Bet on Vegas

By on March 1, 2021
Travis Failey Photo

Even just a glance at a team’s schedule in the NHL resembles an MLB schedule, the pucks are back in action in NHL cities across North America.  Due to the unprecedented events in the past ten months the NHL has a new look in 2021.   No Eastern and Western Conference this year, just four divisions, the East, Central, North and West.  How original! (in my more facetious tone).   The East, Central and West divisions each have eight teams, while the North, which I refer to as the All-Canadian division, only has seven.   

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, now getting back to  the schedule thing, get this, no regular season games are played outside of the division.  And yes the schedule is shortened, but with only seven opponents, only six in the All-Canadian division, it looks like an MLB schedule.   Take for example the West division leading Vegas Golden Knights, last week they just wrapped up a four-game series with rival the Colorado Avalanche.  That right, they are all rivals now!  The team split the series and it was with the game on February 21st garnering national attention as the teams faced off outside in South Lake Tahoe, California.  If case you missed some of scenes, it was absolutely breath taking however it’s a game I will always recollect as the a game of the lack of ice integrity.  Facing just after noon pacific time it was not long before the California sun attacked the ice surface.  The game had to be postponed and resumed after 9pm pacific time and the Avs won 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.  The Knights bounced back two days later with a three-goal shut-out to force the split.   

The Vegas Golden Knights are officially the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup, their average odds have shortened to +717, while the Avalanche’s average odds sit at +733. The Knights were hot before the Colorado series sweeping the LA Kings in a two-game homestand and splitting a two-game homestand with the team formally known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  And then, just before the Colorado four-gamer, the Knights lived some traditional action winning one at San Jose.  The Knights notched another two points this weekend beating the Ducks in OT. The Knights are riding the hot goal tendering of Marc Andre Fleury with his NHL leading 1.55 goals against average.   

There are still two thirds of the season left to play but with the leadership of captain Mark Stone touting his team leading 17 points and Fleury and skaters like Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch, and Jonathan Marchesssault add defensemen Shea Theodore and Alec Martinez, it’s easy to see why the Vegas team is a good bet. 

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