Preview: Golden Knights Have Opportunity to Prove Themselves Against Reigning Champs

Tonight the Vegas Golden Knights (4-1-0, 8 points) face another tough early season matchup as they take on the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Colorado Avalanche (2-2-1, 5 points) are fresh off a pair of losses, a regulation loss to the Seattle Kraken on Friday, and an overtime loss vs. the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, a team that Vegas handily defeated on Thursday evening.

Vegas has scored 17 goals, has allowed 10 against, and currently are tied with Boston with a .800 winning percentage. Colorado has scored 19 goals, allowed 17 against, and is 16th in the league with a .500 winning percentage.

Tonight’s matchup is the first of three games the three will play against each other, and the next encounter will take place in Colorado on January 2, 2023. The changes made to the NHL schedule were done so that fans have a chance to see all the teams around the league, but it certainly is a bit of a bummer that we’ll only have this matchup three times.

If all goes right for both sides, this could be a potential Western Conference Final matchup, and tonight’s performance can serve as a bit of a benchmark in regards to how the team has started under new bench boss Bruce Cassidy.

Vegas rebounded in their last game vs. the Jets after playing undisciplined hockey vs. the Calgary Flames, a game in which an inability to stay out of the penalty box let their opponent back in the game after the Golden Knights took an early 2-0 lead.

Colorado recently lost Gabriel Landeskog to a long-term injury, but they still have a number of players that can cause havoc for the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights have some decent options as well, and here is a projected lineup for both sides.

Vegas Golden Knights

Reilly Smith — Jack Eichel — Phil Kessel

Brett Howden — Chandler Stephenson — Mark Stone

Mike Amadio— William Karlsson — Jonathan Marchessault

Will Carrier — Nicolas Roy — Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague — Zach Whitecloud

Logan Thompson

Colorado Avalanche

Artturi Lehkonen — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin — J.T. Compher — Martin Kaut

Andrew Cogliano — Alex Newhook — Evan Rodrigues

Dryden Hunt — Jayson Megna — Logan O’Connor

Bowen Byram — Cale Makar

Sam Girard — Josh Manson

Kurtis MacDermid — Erik Johnson

Alexander Georgiev

This is a bit of a busy stretch for the Golden Knights to start the season, and every opportunity to bank points is important. They are off to a good start, and tonight will be a good early test vs. a tough division rival.

Logan Thompson certainly has another big opportunity ahead of him, and he’ll look to continue giving the team in front of him a chance to win.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the game.