Knights win first Pacific Division title but looking for much more
April 03, 2018 3:00 AM
by Alan Berg
Pacific Division Champions!
Not the Sharks, Ducks, Kings or Oilers, but the Vegas Golden Knights have clinched the Pacific Division in the first year of the NHL franchise’s existence.
A truly astonishing feat.
Somewhere in Las Vegas people had to have rushed to the Westgate sportsbook with their “souvenir” ticket on the Knights to win the division at 200-1. Only $10 would have got a bettor $2,010 back. Crazy.
But hey, you don’t want to hear about the division. Now it’s about the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Well here it goes, by winning the division the Knights locked up the No. 1 Pacific Division playoff spot with the win.
Vegas sits at 107 points, behind the Nashville Predators (113) for the Western Conference overall seed.
With only three games left the Knights would have to sweep all three road games and hope Nashville loses all three. Not likely, since just one point for the Preds locks up the overall 1 seed out West.
Currently here are the top Western Conference standings as of press time:
No. 1 Nashville (113 points); No. 2 Winnipeg (106); No. 3 Minnesota (96).
No. 1 Vegas (107); No. 2 San Jose (98); No. 3 Anaheim (95).
Los Angeles (94); Colorado (93).
St. Louis (92); Dallas (88).
Winnipeg, Minnesota and St. Louis all have four games remaining while the others have three.
Dallas is hanging on by a thread, needing Colorado and St. Louis to not earn more than one point in the remaining games and win out to make the postseason.
The Wild only have a three-point lead over the Avalanche and four over the Blues so they are still fighting to hold their spot.
Also, the Kings are trying to move up and catch the Ducks, only one point behind their bitter rivals.
Let’s go over the final regular season games for the Knights.
Vegas at Vancouver
These three games upcoming are interesting since Vegas has little to play for once the Predators gain the one point to lock up the conference. They will likely know the result of the Nashville at Florida game and it could affect the lineups for the Knights. That will make trying to pick this game difficult.
Because of that and the lack of a defense in Vancouver take the total. OVER
Vegas at Edmonton
The Golden Knights went 1-2 against the Oilers this season so maybe they will show a little pride as the coaches and players will likely play this as a tune-up for the playoffs.
This might be the easiest spot to back the Knights, either they are still in the hunt for the conference or want to get some decent work in prior to the final regular season game. KNIGHTS
Vegas at Calgary
End of the Western Canada road trip takes us to Calgary. At this point the Knights probably know where they stand in the playoff picture and will likely be using the time to study their first-round matchup.
Don’t expect much out of them unless they can win the West. FLAMES (if Predators have clinched conference), KNIGHTS (if Vegas can catch Nashville).