Knights look to bounce back from layoff, loss to Oilers
January 16, 2018 3:12 AM
by Alan Berg
Without question the first half of the NHL’s 2017-18 Regular Season was the greatest dream the Vegas Golden Knights could have dreamt up. No one would have believed it was reality until the end of the calendar year.
As 2018 opened the Knights got right back to business winning three of four games. But then the team had a five-day layoff, their longest break of the season, and it showed in a 3-2 overtime home loss to the Edmonton Oilers, who oddly are 2-0 against Vegas this season at 20-23-3. Head coach Gerald Gallant was not happy about the long break and you could see his frustration after the game.
But now it’s back to a real schedule as the Knights head out on a four-game road trip. Vegas has won five of its last six games on the road after a slow start as the visitor to begin the season.
Record wise the Knights sit 29-10-3, 61 points, still the No. 1 team in the Western Conference and leading the red hot Calgary Flames (25-16-4) in the Pacific Division by 7 points.
Vegas at Nashville
PROJECTED LINE: KNIGHTS +110, PREDATORS -130
So far the Knights have all four points against the Predators – a 4-3 shootout win in Nashville and a 3-0 win at home. The Preds (25-11-6) sit second in the Central Division and have won two straight.
Nashville is still one of the best teams in the West and I think they finally get over the hump against the Knights. PREDATORS
Vegas at Tampa Bay
PROJECTED LINE: KNIGHTS +140, LIGHTNING -160
In a great game last month the Knights took out the Lightning 4-3 in front of a rocking T-Mobile Arena. Few that were in the arena that night rooting for Vegas will forget Shea Theodore’s power play goal with 2.3 seconds left in regulation that sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
That loss had to sting Tampa, who is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games. The Lightning are the only team ahead of the Golden Knights in points with 65. Can Tampa get sweet revenge? I think the Lightning really get after it knowing the Knights are a challenger for the Presidents’ Cup (best record in regular season). LIGHTNING -1.5
Vegas at Florida
PROJECTED LINE: KNIGHTS -115, PANTHERS -105
The Knights thoroughly gave Gallant’s old club a waxing back in December with a 5-2 win. The Panthers have to start winning regularly as they sit 10 points out of the Metropolitan’s third spot and seven points out of the wild card. The good news for them is they have played better lately, 6-3-1 in last 10. However this is a bad spot for Florida. Since I have Vegas dropping a third straight to Tampa this the proper game to get them back on track. KNIGHTS
Vegas at Carolina
PROJECTED LINE: HURRICANES -115, KNIGHTS -105
Carolina is battling with the Rangers, Flyers and Islanders for the final wild card spot as all teams coming into yesterday were one point within each other. They also have a victory over the Knights, a 3-2 shootout win in T-Mobile Arena.
The Hurricanes have struggled recently with only four wins in the last 10 games. With the Knights getting ready to head back home this feels like another great spot to back them, especially with the fact they lost once to this team earlier in the season. KNIGHTS