January 8, 2018 - 3:31 pm
The Golden Knights have reached the midway point of their inaugural season, making it a good time to reflect on what they’ve accomplished so far.
At 29-10-2, the Knights already have the third-highest win total by an NHL team in its first season. The record is 33 set by Florida and Anaheim in 1994. Their points percentage of .732 at the midway point is the highest of any expansion team in history in any sport. No NHL team in the expansion era has finished .500 or higher.
At 18-2-1, the Knights have the best home record in the NHL. The record for home wins in a first season is 22 by the 1979-80 Hartford Whalers.
Individually, the Knights have a different player leading each of the three major offensive categories. William Karlsson has the most goals with 22, David Perron the most assists with 25 and Jonathan Marchessault has the most points with 40.
The Knights have four players with at least 15 goals this season — Karlsson, James Neal (18), Marchessault (16) and Erik Haula (15).
According to Elias sports bureau, only six clubs in NHL history have had at least four 20-goal scorers in their inaugural season. The Vancouver Canucks (six players) and Buffalo Sabres (five) each achieved the feat in 1970-71, while the Edmonton Oilers (six), Quebec Nordiques (four), Whalers (four) and Winnipeg Jets (four) all did so in 1979-80 after joining the NHL following the merger with the World Hockey Association.
Penalty kill success
The Knights’ penalty-killing units have been sensational of late. The team has killed off 20 straight penalties over its last nine contests and last surrendered a power-play goal Dec. 19 against Tampa Bay.
The Knights rank No. 14 in the NHL on the penalty kill at 81.3 percent. Los Angeles is No. 1 as the Kings have killed off 87.5 percent of their penalties.
Free tacos, discounted tickets
The team announced Monday that fans who attend any Tuesday home game the remainder of the season will be able to redeem their seat location stub the next day for a free taco at participating local Taco Bell locations.
In addition, all local college students are eligible to purchase discounted tickets to selected home games. To participate, a student must sign up at vegasgoldenknights.com and use their valid .edu email address.
Best of the best
The Golden Knights’ first-half success was the best of any expansion team among the four major professional sports leagues.
NHL — 2017-18 Golden Knights (.732)
MLB — 1961 Washington Senators (.466)
NFL — 1995 Carolina Panthers (.375)
NBA — 1976-77 Denver Nuggets (.707)*
* The Nuggets were a member of the American Basketball Association prior to joining the NBA in 1976.