Connect with us

New York Islanders

Can Islanders, Devils & Rangers cash in on Golden Knights trend?

Did last year’s historic hockey run from the Vegas Golden Knights annoy the rest of the country so much that now everyone is their hated rival?

VSiN had a lot of fun covering the expansion miracle on our Vegas-based broadcasts last season. But we could see why hockey fans in other sports-crazed cities were less enthused. That must get old after a while — watching the national media gush about a new team making a deep playoff run when your team didn’t make the playoffs or hasn’t made them in a long time.

The magic was slow to start in VGK’s second season. Vegas dropped four of its first five games in October, and was still below .500 at Thanksgiving. Though wins have been more frequent lately, the following interesting dynamic might still be in play:

Vegas has a horrible 4-10 record this season when its “first look” against a team in the 2018-19 season is in hostile territory. Its only first-look road victories have come against Chicago, Arizona, Edmonton and Minnesota. The 10 “first-look” road losses were in Los Angeles, Calgary, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, St. Louis, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg and Buffalo (those gaudy opening ceremonies during last season’s playoffs could be viewed — and despised — in all time zones).

Vegas is 13-4-1 in all other games, reminiscent of last season’s dominance.

That could be an important backdrop for New York-area hockey fans this week. Vegas will be playing first-look road games against the Islanders (Wednesday), Devils (Friday), and Rangers (Sunday). Can the metro area sustain intense anger about the Elvis-ization of hockey over five days? Is “the rest of the NHL” still trying to send a message to the Vegas franchise?

The Islanders are up first, off a 2-1 shootout loss Monday night to Pittsburgh. New York (+115 on the money line) lost faceoffs 30-22 and giveaways 21-15 despite being at home in a quick-turnaround revenge spot off a 6-2 loss in Pittsburgh last Thursday. The Isles are 2-5 their last seven games, but with two of those losses coming in shootouts.

Once all the first-looks are out of the way (and possibly sooner), Vegas might offer sustained betting value similar to last season.

  • That strong home-ice edge still appears to be in play (10-3-1 thus far, including eight wins in the last nine tries … a 39-13-3 record in Vegas since inception).
  • Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is still a magician (Knights are 17-10-1 in his starts, 0-4 with Malcolm Subban).
  • Depth of talent is still a big plus, not some sort of one-year magic wish that was granted.

If Vegas outshines the neon lights this weekend, it may be ready to surge back toward first place in the Pacific Division. Even if first looks on the road continue to be a hazard, there aren’t many more. Second-half investment potential looks very promising for last season’s profit powerhouse.

Source Link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in New York Islanders