Only two teams, the Nashville Predators (89) and Tampa Bay Lightning (92) have acquired more points than the Vegas Golden Knights (87) this year. The expansion side, competing in its inaugural National Hockey League season, have already exceeded expectations but Vegas are eyeing up an unthinkable Stanley Cup triumph.
The Golden Knights are set to enter unchartered territory but neutrals will be keeping watch on their progress ahead of the postseason. Regular season form means very little once the playoffs get underway and Vegas will need to carry their momentum into the postseason and beyond.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Ottawa Senators have failed to inspire confidence this year – much to the dismay of their passionate fan base. After reaching the playoffs in two of the previous three seasons, Ottawa supporters will be disappointed to miss out. Sadly, the Senators haven’t been good enough to force their way into the postseason reckoning.
Golden Knights Capable Of Winning Stanley Cup?
Write the Golden Knights off at your peril. The Vegas-based franchise have done incredibly well to get to this stage and why would you back against them on current form? The Golden Knights have won six of their previous 10 NHL games and another victory looks likely against Ottawa.
Currently up there at 21/2 with 888Sport to win the Stanley Cup in various betting markets, Vegas have the quality to go all the way – but a lack of experience could cost them. Neutrals in Nevada and the wider ice hockey community will be getting behind the Golden Knights though; there is a real chance for Vegas to make history.
KEY MAN: William Karlsson. Karlsson leads the Golden Knights in goals scored (34) and he could be set for another big performance against the Senators. With four goals in his last four outings, Karlsson is in fantastic form and Ottawa will be wary of his scoring threat.
Karlsson isn’t just a goal scorer though – he has assisted 23 (two of those coming in the last four games) for his teammates this year. An integral figure, he is the Golden Knights star to watch this weekend.
Ottawa Must Rebuild Ahead Of 2018/19 Campaign
Sadly, it has been a season to forget for the Senators. Ottawa have lost five NHL matches on the spin and it would take a brave man to back the Canadian side here. Only the New York Islanders (228) have conceded more goals than Ottawa (219) through 62 regular season games.
The Senators have lost three of their last four games by the odd goal – that has been the case throughout the entire campaign. Often blown out, Ottawa have a negative mindset in big games and that has been costly. Can you see the Senators stepping up in a road game against this Vegas side? An away win looks unlikely…
KEY MAN: Mark Stone. Only one man has stood out for Ottawa this season and that man is Mark Stone. With 57 points in 53 appearances, the Senators star has been sublime – the lack of support from teammates has been quite alarming.
Leading the team in both goals (19) and assists (38), Stone deserves plenty of plaudits and does not deserve to take any of the blame for Ottawa’s struggles. If Vegas fail to stop Stone, he could be set for a very influential contest.
A thrashing could be on the cards here. Vegas are stronger in all departments and Ottawa will be under the cosh from start to finish. The Golden Knights will be looking to send out a statement of intent with a dominant performance in this fixture; the hosts should run riot against a hapless Senators outfit.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6-2 SENATORS