RJ staff predicts the Golden Knights’ 2018-19 season

Never forget, these predictions were way off in previewing the Knights’ inaugural season. We’re trying again anyway. Here are the RJ sports staff predictions for the Golden Knights’ 2018-19 season:

Ed Graney

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Columnist

Record: 44-27-11 (99 points) 

Pacific division finish: Third

Where do you go from being the Golden Misfits with massive chips on your collective shoulders to among the league’s hunted favorites? Probably backward. Vegas still owns a playoff roster, but not the elements of either surprise or being undervalued by anyone across the NHL. Unless you ask Drew Doughty, who is certain the Knights couldn’t beat UNLV.

Ron Kantowski

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Columnist

Record: 41-31-10 (92 points)

Pacific Division finish: Third

Will the local heroes go from being the best NHL expansion team ever to being the best second-year team ever? You bet. The only first-year squad to have a winning record in their sophomore season since the Original Six era were the 1968-69 St. Louis Blues at 37-25-14 — and that was when half the league was second-year teams. One of the last two second-year teams before the Golden Knights were the 2001-02 Columbus Blue Jackets who finished with 53 points. One of their assistant coaches: Gerard Gallant.

Ben Gotz

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Beat reporter

Record: 47-27-8 (102 points)

Pacific Division finish: Second

The Golden Knights are going to miss Nate Schmidt for 20 games and it’ll be hard to recreate the magic of last season, which featured almost zero speed bumps. However the improvements they made to their second line should keep them in the hunt for the division title all season long.

David Schoen

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Beat reporter

Record: 45-25-12 (102 points)

Pacific Division finish: Second

Remember what it felt like the morning after your 21st birthday party? Head pounding, mouth dry, broken tortilla chips stuck in your hair. The Golden Knights threw a raging kegger in their inaugural season before losing in the Stanley Cup Final. It takes a while to recover from that. But the Knights will pop a couple of ibuprofen, chug some water and should feel better as the season goes along.

Adam Hill

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Beat reporter

Record: 45-30-7 (97 points)

Pacific Division finish: Third

It’s entirely possible the Golden Knights of 2018-19 can be a better overall team and still fall short of the insanely lofty standard set by last year’s historic squad. Everything went right last season. Even an almost comical run of goalie injuries somehow turned out just fine. The Knights will be hit with a toxic combination of Stanley Cup Final hangover and good-old fashioned complacency that will present the franchise with adversity it must figure out a way to overcome. Still, it’s difficult to envision such a talented group missing out on the postseason.

Elaine Wilson

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Sports web producer

Record: 43-26-13 (99 points)

Pacific Division finish: Third

The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings have a good chance for improvement this year after the offseason — *cough Erik Karlsson cough* — and the Golden Knights cannot maintain the same level of play from their historic inaugural season. The team as a whole has improved and will make the playoffs, but will fall short of another Western Conference title.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

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Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights credit chemistry, strong fourth line for win over Ducks
Following their 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the Vegas Golden Knights players credited team chemistry and solid play from the fourth line as keys to their victory.
Gallant happy with team effort in win over the Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says he's happy with the team's effort, especially the fourth line, after the win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Alex Tuch reacts to his new contract
Vegas Golden Knights right wing Alex Tuch reacts to his new contract with the team and explains what his goals are.
Golden Edge: VGK Practice 10-18-2018
Adam Hill, David Schoen, and Ben Gotz discuss the Golden Knights practice, Deryk Engelland's status, and Tomas Hyka's path to the team
Golden Knights Talk To Media After Thursday Practice
Golden Knights talk to media in the locker room after practice on Thursday.
Gallant Talks After Practice On Thursday
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant goes over how the lines are developing at practice.
Gerard Gallant On Win Against Sabres
Gerard Gallant talks after practice about the Golden Knights win over the Buffalo Sabres and the teams overall performance.
Cody Eakin On His Personal Improvement As A Golden Knight
Cody Eakin talks about his improvement as a Golden Knight this season and the work he put in over the summer.
Golden Edge: Knights Mood Improved After Win Against Sabres
Adam Hill, David Schoen and Ben Gotz go over how the Golden Knights are feeling after their win against the Buffalo Sabres while Alex Tuch gets a workout on the ice.
Golden Edge: Karlsson Scores First Goal; Knights Beat Sabres
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Golden Knights On 4-1 Win Against Buffalo
The Golden Knights react to their first win after the road trip against the Buffalo Sabres.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 16th, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer your Golden Knights questions.
Golden Edge: Eakin Scores Winning Goal During Final Road Trip Game
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights final game of the road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers
Would the NFL be accepted abroad?
Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney takes to the streets of London, England, ahead of the Oakland Raiders facing the Seattle Seahawks to find out if the NFL is accepted, if the game is understood and what its fan base is like outside of the United States.
Golden Edge: Phil Kessel Has Hat Trick in Win Over Knights
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Pittsburgh.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose First Stanley Cup Rematch
The Golden Knights lose 5-2 against the Washington Capitals and fall to 1-3 on the season. David Schoen and Ben Gotz report from Washington.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 9, 2018
Adam Hill is joined by Ben Gotz via skype from Washington, D.C. to answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Gallant on Washington Capitals rematch
Golden Knights Coach Gerard Gallant plays down the connection between Wednesday's game against the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup Final results last season.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall to Sabres 4-2
The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights 4-2 with 3 goals in the second period. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Buffalo.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Wild In Shootout
Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights comeback win against the Minnesota Wild. The Knights won 2-1 in a shootout against the Minnesota Wild. (October 7, 2018)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall In Season Opener
Elaine Wilson, Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener. (Videographer: Heidi Fang, Edited By: Nathan Asselin)
Golden Knights React To Season Opener Loss
Golden Knights react to their 5-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gold Carpet Before Golden Knights Season Opener
John Katsilometes is on the gold carpet before the Golden Knights season opener.
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Last Practice Before Season Opener
Adam Hill and David Schoen at City National Arena during the Golden Knights' morning skate and media day before the opener Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Media Day: Gerard Gallant and George McPhee Presser
Head coach Gerard Gallant and GM George McPhee talk about Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin, Nate Schmidt, and the start of season number two for the franchise.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 2, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Kings 2-0
Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena after the Knights beat the Kings 2-0.
Golden Edge: Shea Theodore Returns to Practice
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and David Schoen are at the Golden Knight's practice where Shea Thedore is suited back up for the first time this season.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 25, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3, but re-sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio while Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena on the Knights preseason game vs. the Colorado Avalanche.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
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