It is officially October, which means that hockey season is finally upon us. With a couple of big additions in the offseason, the Golden Knights will be fired up and ready to make another run at the Stanley Cup this year.
There will obviously be a lot of big games for Vegas this season, but these five are the ones you simply cannot miss.
Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Washington Capitals — 5 p.m. PDT
Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals proved to be too much for the Knights in last year’s Stanley Cup Final. After a summer of partying with the Cup, will the Capitals experience the fabled Stanley Cup hangover? The Knights face them right away in just their fourth game, and will surely want to make a statement early on in the year by defeating the champs.
Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Pittsburgh Penguins — 4 p.m. PDT
You won't have to wait long for the next must-see game, as Marc-Andre Fleury returns to Pittsburgh the day after Vegas’ visit to Washington. With the Knights’ first back-to-back of the season, you have to imagine that Fleury will get the night off against the Capitals so that he can face off against his former team. Flower was selected first overall by the Penguins and spent 12 years with them, winning three Stanley Cups in the process. He had an emotional return to Pittsburgh last year, and this year shouldn’t be any different.
Friday, Oct. 26 vs the Tampa Bay Lightning — 3 p.m. PDT
This year’s Nevada Day game is against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Golden Knights stifled one of the league’s most electrifying teams last season, winning both meetings with them. In last year’s Nevada Day game, the Knights took down the Colorado Avalanche in a 7-0 win, and will look to give fans a similar show this season.
Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Montreal Canadiens — 4 p.m. PDT
If the Montreal Canadiens are good at one thing these days, it’s throwing proper ceremonies and tributes. After they traded fan favorite P.K. Subban two years ago, he was greeted by an emotional video montage and standing ovation in his first game back. The same will surely happen for Max Pacioretty’s first game back after spending 10 seasons there and serving as their captain for three.
Tuesday, Jan. 1 vs. the Los Angeles Kings — 6 p.m. PDT
It’s difficult to say that a rivalry exists after just one year of a franchise’s existence, but the Kings and the Knights are as close to rivals as possible. After sweeping the Kings in the first round of last year’s playoffs, each team has something big to prove this year. The two teams meet twice in the last week of 2018 before facing off on New Year’s Day. Depending on how the two games during the week play out, the culminating game on Jan. 1 can have a ton of ramifications. The two teams won’t meet again until the final game of the season on April 6.