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s23 - Regular season done in Vegas [WB11]


Vegas, NV - A strong second half for the Vegas Golden Knights turned their subpar regular season into a successful one.

The squad was jockeying for a postseason bottom seed for much of the season until they caught lightning in a bottle with about 15 games remaining reeling off a much needed eight game win streak including a win over the top seeded Phoenix Coyotes.

That put the team into fourth in a tough Western Conference with only a few games remaining allowing them to clinch home ice advantage for the first round against the Winnipeg Jets.

Vegas has experienced some big time contributions this season from several players but four have really stood out, three of which were acquired within the past calendar year.

Let’s first off start with the teams MVP and top goalie. He should be a Vezina Trophy finalist if not winner too. Marc-Andre Fleury was brought in during free agency to finally solve the revolving carousel the Golden Knights had endured for the last several seasons. 

MAF was no joke, posting 38 wins (second in the league), a .926 save percentage (second in the league), and a 2.44 goals against average.

This helped the team post the second best goals against average in the league at 216, a mark that ties Golden Knights best defensive season under general manager David Zammit.

Next up let’s focus on the most productive forward that shocked everyone. Centreman Maxim Lapierrie went off this season for career highs with 27 goals, 50 assists (tied for ninth in the league) and 77 points (tied for 18th in the league). Those marks don’t seem remarkable until you realize he started the season splitting time between the second and third line combined with a SC and PA of only 85, oh and his previous high was 57 points. His $5.6 million salary was much worth it this year. 

The next two were picked up by trade. Centreman Henrik Sedin was grabbed in the offseason from San Jose and was solid as the first line centre racking up 75 points. He was +18 (second best on the team) and beat Lapierrie by one assist registering 51.

The three-quarters of a century in points was his career best, which is wild for how good he is offensively.

And lastly an early season trade by Vegas to acquire winger Damien Surma paid off in spades. He helped form a second line with Lapierrie and Greg Campbell that was one of the best league wide. In Surma’s 67 games, he posted 55 points and 26 of them goals. That secondary production and great second line was a catalyst for the team this year.

WC - 448