It's official: VegasFor the first time in franchise history, the NHL postseason will be missed.
The second-half collapse of the Golden Knights this season left them with very slim playoff hopes. They were completely snuffed out on Wednesday in a 4-3 shootout lossTo Chicago.
Vegas would have to beat the Blackhawks in every way possible and Dallas would need to lose in regulation in Arizona to stay alive. On Tuesday, the Stars and Golden Knights played each other. A regulation win by Dallas would have ended Vegas's existence. In that shootout, Vegas was leading the Stars twice.
Dallas had clinched a spot in Vegas' top 10 at one point. However, they lost out to Vegas on Wednesday with a 4-3 overtime loss in Arizona.
The Stars have now clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Seeding will continue this week.
This is the year that was wasted for the Golden Knights. The expansion club had reached playoffs in four of the previous years and advanced as far as the Stanley Cup Final in the inaugural 2017-18 season.
This season, Vegas looked like they might be again contenders. The Golden Knights were ranked 10th in the league in February with a 28-16-3 record. They hadn't lost consecutive regulation games in more than two months.
Captains are also available at the same time. Mark StoneHe was forced to withdraw from the sport due to an injury that he sustained in February. He would not be able to return until April. It was a huge loss, but Stone was transferred to the Long-Term Injured Reserve. Vegas was able to activate. Jack EichelAfter his recovery after herniated disc surgery.
The Golden Knights had orchestrated an unprecedented trade with Buffalo to bring Eichel onboard and lift them above the rest. Eichel was excited to join Vegas, as it meant that he could finally appear in the playoffs for the first time since 2015-21 when he failed to make the playoffs with the Sabres.
Eichel has been a great asset to this team, scoring 12 goals and 22 points over 33 games. All the other problems with the Golden Knights were what stopped them.
Stone's key injuries Max Pacioretty, Robin Lehner, Reilly SmithOthers took their toll. Stone was able re-joining the lineup on April 12, but was ineffective for his first six games back. After sustaining leg and shoulder injuries, Lehner was forced to undergo season-ending surgery this week.
Vegas' playoff future rested on rookies. Logan ThompsonThe crease: Tuesday's game was won by a solid 14-9-5 record. His.917 save rate is the best among freshman goalies who have at least 10 starts.
Vegas could not overcome its own defensive shortcomings and left Thompson out of it repeatedly. The lowly San Jose SharksOn Sunday, the Golden Knights were leading at 3-1 and 4-2 but fell apart on the stretch and lost in a shootout.
Vegas, amongst other things, was lacking in consistency and these struggles ultimately caught up to it.