The most exciting team in the NHL this season had a great month of February. Through 10 games played during the second month of the NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights came out of it with a 7-2-1 record, posting another impressive plus .500 record in a given month.
With such a potent lineup being thrown out onto the ice every night, you’d think it would’ve been hard to choose the Three Stars of the Month for February, and you would be right. With no shortage of options, I eventually came to the conclusion to give a star to each position on the team – one for an offensive player, a defensive player, and a goalie. So, without further ado, let’s hop right into it and see who was the best this month.
3rd Star: Shea Theodore
Easily Vegas’ most consistent presence on the blue line this season, Shea Theodore had an astounding month of February. Although he only played in seven of the 10 games during the month, he posted seven points and held a plus-3 record.
Stats aside, it is Theodore’s ease of stride in his skating and his calm nature when he has the puck that has served as a catalyst for the Golden Knights’ successes so far. His zone breakouts are almost always flawless, and his ability to spot open players in a quick and calm manner helps ease the frustration of breaking out of your own zone. His skating allows him to jump into the offense easier than most defensemen, which is why he is such a stud on the first Power-Play unit.
The sky is the ceiling for the young anchor, who is having one of the best seasons of his career. If he keeps up at this pace, he will easily score 50 points on the season, as well as recording a positive plus/minus. There is so much to say about him, but all I can think of to best summarize him is that every team in the NHL needs a Shea Theodore.
2nd Star: Marc-André Fleury
For the second straight month, Marc-André Fleury has made our list, and for good reason. Having started nine of the 10 games during the month of February, I wasn’t sure if the Sorel, Quebec native would be able to build on his January performances. It’s safe to say I was very wrong.
Through his nine starts, Fleury won six, as well as posting two impressive shutouts. His stats in the month of February were a 1.78 goals against average and a .935 save percentage. In all three of these statistical categories, Fleury is in the top-5 in the NHL. A lot of questions surrounded the goalie in the offseason, I even traded him in a mock trade I made with the Red Wings, but it seems he plays better when adversity is surrounding him.
The magic he brings night in and night out is something special and has turned into one of the best storylines in the NHL this season. Not to be biased, but he is my early favorite for the Vezina Trophy this year. He was slated to be my first star of the month, but a fellow Golden Knight was too good to pass up for the top spot.
1st Star: William Karlsson
No one on the Golden Knights had a better month of February than the man nicknamed “Wild Bill.” The star forward had one of the best offensive outputs of his career in a given month, as he collected 11 points in 10 games, as well as recording a plus-5. These stats are great, but what is even more impressive was his “goal of the year” candidate he scored against the Anaheim Ducks on Feb 27.
After a slow January, Karlsson gained back his mojo in the month of February and has catapulted himself into second place on the team in points. He has thrived playing alongside Jonathan Marchessault and Nicolas Roy and will look to continue his impressive string of performances on Monday against the Minnesota Wild.
Another Great Month
As it stands now, Vegas occupies the first spot in the Honda West Division, ahead of the second-place Wild, by just one point. On Monday, the Golden Knights kick off a two-game homestand against the Wild, which will be extremely important, seeing as they are jostling for the top spot in the West. Overall, Vegas plays 17 games this month, a tough task that the team is surely up to the challenge for. I do feel the condensed schedule will have an effect on them, so I have them collecting a record of 10-5-2 in the month up ahead.
What do you think? What will Vegas’ record be in the month of March and who will be the three stars of the month? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael Vidakis is a Montreal native who writes for the Vegas Golden Knights team here at The Hockey Writers. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer things in life such as Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, staring aimlessly outside windows and tangerines.