The LA Kings play host to the Vegas Golden Knights, as they hope to get their first win against the Knights in franchise history. They’ve met twice already, both resulting in wins for the expansion Golden Knights, 4-2 and 3-2 in overtime. The Golden Knights have continued on a winning path lately, with wins in six of their last seven games. There isn’t much more to say about this team, as they blaze a path through the NHL, taking what may have been expectations in five years and doing it in their first-year in the league.
I’ve read some rumours of the Golden Knights potentially landing Erik Karlsson from the Senators. Karlsson is on the way out in Ottawa, but there hasn’t been any concrete evidence of anything taking shape. I really don’t know if the Knights want to tinker with too much right now, but adding Karlsson wouldn’t hurt. We’ll see what comes of it, but both parties, the Sens and Karlsson, want the same thing. The Knights are coming off a couple of dominating performances, a 7-3 win over the Flames and 6-3 against the Canucks.
The Ducks ended a three-game winning streak, but instead of giving it all back, the Knights powered on and won another three in a row. That’s what good teams do. Bad teams will fold up and call it a day after hitting some success. By now, we are well aware that isn’t how the Knights have been operating this season. They’ve been executing to perfection, but the “real” season hasn’t begun yet, and we’re about to see soon how legit this team really is.
It’s looking probable that they’re going to enjoy home ice advantage, which has really been an advantage for them in their inaugural season. A visiting team spending a few days in Las Vegas is going to play out well for the Golden Knights. They’re on the road in Los Angeles tonight, though. Head below for our free Kings vs. Golden Knights pick on Monday night.
L.A. Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights Pick
The most dangerous part of the Knights is that they can win games with offence or defence. They’re capable of getting into the high-scoring games, or watching Marc-Andre Fleury steal the show in the crease. As an opposing team, it’s difficult to say what would work best, slowing games down or speeding them up, because Vegas has shown they can counter either attack. Working against the Knights will be experience, but they do have a netminder, along with a leader in James Neal who has been at the top once or twice before. The Knights have netted 4.2 goals per game in their last ten games.
While the Knights are humming, the Kings have lost their last two games by 2-0 to the Stars and 4-3 to the Oilers. The Oilers’ loss is not a good look, as the Oilers have struggled mightily this season. They nevertheless won their previous three games before taking two losses in a row. The Kings have been a bit erratic and must calm down here down the stretch. They’re currently 33-24-5 and a couple of points behind the final wildcard seed. They hope that the acquisition of defenceman Tobias Rieder can help them give them the extra push they’ll need. I can see the Kings rising up and playing a quality game tonight. Statistically, the Golden Knights have the edge here. However, after losing twice to this team already, and coming off a couple losses, I expect the Kings to come out of the weekend looking better.
PICK: KINGS (-110)