The NHL is set with two solid round robin matchups on August 8. One of these games on Saturday will be between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche. These two teams have done well in their round robin play so far, and will look to earn the top seed in the Western Conference. The puck will drop for this matchup at around 3:00 PM Eastern time on NBC.
The Golden Knights earned a record of 39-24-8, which had them in first place of the Pacific Division. Vegas has gone 2-0 in the round robin play, which has helped them get on track to earn the top spot in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights will look to knock off the Avalanche to finish out in the top seed as the round of sixteen begins on Tuesday.
Colorado posted a record of 42-20-8 throughout the regular season, which had them in second place of the Western Conference. The Avalanche have also gone 2-0 since the round robin play began and have a chance to earn the top seed. Colorado has looked dominant in their first two games and will look to keep that momentum going as they finish out their last round robin matchup.
These two teams will meet in a battle for the top seed in the Western Conference, which should lead to a great game on Saturday afternoon. I expect these teams to bring more intensity to this matchup, as they inch closer to their first series in the round of sixteen. This game will help set up some momentum going forward to the next round.
These two teams met for the first time on October 25 in Vegas. William Karlsson scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights in a losing effort. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored a goal and two assists, while Matt Calvert and Nazem Kadri both had two goals. Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced in route to a 6-1 win for the Avalanche.
The Golden Knights also hosted the second game of the season series on December 23. William Carrier, Max Pacioretty and Ryan Reaves all scored for Vegas, but it still was not enough. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored twice, while J.T. Compher and Nathan MacKinnon both had two assists. Pavel Francouz stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced as the Avalanche won 7-3.
Vegas hosted both games in the regular season, but it was Colorado who dominated the two matchups. The Avalanche outscored the Golden Knights 13-4 throughout the two games. Vegas will look to come back strong in this matchup to try and avoid another tough loss to Colorado. If the Avalanche can continue to come out strong against the Golden Knights, they should be able to earn the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Golden Knights had a strong power play throughout this season. Vegas was able to capitalize on 42 goals on 191 power play chances, which was a 22 percent power play. The Golden Knights penalty kill was not as strong though. Vegas held opposing teams to 50 goals on 214 opportunities, which is a 76.6 percent kill rate.
Colorado’s power play had a strong showing throughout the season. The Avalanche scored on 46 of their 241 power play attempts, which was a 19.1 percent success rate. Colorado’s penalty kill was even better throughout the season. The Avalanche tallied 39 goals on 210 power play chances, which was an 81.4 percent penalty kill.
The Avalanche have found more success on special teams throughout the round robin. Colorado capitalized on 30 percent of their power play chances, while killing off 83.3 percent of the penalties against them. The Golden Knights have scored on 28.6 percent of their power play chances in the round robin, but have killed off 75 percent of the penalties against them.
I believe that Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in the crease on Saturday afternoon. Fleury has earned a record of 27-16-5 throughout the regular season. He put up a save percentage of .905 and a 2.77 GAA throughout the season. He allowed four goals on seventeen shots in his start against the Blues. Vegas could also go with Robin Lehner, who stopped 24 of the 27 shots against him in the Golden Knights matchup versus Dallas.
Philipp Grubauer will likely get the nod in the net for the Avalanche in this matchup. Grubauer put up a record of 18-12-4 throughout the regular season. He had a .916 save percentage and a GAA of 2.63. Grubauer stopped 31 of the 32 shots against him versus St. Louis. Colorado could also go with Pavel Francouz who had a 27 shot shutout against Dallas.
These two teams have options in net for this matchup on Saturday afternoon. Both of Colorado’s goalies have had stronger starts to the round robin play. Whichever goalie gets the start for the Golden Knights, will look to have a nice bounce back game. If Colorado can get some goals early, they can earn an edge up on Vegas on Saturday.
These two teams have gone 2-0 throughout their round robin matchups, which will lead to an intense game on Saturday. The Avalanche have earned back to back strong wins, while Vegas has had to come from behind in their two games. If Colorado can use their advantage in net and on special teams, it could help give them a win on Saturday.
BetOnline has the Avalanche listed as a -107 against the money line. This implies that Colorado will win this game around 51.7 percent of the time. The Golden Knights have had to come from behind in their two wins and eventually that will run out. I believe that the Avalanche will put a lot of pressure on Vegas, which will make them collapse. I like the value behind Colorado in this one.