things around last week.
In an unfavorable situation, they started the week with back-to-back games on the road. Their first game of the week came on Tuesday, Oct. 26, in a matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. Behind the veteran leadership of Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith, the Knights were able to end their losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Avalanche.
Stephenson has really stepped up for the Knights during the absence of their top injured players. He currently leads the team in goals (4) and assists (5).
Following the win at Colorado, the Knights traveled to Dallas the next day to take on the Stars. The day started off rocky for the Knights as their team’s flight was delayed getting into Dallas, causing a setback in their game-day schedule. Fortunately, VGK was able to get to Dallas with enough time to get prepared for the game. The Knights came out of the gate a little slow and fell behind the Stars 2-1 in the early stages of the second period. Jonathan Marchessault came to the rescue with a game-tying goal with just over a minute left to force overtime, where newly acquired Knight Evgenii Dadonov scored the game-winning goal.
After having a day off and traveling back to Vegas, the Golden Knights hosted the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, Oct. 29. The Ducks came into the game with a five-game losing streak of their own that they were hoping to snap.
After taking a 4-1 lead midway through the third period, the Knights allowed the Ducks back into the game with three quick goals of their own to tie the game at 4 apiece. Neither team would score in the overtime period. The Knights were able to squeak out a win during the shootout frame by a score of 2-1 for their third straight win.
Despite getting the win, the Knights got hit with another injury following the game against the Ducks. William Karlsson, the center for the Knights’ second line, broke his foot while blocking a shot. He is expected to miss somewhere between 4-6 weeks with his injury.
Even with the injuries decimating the team, things seem to be turning around for the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re riding a three-game winning streak and folks are starting to enjoy watching their games again.
By the time you’re reading this, Vegas will have started their next road trip with their first game being played Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They’ll be on the road against Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 4, then they’ll travel to Montreal for their game on Saturday, Nov. 6 and end the trip on Sunday, Nov. 7 before they head back home.
Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at email@example.com
Who: Preseason, Golden Knights vs. Kings
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City
TV: KTNV-13, TNT
Radio: KKGK (98.9 FM, 1340 AM)