Vegas Golden Knights
2019-20 Record: 39-24-8, 3rd in the West (2-0-0 against Colorado)
Losing Alex Pietrangelo is a blessing in dis
The Vegas Golden Knights failed to put one over the Avalanche, but were able to grab a win in the postseason in OT. A 6-1 slaughter early on saw Makar and Nazem Kadri solidify their places with the team, with the Avs putting 40 shots on net.The second meeting would go slightly better, with Vegas being beat 7-3, as Kadri once again, and Bellemare, scored twice, and Nichushkin finished with a Gordie Howe hat trick.
The Knights made it farther than any other current West team, being blocked from what could have been their second trip to the Finals by Dallas. Leading in scoring was Max Pacioretty, with his first 30-goal season since 2017, with Mark Stone and Reilly Smith putting up strong campaigns. The big acquisition was Robin Lehner, who controversially made the starting job no one else’s, while the Knights continued to be an offensive force, only to see it fizzle out against Dallas. Gerard Gallant was shown the door in January, only for Peter DeBoer to curve the team upwards.
Of course, bringing in Alex Pietrangelo changes the game.
Pietrangelo solidifies a D core which already boasted Shea Theodore. A frontrunner (it should be Stone) to be the franchise’s long-awaited first captain, denied to the retired Deryk Engelland, Pietrangelo has the Blues win under his belt. Both Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner stay, casting zero doubt between the pipes.