Golden Knights Analysis
Golden Knights’ Stretch Run Schedule A Good Playoff Warmup
The Vegas Golden Knights only have eight games remaining on their 2022-23 regular season schedule. Ho…
The Vegas Golden Knights only have eight games remaining on their 2022-23 regular season schedule. However, with a win against the San Jose Sharks Thursday, the VGK can extend their season by clinching their fifth trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It won't be easy, though, as the VGK are currently in the midst of a stretch run where they play multiple playoff-bound teams in home-and-home series, in what almost resembled a mini-playoff series. The VGK will play the Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken in this upcoming format and most recently split a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oilers, winning on the road in overtime and losing at home.
“I think it is good to get the best out of you. Would you like a couple of games that are less physical and stressful towards this time of year? Of course, every team would tell you that… But every team, if you’re not ready to play, you are not going to win in this league,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy.
The Golden Knights remain first in the Pacific Division standings and in the West, but both the Wild and Kraken, who they will play in these home-and-home series, are chasing them in the standings. The Wild are just three points behind the VGK for the top spot in the Western Conference.
“Any inter-division games are big games… through stretch here we are playing a lot of divisional teams and teams that we want to crush before the playoffs because it’s confidence building to beat the teams that you might be playing in the playoffs,” said goaltender Laurent Brossoit.
While playoffs are almost guaranteed for the VGK, playoff seeding will determine not only their opponent but their home-ice situation as well.
“It’s that time of year. Everybody knows what’s on the line. We’re trying to fight for a seed, and they are trying to fight for a seed,” said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
The Golden Knights will begin their second home-and-home series in this stretch Friday against the Minnesota Wild at 7:00 p.m. at home. In the meantime, they can take care of business against the San Jose Sharks Thursday to clinch a playoff spot with a game at 7:30 p.m.
“I think it will help us with those competitive games. I do. It will keep us sharp and mentally focused," added Cassidy.