By W.G. Ramirez
The Vegas Golden Knights were back at City National Arena one day after closing out a four-game road trip that spanned six days.
Suspended defenseman Nate Schmidt was back for his first home practice since the end of training camp.
Coach Gerard Gallant took a maintenance day, and in the coach’s press conference, assistant Mike Kelly said it’s time to: “keep it a little bit more simple. Like, not complicated.” The Golden Knights, he added, are overthinking, causing them to play slower.
A sure contribution to the Golden Knights’ paltry 2.39 goals per game — third-worst in the NHL.
They have another day to think about it, with Pacific Division-rival Anaheim in on Wednesday.
Vegas fans who like to frequent the window on game night will be pleased to know their beloved Golden Knights were 10-5-2 playing on two days rest last season, and were 4-2-1 on three or more days rest. This year they’re 2-2 on two or more days rest, but should be motivated for when the Ducks come to town.
So while the Golden Knights enjoy the day off, the Betting Spotlight takes a look at best bets in hockey.
Florida at Philadelphia (-125)
The Panthers open a six-game road trip that will keep them ordering room service for 11 days. They leave South Beach riding a four-game win streak by an average final of 4.25-1.5. Florida has scored nine of its 13 power-play goals on the road. The Flyers, however, have earned at least one point in their last six contests, and have already defeated Florida once this season in a 6-5 shootout. The Flyers have won three straight by outscoring teams 14-6.
Philadelphia, which has just 30 goals at home (25th in the NHL), is being outscored at home by an average final of 3.75-2.88. Florida averages 3.14 on the road, and the Flyers have allowed the seventh-most goals to their guests.
The value is on high-flying Florida plus the money.
Pittsburgh (-120) at New Jersey
The Penguins visit New Jersey after snapping a five-game slide, topping the Coyotes, 4-0. They catch the Devils mired in a 2-9 slide, with three three-game skids separating the two wins — one of them coming against the Penguins. If the pattern holds true, the Devils win this game.
Pittsburgh gets revenge.
Montreal at Edmonton (-140)
The Oilers have lost four straight and have scored six goals in that span. They’ve allowed 17 goals along the way. With Montreal rested after an emotional win over VGK, the Canadiens are worth a shot.
Take the road pup here, as Montreal starts its three-game road trip with a dub.
Vancouver at N.Y. Islanders (-170)
Awfully hefty price for the Isles to lay when they’ve lost three straight and are entertaining the most electrifying rookie in the league. Elias Pettersson and the Canucks could be a live dog.
Arizona at Detroit (-110)
The Coyotes have followed a five-game win streak with a 1-2-1 skid. They close a four-game trek in six days, having to face a Detroit team that has won three straight — one in overtime, two by shootout — and six of seven overall. Lay the home wood.
Tampa Bay (-145) at Buffalo
The Atlantic Division-leading Lightning open a four-game trip riding a 4-1-0 streak. They’re 5-1-1 on the road and aren’t about to lose to fifth-place Buffalo. Road chalk.
Washington at Minnesota (-140)
The Wild skate into this one having won five of six and 10 of 12, outscoring the opposition by a cumulative final of 42-26 in their last 12. The Caps are struggling. Minnesota will be value.
Toronto (-130) at Los Angeles
Since splitting their first four games, the Kings are 3-9-0. The Maple Leafs won the first meeting on Oct. 15, in Toronto, 4-1. The Leafs will be looking to avenge Saturday’s 5-1 loss in Boston. Lay the road number.
Nashville at San Jose (-135)
The Predators are playing their third game of a five-game tour through the Western Conference. They’ve outscored their foes 18-7 during the win streak, and will be out to make a statement to the Sharks.
W.G. Ramirez is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas who covers the Vegas Golden Knights for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @WillieGRamirez.