5 players who must bring their A-Game for the Golden Knights to retake the lead in the Pacific

The Vegas Golden Knights are quite a few points out of the lead in the Pacific Division, but this talent-laden team can storm back anytime.

Jan 11, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) celebrates with
Jan 11, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) celebrates with / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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Mark Stone needs to keep up his career-best production

In Jack Eichel’s absence, Mark Stone has taken charge of the group, and overall, he’s put up 50 points in 51 games. Producing at a near-points-per-game pace, Stone can help the Golden Knights improve by taking just a few extra shots per week or making another textbook pass or two to set up a score, something that will be more than possible when Eichel returns. 

But even without Eichel, Stone has played well enough in the interim. In the nine games Eichel has missed, Stone has 10 points, three goals, a plus-4 rating, and a shooting percentage of 14.3 percent. His average time-on-ice has also increased to 20:29, up from his overall average of 19:36, showing us that even the coaching staff trusts him to be the main guy. 

Ideally, Eichel returns, and Stone’s numbers will continue to trend north, which helps the entire team. But even if we don’t see Eichel return immediately and if Stone keeps averaging over a point-per-game in Vegas’ most productive forward’s absence, it still increases the odds that they can close in on Vancouver. Either way, let’s see Stone take his game up one more notch and watch the Golden Knights benefit.