Is the Vegas Golden Knights Power Play Turning Around?

Once the joke of the organization, it seems the Vegas Golden Knights power play is picking up steam.
Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights
Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

Stop me if you heard this one before: The Vegas Golden Knights don't capitalize on the man advantage. It's been the anchor holding the franchise down since its inception.

How so? Their season-high came in 2019-20, with a power play percentage of 22%. The unit has been stagnant in its seven years, providing little life to the unit (and to the fans).

Take 2021-22 as a prime example. The Golden Knights only spent 55.6% of their power play time in the offensive zone. The result? 18.4% of power plays converted that year. A lack of puck management and fluid passing has plagued the franchise since the start.

Is the Tide Turning for the Vegas Golden Knights?

However, there seems to be a change in the winds. In their 4-3 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights scored two goals on the man advantage. That included the game-winner from their newest arrival, Tomas Hertl, who already has a power play assist with that goal in four games.

With Hertl's big presence in front of the net, the Golden Knights finally have a big body that can take the crease away. Shooting lanes are opening up, which has made matters easier for Vegas on the power play. Therefore, it's led to more goals and a shift in momentum.

But it isn't just Hertl that's boosted the unit, though. Defenseman Noah Hanifin has also been a great special teams piece for the Golden Knights. With two power play goals and three power play assists since being acquired, the Boston native has impacted the lineup positively.

The Power Play Is Finally Seeing Results

If Vegas Golden Knights fans want proof that things are working on the man advantage, take the last four games as an example. The Golden Knights have converted 54.6% of their power plays in their last four games, scoring six goals. It's created momentum for Vegas to generate pressure on the forecheck.

In turn, Vegas capitalizing on the man advantage has led to more offense for the team. In fact, it was a major catalyst for the team's comeback victory against a solid Avalanche team. With Colorado unable to answer the pressure, the Golden Knights had their way in the third period.

The Golden Knights are clicking on special teams at the right time. With the new additions fitting nicely, Vegas is finally putting it together. Who knows? Maybe that'll lead to the Vegas Golden Knights hoisting Lord Stanley again come June.

Update: The power play in Vegas's last four games was updated to reflect 54.6%. April 14, 2024, 5:15 PM