Where’s Jim Mora when you need him? Playoffs?
The Vegas Golden Knights did not defeat the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. Alas, moral victories are fun. Vegas is at 100 points, which still doesn’t seem real. The Golden Knights hold a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division over the Sharks with eight games to go.
With a couple of bounces of the puck, Vegas will be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by Saturday.
First thing’s first: Huge stick tap to our good friends at SinBin for even creating this guide in the first place. It’s been a huge help to have this as a reference.
Here’s what Vegas has to do to punch its ticket to the postseason:
Vegas win at Colorado
Anaheim Ducks regulation loss to Winnipeg, or ...
Los Angeles Kings regulation loss to Edmonton, or ...
St. Louis Blues regulation loss to Vancouver or Columbus
St. Louis loses both games against Vancouver and Columbus. Vegas can also clinch with a win and overtime/shootout losses in both games.
Seems basic enough, right? It helps when you’re the No. 2 team in the Western Conference.
“You don’t want to let anyone try and catch up to you,” Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore said, adding the importance of the ever-so-popular one-game-at-a-time mentality. “The final stretch of the year is where it comes really down to it, and that’s when points get more crucial. It’s going to be a really good test for us.”
Also, Vegas needs a combination of 10 points — via wins and San Jose losses — to clinch the Pacific Division. With four home games left, including the home finale against the Sharks, that should be wrapped up soon.
And just for giggles if you want, Nashville needs a combination of 11 points to clinch first place in the Western Conference. The Predators have a game in hand. Finishing in second place isn’t too bad.
“Ever since January or February, everyone has stepped their game up, and we have also,” Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “It’s a fun time of the year and it’s a hard time of the year for the body, but you just need to rest, eat well and be ready for the next challenge.”
For those who have waited forever for the Golden Knights to clinch a playoff spot, the wait is nearly over. This season has been weird. It’s been fun. And there’s going to be more hockey in April.