The Vegas Golden Knights land in Toronto for a Tuesday night matchup with the Maple Leafs. The Golden Knights have found things a little tougher than last season. Everything came rather easy to the expansion team, as they powered through the regular season to the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights came up short against the Washington Capitals, but it was a season that will be remembered for a long time.
Expecting the same from the Knights is a tough ask in Vegas. Nevertheless, no one can take away what they did last season, and there is still reason to believe that they are a playoff team this season. I will say, though, the loss of James Neal and David Perron were understated. Those are a couple of experienced, talented players that were immediately removed from the equation.
Neal seemed to be appreciated more, but Perron was an integral part of that team who went on to win the Western Conference. In is Max Pacioretty from the Canadiens, a polarizing figure who has his had his share of critics, especially in Montreal. You will find more than a few people out there who don’t think he should have had the honour of wearing the C on his Canadiens’ jersey.
He really hasn’t done anything impactful for his new club, where he’s scored 2 goals with no assists. The Golden Knights have limped to a 6-7-0 record, as they hope to find some momentum with a victory over the Maple Leafs. The Leafs just won their first game without a Matthews, an impressive 5-0 win in Pittsburgh. Get our free Golden Knights vs. Maple Leafs pick below.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Pick
The Golden Knights aren’t playing with nearly the same confidence that they were to open their first-year in the NHL. They had a reason to put on for the city after the mass shooting, which helped bring the community together to support the team. Despite the slow start, the Knights are still getting plenty of support from the fans, but it hasn’t looked like the same motivated product on the ice.
I expected them to slump after the first-half of the season, that didn’t happen and they kept on winning. A sophomore slump might be the next possibility for the Knights. They were scoring goals at a frenetic pace last season to hang with some of the best offences in the NHL. In 2018-19, the Knights are scoring just 2.29 goals per game for 30th in the NHL. The only team worse has been the LA Kings.
That’s more like what people were expected out of the Golden Knights last season. A struggling offence that couldn’t find the back of the net. They’ve still been solid defensively, with 2.71 goals allowed per game. Marc-Andre Fleury enters tonight with a 2.51 GAA and 0.901 save percentage.
The Knights have struggled on the road with a record of 2-5. They are continuing to take advantage of the friendly home ice advantage that they have in Las Vegas, but things aren’t so friendly on the road. The Knights have won two of their last six games. Toronto have actually found defence recently, with just 1.8 goals allowed per in their last five games. Babcock has been stressing and the team has been listening. No Matthews for the Leafs again, though they should be able to make out with a win against the visiting Golden Knights on Tuesday.