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Vegas Golden Knights

Are Golden Knights Better Off Facing Stars Over Oilers?



Vegas Golden Knights, Mark Stone, Game 5 win

The penalty the Vegas Golden Knights will pay for losing 4-1 to the 30th-place Anaheim Ducks on the final day of the NHL regular season doesn’t seem overly harsh.

By falling to the Ducks, Vegas will now play the Western Conference’s No. 1 seeded Dallas Stars, instead of the Connor McDavid-led Edmonton Oilers.

Game 1 of the Vegas vs. Dallas best-of-seven Western Conference is Monday (6:30 p.m. PT).

Over the final week of the season, there were certainly VGK fans espousing the idea that their team might be better off facing the Stars than the Oilers.  Vegas was in a pick your poison situation.

It’s no reward to face either the Stars or Oilers, but the defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights did go 3-0 against the Stars this season.  That’s a bit misleading. All three of their meetings came before Dec. 9 and the Stars grew stronger as the season progressed. Also, two of the three games were decided by one goal. One of the Golden Knights’ triumphs was by a shootout.

Vegas also defeated Dallas in the Western Conference Final last season on the way to winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Stars Impressive Down Stretch

The Golden Knights were 1-1-1 against the Edmonton Oilers.  They will now face Los Angeles in the first round. If the Golden Knights want to repeat, they likely will have to beat the Oilers. But the argument for the second round being better is that the Golden Knights may need a round to  get themselves in full playoff mode.

Of course, there is no guarantee the Golden Knights will advance to the second round.

The Stars finish the season ranked third in scoring (3.59 goals per game) and eighth in goals-against (2.83). They also boast the NHL’s sixth-best power play (24.2%). Dallas is 17-4 since Feb. 29

By contrast, Vegas is 13th  in scoring (3.21) and 12th in goals-against (2.96). Their power play ranks 20th (20.2%). The Golden Knights were 9-5 in their last 14.

They do have injured players Mark Stone and William Carrier skating with the team wearing non-contact jerseys.

The Vegas-Dallas series is good for the rest of the NHL. It means one very good team will be eliminated early, and the team that survives this match-up could be worse for wear caused by the series.