The Vegas Golden Knights capitalized on their road trip

In what was a make-or-break road trip for the defending champs, the Vegas Golden Knights have re-established themselves and are a Stanley Cup threat.

Vegas Golden Knights v Minnesota Wild
Vegas Golden Knights v Minnesota Wild / David Berding/GettyImages

Nothing in life ever comes easy. If that were the case, what is the purpose of life itself? It would be mundane, which is why we have daily challenges. Such is the case for the Vegas Golden Knights, who exited a make-or-break four-game road trip with seven points.

Granted, it could've gone the other way for the Golden Knights. Three of the four games went into overtime, with Vegas only losing to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (5-4). That was a letdown against a red-hot Predators team, though. Therefore, such mishaps were forgiven.

That's especially true after the Vegas Golden Knights capitalized on the Minnesota Wild pulling their goalie in overtime on Saturday. The result? Jonathan Marchessault scores his 40th goal of the season as the Golden Knights win, 2-1. The best part? The Wild lost their extra point on a gamble against a team from a city known for gambling. Talk about your cruel irony.

What the Vegas Golden Knights Need to Improve

The power play is an obvious need for the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights have scored three power play goals in their last ten games. After acquiring offensive-minded players like Noah Hanifin and Anthony Mantha, the goal was to improve the unit. That hasn't changed matters much.

Bruce Cassidy can shake up the power play unit a bit. Maybe Tomas Hertl can help the group when he steps onto the ice. Maybe shift some players off the first unit. In any case, the Golden Knights must make necessary changes. Otherwise, they're in trouble come playoff time.

Another notable concern is the penalties. Jack Eichel was disqualified from Saturday's game from spearing Kirill Kaprizov, getting a five-minute major. Kaprizov ended up scoring a power play goal in the second period. But that isn't the only worrying example. The Golden Knights amassed 22 penalty minutes against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. While Vegas had no problem killing off those penalties, a team like the Edmonton Oilers won't be as forgiving.

The Main Star for the Vegas Golden Knights

Logan Thompson has stood out in a big way, bailing the Vegas Golden Knights out with key saves. The Calgary native has allowed an average of one goal a game in his last five games. Thompson is proving he can be a valuable asset for the Golden Knights if played regularly. Just look at the save he made against Pavel Buchnevich in overtime on Monday.

This road trip could've gone either way for the Golden Knights. If the results were flipped or Vegas lost in regulation, the trip would've been a disaster. Teams like the Blues or the Wild would've gotten their second wind(s), getting new life in the playoff race. Instead, the Golden Knights took the wind out of the sails in the Midwest, leaving St. Louis and Minnesota to scramble for wins. Looks like they should've known when to hold 'em, known when to fold 'em, known when to walk away, and known when to run.