Golden Knights give city pride as first major pro sports franchise
September 26, 2017 3:01 AM
by Alan Berg
Las Vegas, welcome to the world of major professional sports. On Tuesday, Sept. 26 the Vegas Golden Knights, National Hockey League team, plays its first-ever game of the preseason inside T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.
It’s an amazing day for the city and for Vegas sports fans around the community. The Knights host Pacific Division rivals the Los Angeles Kings with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. Preseason TV for the Knights has been a mess going in not knowing if we get a Golden Knights game or blackout. To the best of my knowledge it looks like Tuesday’s game will be blacked out again. However check NHL Network, as they do list the game as being on, but again it could get blacked out.
Currently Golden Knights games are only available locally on AT&T Sportsnet Rocky Mountain, a channel offered by DirecTV and Century Link Prism. Unfortunately, at this time the channel has not been added to Cox Cable’s lineup. However, tickets for the game are still available and range from $25 to $400. Also, if you have never heard of Stub Hub, that’s a great way to find some deals from time to time on tickets.
If you can’t make it to T-Mobile Arena Tuesday, the Knights are back in action against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night and the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night. Following the final preseason games comes the big one, the regular season opener Tuesday, Oct. 10 vs. the Arizona Coyotes at 7 p.m.
So far this season, the Golden Knights have gone 3-1, all games on the road, scoring 19 goals and allowing 12. Tyler Wong recorded a hat trick in the opening preseason game at Vancouver in a 9-4 drubbing back on Sept. 18. In fairness, the Canucks’ best players were on a road trip to China to play the Kings in the preseason.
Other wins came over the Avalanche, 4-1, and Ducks, 4-2; the only loss was to the Sharks, 5-2.
Season Win totals at South Point and Westgate SuperBook opened at 68.5 points, which is around a 30-32 win season with some overtime losses, which would have been last in the Pacific Division. The Knights are a tough team to cap in year one. Obviously the goal with expansion is to build a team from the ground up. To do that General Manager George McPhee and Owner Bill Foley have done a great job acquiring extra draft picks through the expansion draft and NHL Draft.
The team had three 1st Round picks in 2017, Center Cody Glass (No. 6 overall), Center Nick Suzuki (No. 13) and Defenseman Erik Brannstrom (No. 15). Unlike sports such as the NFL and NBA, rookies in the NHL rarely make a ton of impact because it’s a bigger jump dealing with the size and physicality of veteran NHL players.
Because of that from-the-ground-up mentality, if the Knights get off to a sluggish start with a chance at the playoffs getting away quickly, it’s likely McPhee trades many of the veterans to again acquire more talent for the years ahead. Current franchise faces like James Neal and David Perron (only one-year left on deals) and star of the team Marc-Andre Fleury (two years remaining) could be on the move midseason to further the rapid growth of the team. However, if the Knights are a playoff caliber team it’s likely only one of Neal and Perron get dealt, while Fleury would likely stay looking for a playoff push.
My thought is, if you bet the points go over, at least it’s a possibility unlike wasting your $5-$500 on a win the Stanley Cup future.
In the weeks ahead I will be giving a look ahead to the Knights’ week as well as a recap of the previous week of action. Betting lines will be a feature in this section so be on the lookout for picks and angles to take on future games.