R-E-S-E-T was the word of the day at morning skate for the Vegas Golden Knights, who headed into Christmas break with a pair of disappointing overtime losses to think about. But after three days off away from one another and hockey altogether, to spend time with family for the holidays, the Golden Knights appeared ready to get back on the ice.
They host the Colorado Avalanche, who have arguably the most dangerous line in the NHL, in what will be Vegas’ final home game in 2018.
Vegas will be looking to earn a point for the 14th time in 19 games. Last season the Golden Knights earned a point in all three meetings.
The Golden Knights have won 11 of 17 and continue to challenge in the playoff race in the Western Conference, currently sitting in third place in the Pacific Division with 44 points.
We are 16-6-2 with totals involving the Golden Knights, after hitting the Over in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. We’re also on a 4-3 run with top-rated power plays throughout the league.
As of 5 p.m., the Knights are -140, while the Avalanche are taking back +130.
Value in the Knights
The price looks extremely attractive, considering the Golden Knights have been home for about a week, and come into this one well rested. Even with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scratched from this one, Max Pacioretty back on the injured-reserve list and Colin Miller still nursing an injury - the Golden Knights are a dangerous bunch. Brandon Pirri is back with the team, the top line will be pumped to carry momentum into this game, Ryan Reaves has his beer dropping at a nearby tavern and could be amped up to punch one in before he makes his appearance and Marc-Andre Fleury was none too pleased with his back-to-back overtime losses before Christmas. This team will be focused and laying a buck-forty is not too bad.
Value in the Avalanche
Getting a plus price is going to be value when you’re talking about the high-flying Avalanche, who rank third in the NHL in goals (129) and fifth in goals-per-game (3.49). The Avs also ead the league in third-period goals (54), with Mikko Rantanen setting the tone. He leads the NHL in scoring with 59 points (16 goals, 43 assists) and has registered a point in 18 of his last 21 games. There’s also the Nathan MacKinnon-factor, as he is the only NHL player to rank among the league’s top 10 in points (56-3rd), goals (22-9th) and assists (34-5th). MacKinnon has points in 19 of his last 24 games. Colorado is sitting third in the Central Division with 44 points, and a win tonight would move it into a second-place tie with Nashville. Always value in playing an underdog that can score in droves.
As of 5 p.m. pacific, the total in this game is 6-over -120.
We’re going Over once again, as the Golden Knights have a sour taste in their mouths after dropping identical 4-3 overtime decisions to Montreal and Los Angeles. Their top line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith reunited in the second period of the last game, and they wasted no time in scoring. With Pirri back on the second line, and dare we say Cody Eakin long overdue to get back on track, Vegas will be on a rampage. As for the Avs, the aforementioned stats and numbers for two of the league’s best scorers - Rantanen and MacKinnon - reveal how lethal Colorado’s offense can be. This is also team that is extremely dangerous in the third period. A league-high 16 of Landeskog’s 24 goals have come in the third period. The Avs also lead the league in third-period goals (54). Look for a high-scoring affair, as we have it going OVER.
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