The Vegas Golden Knights (14-4-1, 29 points) finish off a two-game Canadian road trip Monday night with their first matchup of the season against the Vancouver Canucks (6-9-3, 15 points). Upon completion of the game, Golden Knights will have played every Pacific Division team once this year.
With a new head coach at the helm who previously coached exclusively Eastern Conference teams, and the VGK missing out on a playoff spot last season, these matchups are critical.
Nicolas Roy remains out for the Golden Knights with a lower-body injury and Logan Thompson will likely be tonight’s starter. A reminder that tonight’s game is at 7:30 p.m. and not the traditional 7:00 p.m.
The Canucks will be wearing their reverse retro jerseys at Rogers Arena, which features “Johnny Canuck” as an alternate logo. Fittingly, the Golden Knights scheduled first appearance of their reverse retro jerseys will be in a game against the Canucks, on Nov. 26th.
What to Watch For
The Canucks are such a wacky team, in my opinion. They have all the pieces to succeed with big-name players and young stars, but they continue to be stuck in this funk. Outside of their advancement through the play-in round, they haven’t made the traditional Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2015.
They started this season off losing seven straight games. Recently they have strung together a couple of sloppy wins and dug themselves out of last in the Pacific Division. The Pacific Division gets a bad rap for having the “weaker” teams in the NHL with the Canucks, struggling Ducks, and Sharks.
The Golden Knights need to take advantage of these divisional matchups and collect points. If you recall back to last season, the Canucks almost caught the Golden Knights in the playoff race.
If things continue to sour in Van City, captain Bo Horvat could be traded. The 27-year-old center has one year left on his contract worth $5.5 million. If the VGK are looking to add to their forward depth (which we think they should), Horvat could be a player on general manager Kelly McCrimmon’s radar.
Projected Vegas Golden Knights Line Combinations
Chandler Stephenson- Jack Eichel– Mark Stone (c)
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson– Reilly Smith
Paul Cotter- Michael Amadio- Phil Kessel
William Carrier- Brett Howden- Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Nicolas Hague- Zach Whitecloud
Logan Thompson/Adin Hill
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams
PP1: Stone, Eichel, Stephenson, Marchessault, Pietrangelo
PP2: Howden, Karlsson, Smith, Kessel, Theodore
PK1: Karlsson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo
PK2: Stephenson, Stone, Martinez, Whitecloud
Nicolas Roy/Jake Leschyshyn, Ben Hutton
Projected Canucks Line Combinations
Connor Garland- Bo Horvat (c)- JT Miller
Ilya Mikheyev- Elias Pettersson- Andrei Kuzmenko
Vasily Podkolzin- Sheldon Dries- Brock Boeser
Dakota Joshua- Nils Aman- Curtis Lazar
Oliver Ekman-Larsson- Ethan Bear
Quinn Hughes- Luke Schenn
Riley Stillman- Tyler Myers
Thatcher Demko/Spencer Martin
Canucks Special Teams
Micheal Ferland, Tanner Pearson, Jack Studnicka, Travis Dermott, Tucker Poolman, Nils Hoglander, Jack Rathbone, Kyle Burroughs
How to Watch/Listen
7:30 p.m. on AT&T Sportsnet, ESPN+, and Fox Sports 98.9 FM Radio.