What to watch for as the Golden Knights visit the Canucks
Three games remaining in the regular season for Vegas, and there’s not much to play for except padding records.
There’s nothing left for the Vegas Golden Knights to play for, other than a few more points to pad their already stacked record book.
The Golden Knights, winners of the Pacific Division (which is still really weird to say), begin their final three-game stretch of the regular season Tuesday with a trip to Vancouver against the Canucks.
This is an opportune time for Vegas (50-22-7, 107 points). The first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are guaranteed to take place in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights still have a puncher’s chance at the top seed in the Western Conference, but that requires the Nashville Predators to show up drunk in the final three games and play like absolute dog turds. Chances are slim, I say.
Vegas can rest some key players — Marc-Andre Fleury comes to mind, maybe even William Karlsson or Jonathan Marchessault. Maybe Vegas wants to play well going into the playoffs. There are some scenarios in play.
The Canucks (30-40-9, 69 points, nice) are playing for ping-pong balls. That’s fun.
Here’s what to watch for.
Welcome aboard, Brandon Pirri
The Golden Knights made a late-night recall Monday with the addition of Pirri, the leading goal scorer of the Chicago Wolves and original representative for Chicago in the AHL All-Star Game (he was replaced by Tomas Hyka, who was replaced by TJ Tynan, who was yeah you get the picture).
It’s been almost a full year since Pirri has played in an NHL game (April 9, 2017). Given that David Perron and Reilly Smith have not played in what seems like forever (and Gerard Gallant has assured they will be ready for the start of the playoffs), this could mean Pirri hits the ice in Vancouver. He was signed to a one-year deal back in October.
This also plays into the whole rest thing. This could also mean the Golden Knights give defenseman Zach Whitecloud in these final three games. Either way, Pirri has scored a lot of goals this season (29) and he might get a chance to play. This is fun.
Some more burn for Malcolm Subban?
On one hand, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for Fleury to get some reps before the playoffs. It also wouldn’t be terrible for him to watch more soap operas.
Alas, giving Subban more ice time might be a good idea. The Golden Knights’ backup goaltender got the victory Friday against the St. Louis Blues, a 4-3 overtime venture that gave Subban his 12th win this season.
Remember the days of Fleury starting in 24 of 26 starts and him possibly being tired and wondering if he was going to be playing with half of his body in the ice because he was going to run himself into the ground? (and exhale)
This is another problem Vegas can avoid! If Fleury wants to watch his soaps, let him watch his soaps. Hooray for clinching the division early.
Farewell to the Sedin twins
We hardly knew ye.
The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, announced Monday they will retire at the end of the season. They pretty much did everything together. They were drafted by Vancouver second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Draft, played in Vancouver the entire time, and even made a Stanley Cup Final at one point (If you listen closely, you can still here the riot).
And much like their entire careers, they announced their retirement together. It’s been a crappy season for the Canucks, one fans would like to never speak of again. But these final three games, with the home finale against Arizona on Thursday, will mark as a celebration for two storied careers. Cheers to the Sedin brethren.
How to watch
Time: 10 p.m. PT
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, NHL.TV
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM