The Vegas Golden Knights completed a seven-game homestand on Friday with a 7-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Seven players scored as the Golden Knights celebrated Nevada Day — which commemorates Nevada’s admission to statehood on Oct. 31, 1864 — with their fifth consecutive victory. According to Elias, that five-in-a-row run matches the longest win streak by any team during its inaugural NHL season, joining the 1926-27 New York Rangers and 1979-80 Edmonton Oilers.
At 8-1-0, the Golden Knights lead the NHL in points percentage (.889) and fewest goals allowed (19). Vegas is the first franchise in the 100-year history of the NHL to win eight of its first nine games during its inaugural season.
The Golden Knights now embark on their first extensive road trip of the season, beginning with Monday’s game against the New York Islanders. If they win on Monday, they will join the 1976-77 Denver Nuggets (NBA) as the only first-year teams in the past 60 years — across the four major sports — to win nine of their first 10 games.
What’s behind this historic start?
Sixteen players have scored goals, including all but one forward (Brendan Leipsic).
The Golden Knights’ shooting percentage is a league-high 13.1 percent — meaning they’re making them count. Vegas is actually last in shots per game (28.9).
The Golden Knights are 3-0 in overtime, winning all three of those games before reaching a shootout.
What about the goaltending?
Despite losing goalies Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) and Malcolm Subban (lower-body injury), Vegas continues to find ways to win. The Golden Knights have turned to Oscar Dansk, who has won all three of his appearances (two starts). Dansk leads the NHL with a 1.34 goals-against average and .959 save percentage.
No other goaltender in the expansion era (since 1967) has won his first three games while playing for a first-year team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Swedish-born Dansk was a second-round pick (31st overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012. After not being tendered a qualifying offer by Columbus last summer, he signed a one-year contract with Vegas on July 3.
According to the Elias Sport Bureau, the Golden Knights are the only franchise in NHL history to have three goalies with at least two wins through the first eight team games of a season.
Can they actually make the Stanley Cup playoffs?
Over the past four seasons, the eighth-place team in the Western Conference has averaged 92 points. Vegas already has 16 points in nine games. To earn 92 points, the Golden Knights would need 76 in their final 73 games (.521 points percentage).