The Vegas Golden Knights have clinched their fifth playoff berth in the six seasons of their existence, and although that would normally be cause for celebration, the fact is, the Pacific Division and Western Conference Championships could go to any one of six teams.
Vegas currently leads the Pacific Division and Western Conference with 99 points. But that is a very slim margin, and all of the teams behind them in the standings seem to be getting hot during this very important time of the season. During last week’s swing through Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, the Golden Knights were looking very strong with three straight road wins. However, they came home to T-Mobile Arena and looked flat in a 7-2 loss to the Oilers, and even less inspired last night in San Jose where they lost in overtime, 4-3.
It’s nail-biting time for fans of the Vegas Golden Knights, with only seven games remaining in the regular season. It looks like the two teams in the Wild Card positions in the Western Conference, the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets will not be able to overtake our home team. Either, or both teams, sitting outside the playoff picture, the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames, could overtake Winnipeg for that final playoff spot.
Up near the top of the standings, it is just as bunched up: First place Vegas (99 points), the Edmonton Oilers in second place (97 points), and the third place Los Angeles Kings (96 points) are the top three teams in the Pacific Division, and any one of those strong teams could end up winning the Pacific Division title. It’s going to be a tight race all the way to the end of the regular season.
In the Central Division, it’s just as close with the first place Minnesota Wild (97 points) about to challenge the Vegas Golden Knights for Western Conference supremacy in a home-and-home series Saturday April 1st at T-Mobile Arena, and then back to Minnesota for a game Monday, April 3rd. If either team should sweep that series it would go a long way to determining who gets home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche are hot on the Wild’s heels with 94 points each.
The top six teams in the Western Conference are separated by a mere five points, and each team has anywhere from six to eight games remaining in their regular season. Anything can happen, especially in NHL hockey. It’s going to be fun to watch. Go Knights Go!
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.
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