Vegas sits atop the NHL Pacific Division standings
October 10, 2017 3:01 AM
by Alan Berg
Welcome to town, Golden Knights.
By the way, if you are living under a rock, Vegas sits atop the Pacific Division standings with the Los Angeles Kings. Sure it’s only been two games, but boy were they exciting finishes.
Arizona at Vegas
Tuesday, Oct. 10 (Station Casinos: Coyotes -110/Knights -110)
Well here we are the home opener, if it already wasn’t big enough from a sports perspective, now we have the recent tragedy Sunday, Oct. 1, when the city lost the lives of 58 to a senseless act of violence. Even in their short time in existence, I feel like the Knights franchise is already woven into the fabric of this city and just the successful start alone has given a city in mourning a small reason to smile. And that’s all it is, a reason to find some happiness among the darkness the world can bring.
So head out to the T-Mobile Arena Tuesday, enjoy yourself on a night out with friends and family, and hopefully cheer the Knights to a 3-0 start. Hard to bet against Vegas in this spot, but I expect a better effort from the Coyotes, having already lost a game, so look to the over in this game. OVER 5.5
Detroit at Vegas
Friday, Oct. 13 (Projected line: Red Wings -120/Knights EVEN)
Detroit, much like Vegas, was thought to be a team on the bottom this year, but so far hasn’t played the part of doormat, also starting the season 2-0. The Red Wings come in after having played at Arizona the night before but I don’t think the short trip up to Vegas will have much issue for Detroit. Both teams are having success early on with defense so I would play the total here. UNDER 5 or 5.5
Boston at Vegas
Sunday, Oct. 15 (Projected line: Bruins -160/Knights +140)
Other than the first game on the road at Dallas, this is the first real test of the year for the home team. Vegas might have trouble with this squad because of its top two lines. Boston has plenty of firepower in the top 6 to score goals, led by David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, top line gives the Knights a battle to deal with. Notice from the first couple of wins, the issue for the Golden Knights likely all season is the inability to score lots of goals. On nights the defense isn’t tip top they will have trouble staying in it. If Vegas is able to put together a 4-0 start, here is where it ends against the Bruins. BRUINS -1.5 PUCK LINE
Let’s quickly recap the past week just to catch you up.
Golden Knights 2, Dallas Stars 1: Cox cable squeezed in and added the ATT SportsNet Rocky Mountain, which allowed me to watch the game from my cozy house. What I saw was a completely dominating performance from the host Stars, until James Neal scored with 9:33 left in regulation, then close to seven minutes later, Neal had his second goal of the season and somehow the Knights left Dallas with the first win in franchise history.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was phenomenal, giving up only one goal on 46 Dallas shots. The Stars had more shots (46-30), more hits (20-15), more takeaways (7-2) and faceoffs (38-28). Vegas cashed as a +200 underdog. Our bet (bets this time) of the week went 1-1, as the game didn’t go over 5.5 but the first goal was a 5-on-5 score.
Golden Knights 2, Coyotes 1 OT: This time the Knights played throughout as the better team but still had to pull out some magic to find their way to a second straight road victory. How close was it? How about the Knights had to pull the goalie to get an extra skater down 1-0 with under two minutes left. Nate Schmidt made it 1-1 with 1:12 left and guess who scored the game winner in overtime? Neal of course, his third of the season. Knights were +140 in this one and the total was 5.5 and again went under.
To find out the current lines, it’s best of course to check with your favorite local sportsbook and make your decisions then.
One of the glaring mysteries surrounding the Golden Knights has been what happened to Vadim Shipachyov?
The former SKA (Russian Hockey) star was expected to be a big part of the first year of the squad and key goal scorer for the team. However, Vegas coaches must have felt he needed seasoning and wanted to send him to the Chicago Wolves minor league before calling him up.
Once that move was made, no news from the team or Shipachyov. SKA has reported Shipachyov is very upset at the team and felt like he wasn’t really given a chance to make the roster. Word is he might wait out going to the minors until the Olympics start, play there and hope to go back to the SKA.
Bummer development from a guy who had lots of expectations heading into the season.