The Golden Knights are a tough opponent who is likely to be one of the top teams of the division.
Key Additions: Alex Pietrangelo, Carl Dahlstrom
Key Subtractions: Paul Stastny, Nate Schmidt, Deryk Engelland
2019-20 Finish: First in the Pacific (39-24-8)
Coyotes’ 2019-20 record: 1-1-1, 2 games not played
Sister Site: Knights on Ice (@Knightsonice)
Key Injuries: None
Difference Maker: Goaltending
Goaltending seems like it is going to be very important for the upcoming, condensed season. The Coyotes have a great duo in Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta, but the Vegas Golden Knights are one of the few teams that give them a run for their money.
In net, the Golden Knights have Marc-André Fleury and Robin Lehner. Either one would be a solid goaltender, together they are one of the better tandems.
Last season Fleury played 49 games and finished with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Lehner was a late addition for the Golden Knights, and in his three games, he finished with a 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.
The Golden Knights relied on Lehner more in the playoffs. He played in 16 of the Golden Knights’ 20 games and had a 1.99 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. Fleury was better in his four games, with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
It will be interesting to see how the Golden Knights will divvy up games between the two. During the post-season, Fleury’s agent posted a photoshopped image of his client with a bloody sword going through his back with Head Coach DeBoer’s name on the blade. Clearly, Allan Walsh wants to make sure that his client is well taken care of, and given plenty of games.