The Vegas Golden Knights continue their west coast tour of Canada, with a stop in Vancouver to face the Canucks. The Golden Knights suffered their worst loss in franchise history, a 8-2 drubbing by the Edmonton Oilers. It was really only a matter of time before a team opened it up and exposed them. I think the doors will really fall off for the Knights when the New Year hits, as this start hasn’t gone according to plan. Despite getting blown out, they still own a respectable record of 10-6-0. When you factor in that it’s an expansion team that’s pretty good. I think the plan for this season was to take their lumps and get a high pick in the next draft. While they’ve playing above expectations, this isn’t going to be the core group that would eventually take them to a Stanley Cup.
The heart and leader of the Golden Knights has been James Neal, and there have been rumors of him being shopped around in a trade. Neal is a UFA at the end of the season, so if Vegas feels he isn’t part of their future plans, it would be wise to acquire a first-round selection in the draft for him. There will be potential suitors out there who would welcome Neal with open arms. It’ll be up to the Knights if they want to go in that direction.
Right now, all they’d want is to get some goaltenders healthy on their roster. It’s getting ridiculous at this point, as it looks like, the Golden Knights will look to fifth-string goaltender Dylan Ferguson. Ferguson was brought up from Kamloops in the WHL as an emergency replacement. He’s a prospect in the Golden Knights’ system.
Current starter Maxime Lagace came up grimacing against the Oilers, and not because of all the goals they scored on him. It appeared he was injured, but he did practice with the Knights on Wednesday. There is a good chance Vegas goes with the 19-year-old tonight in Vancouver. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Canucks pick.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick
Ferguson got some brief work in against the Oilers, allowing 1 goal on 2 shots. The Oilers worked Lagace for 7 goals on 22 shots, which equates to a scary save percentage of 0.759. Ferguson came in late to clean things up, when the Oilers tacked on another goal to make it a 8-2 final. The Golden Knights’ offence has been playing well, with 3.47 goals scored per game, but it’s painful when they’re on to their fourth and fifth-string goaltenders. In their last eight games they’ve allowed 4.4 goals per game. There isn’t much else to expect when they need to go down the prospects list to find goalies.
The Oilers’ offence came to life against the Golden Knights. It was just what they needed to get their stroke back. The Canucks are in a similar situation, where they are looking for a breakthrough game. If Lagace does in fact get the nod in net, he’s entering with a 4.13 GAA and 0.86 save percentage. Ferguson faced the Canucks in the preseason, a 9-4 win for the Golden Knights. Jacob Markstrom enters with a respectable 2.53 GAA and 0.913 save percentage. He’s been shaky of late with 13 goals allowed in his last four outings in the crease. I like this pick more with Ferguson in net, but Lagace doesn’t provide much faith in net, either. The Canucks aren’t going to find the back of the net as often as the Oilers did on Tuesday, but there should be a plethora of goals regardless.
PICK: OVER 6 (-110)