Road trip will provide information on if the Knights are a playoff bound or not
October 31, 2017 3:01 AM
by Alan Berg
7-0. That’s not the Vegas Golden Knights’ perfect record, but rather the score of last Friday’s T-Mobile Arena thumping of the Colorado Avalanche. The Knights will have to settle for 8-1 as the squad hopped on the jet to the East Coast.
First stop is New York to battle the Islanders, the opening game of a six-game road trip.
This will be the true test of what kind of team VGK has; they did open up the year on a two-game road trip at Dallas and Arizona, both wins, but six straight games is likely to come with some bumps in the road.
There has been chatter around town that the teams come into Vegas unready to play thanks to our city’s wonderful amount of distractions. Rumors are the only team that showed up to play was the Detroit Red Wings, who gave the Knights their only loss of the season. Who knows, maybe we have the best home ice advantage in all of hockey!
Vegas at NY Rangers
GOLDEN KNIGHTS +135
The Rangers (3-7-2) have been a complete disappointment thus far, but it’s mainly the goaltending that’s been the biggest concern. After being a complete wall in New York the past 11 seasons, goalie Henrik Lundqvist is off to a horrendous start, 2-4-2 with a Goals Against Average of 3.12 and Save Percentage at .900 flat.
The Swede has 407 career victories and the 751 games played might finally be catching up with him. Add that to the fact the Rangers aren’t exactly the stacked unit most are used to. If the Knights win a couple games on this road trip, this is likely the first one. KNIGHTS ML
Vegas at Boston
GOLDEN KNIGHTS +155
The third stop lands the Knights in Beantown. This will be a familiar foe for the Bruins, who lost 3-1 at Vegas on Oct. 15.
One would think Boston (4-3-2) will be more than prepared this time, looking for payback for the road loss. Since that game the Bruins have gone 2-2 with their best performance a 2-1 win vs. San Jose. However when the Knights saw Boston they didn’t see the Bruins’ top line center in that game. The power play ranks No. 5 in the NHL and will test the No. 6 penalty kill unit of Vegas. My gut tells me Boston, but if you know me you know I don’t lay anything over -150. BRUINS -1.5
Vegas at Ottawa
GOLDEN KNIGHTS +155
Ottawa has had a weird run in the first 11 games of the season, five OT losses, four of them shootouts. Seven of the Senators’ games have gone over the total, but they still have the No. 8 goals against in the league. That comes in large part to solid goaltending from starter Craig Anderson (GAA 2.67) and backup Mike Condon (2.23).
With that said the offense has been the surprising part of the open to the season, No. 5 in the league with 3.6 goals per game. The Knights’ lack of a power play (No. 19) might be a big reason for lack of goals against the Sens (No. 3 PK). UNDER 5.5
Vegas at Toronto
GOLDEN KNIGHTS +190
MAPLE LEAFS -230
Toronto looks here to stay as the combination of head coach Mike Babcock and superstar Auston Matthews, tied for 4th in the NHL in points, eight goals and seven assists, has been electric. Hockey fever in possibly the capital for passionate hockey is on fire in “the Original 6.”
Fitting, as 6 is usually the total in Toronto games but we might start seeing some 6.5’s with this team the way they are scoring goals – No. 1 in the NHL (4.1), but No. 29 in goals against (3.6). On special team, however, the Leafs are getting it done, sitting No. 9. With all the stats out of the way, the Knights’ specialty is on defensive end. While they might be gassed by this point, this is an interesting spot to back the home squad, if you can get -150 or less.KNIGHTS +1.5 or ML
Last week: 0-2, 1 pending