Was it expected or a relief that the Vegas Golden Knights got into the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year?
After getting to the championship round against the Washington Capitals last year this team seemed to lose something in 2018-2019. They’ve been on a losing streak lately but they did have enough points to get into the playoffs.
The first game of the first round to playoffs begins Wednesday night against the San Jose Sharks.
But what are their chances?
Mitch Moss follows sports and the odds as host of "Follow the Money" on VSIN, the Vegas Stats and Information Network.
He said it was "improbable" that the Knights would be able to best either Calgary or San Jose for most of the season So, they knew they were going to land as the third seed. He said they coasted into the playoffs rather than risk any more injuries.
“I would rather have other guys that are going to be coming back and completely healthy if possible and I think they can kind of regain that form that they were after getting Mark Stone,” he said.
Moss noted the team was playing at their apex in the days and weeks after getting Stone and he believes they can "turn it back on again."
The hockey experts tend to agree.
“They are giving the edge to the Golden Knights over the Sharks in the series and it actually scares me a little bit because I’ve seen so many people pick Golden Knights to not only win this series but power rate them as the best team in the Western Conference again,” Moss said.
To be successful in this playoff series, Moss said there are somethings the Knights can do.
“No more injuries. That would be first off. If they could have a great powerplay kill that could only help, but if powerplay offensively can also be effective in the playoffs that would be huge,” he said.
He would also like them to get back one of their biggest advantages that they had last year and that was the momentum shift. Moss said they were one of the best in the league at answering a goal scored on them with a quick goal back, which is a great way to keep momentum on their side.
Moss also said getting early goals so goalie Marc Andre Fleury can play with a lead is helpful, especially since he's been gone on paternity leave for several games.
UNR Wolf Pack
“Overall, start to finish, especially with how they played in the Mountain West in the tournament here in Las Vegas, I would say very disappointing with the Wolf Pack this year,” he said.
Expectations were high at the beginning of the year with many people, including Moss, anticipating them going far in the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament, instead, they were defeated in the first round.
And this weekend, it was announced that the coach many people had credited with their success, Eric Musselman, was moving on to the University of Arkansas.
“I think it’s big. I don’t think you can just replace that guy,” Moss said.
Moss doesn't think finding the next Musselman is going to be easy but when an organization like the University of Arkansas comes calling a coach of Musselman's caliber is going to leave.
Mitch Moss, host, "Follow the Money"