The white-hot Vegas Golden Knights hit the ice at T-Mobile seeking their eighth straight win, as they host Pacific Division rival San Jose on Thursday, and the Sharks are certainly circling Las Vegas Boulevard for their Dad’s Trip.
The last time these teams met, on Nov. 24, it was whitewash, as Marc-Andre Fleury stood on his head and the Golden Knights earned their second shutout in as many nights with a 6-0 win over San Jose.
The Sharks, who are in the thick of the Pacific Division and Western Conference race, smell blood on the ice, and Vegas will be in for the hunt of the season.
We are 18-10-2 with totals involving the Golden Knights, after losing with the Over in Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. We’re also on a 4-3 run with top-rated power plays throughout the league and look forward to returning with our power plays not involving Vegas.
As of 6 p.m. PT, the Knights are -120, while the Sharks are taking back +110.
Value in the Knights
Vegas is playing its best hockey, and despite being down two key forwards — William Carrier and Reilly Smith — the reinforcements are no slouch. The top two lines are easily a pair of the most dangerous in hockey, with William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty on the first, and Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch and Brandon Pirri on the second. They will put Martin Jones to the test, and as fired up as Ryan Reaves gets when facing Evander Kane, the heavyweight enforcer may tether the net tonight. At just -120, the Knights are always worth looking at.
Value in the Sharks
San Jose does not like the Knights, and that was made clear by defenseman Brent Burns, who in the preseason acknowledged these are a pair of rivals that simply do not get along. The Sharks will be looking to steal this one on the Dad’s Trip, and get revenge for their most humiliating loss of the season. San Jose has won four in a row, outscoring the competition 20-9 along the way. The Sharks may not have had success in this series, but if there is one game they have a chance at, it’d be this one at a dog price.
As of 6 p.m. PT, the total in this game is 6-over -115.
As mentioned, these rivals do not like one another. And there will be physical activity from the opening puck drop. Expect every line, every forward and every defenseman to bang. We like Jones and future first-ballot Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury to be sharp, and this one to stay low.
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.