Of all the years I have been a journalist, I have for around half of that time covered hockey. Whether it was Junior A hockey back in Bozeman, Montana or just making predictions here and there on what might happen in the NHL.
When it comes to betting hockey it has always been my most challenging sport to handicap. Just ask the rest of the city who saw this Vegas Golden Knights team winning the Stanley Cup in its inaugural season. Now, I am sure there are the those who bet a $10-$50 token ticket that just wanted a souvenir of the first future ticket on the city’s first major professional sports franchise who have now changed their stories to “I knew they were going to win the Cup.”
That might honestly be true for two of the 100-plus people in the city but the rest… yeah, they didn’t actually believe it.
With the All-Star Break gone it’s time to finish strong in the NHL for some to make the postseason, while for a team like the hometown Golden Knights it’s time to keep pushing for the best record in hockey and the President’s Trophy.
Vegas at Calgary
Right before the All-Star break it looked like the Calgary Flames were heading into the proceeding as one of the league’s hottest teams, but Calgary lost four straight OT games, falling a point back in the Pacific Division of 2nd place San Jose. Meanwhile the Knights have played 50/50 hockey in the past 10 (5-3-2).
The Flames are one of two teams left on the Golden Knights’ schedule they haven’t seen this year, the other being the Philadelphia Flyers. Unlike the Flyers, whom the Knights see twice, this is the first of four games they will see vs. a division rival. Because of that I give the slight advantage to the Knights here but not enough to back a play. OVER
Vegas at Winnipeg
Road trips are never easy, especially going to this building. Winnipeg and Vegas have the two best home records in the NHL, as we know from teams heading to T-Mobile Arena, winning in the very loud Bell MTS Place will be no easy task.
The Jets have been sneaking up on everyone, all of a sudden sitting in first place in the Central Division, only two points behind the conference leading Knights. This is a great opportunity for the Jets to make a statement against a team they might see in the Western Conference Finals. JETS
Vegas at Minnesota
The Central Division has been a beast this season, only division with four 60-point teams, and the Knights getting two straight road games is no treat. The Wild have also been great at home with a 17-4-4 mark.
I think at some point during this road trip Vegas plays its best hockey and finds a road win. I think they match up well with the Wild and take them down. KNIGHTS
Vegas at Washington
The Capitals are the typical Capitals, atop the Metro Division, seeking another shot at the Stanley Cup it seems they should have already won. With Columbus struggling, the Caps have a nice six point cushion for the division, but here come the Penguins flying up the standings after going 7-3 in their last 10.
Washington knows the Pittsburgh run was inevitable, but will they be up for Vegas? Is it a game they have circled during the week? I doubt it, which is why I will back the Knights to close out this road trip on a two-game win streak. KNIGHTS
Last Week: 0-2