As the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs marches on, fans all over the globe are ready for the second round to produce the Stanley Cup semifinalists. As we inch closer to the Stanley Cup Finals, teams are maximizing their efforts just to try and advance to the next round. In this article, we have our NHL futures pick for this Thursday, June 10th. Will the Vegas Golden Knights find a way to win and defeat the Colorado Avalanche?
On Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights showed their true might by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in overtime. Yes, they came back from two goals down, and yet the bottom line was Vegas again took advantage of some missed opportunities by Colorado. Give Vegas credit as they found a way to victory and take the series lead at three games to two. The much-hyped Game 6 is tonight and the expected result is a Vegas Golden Knights home win. Vegas has been one of the better teams at home all season. If they can keep going with this balanced effort from the last several games, the Golden Knights can easily win Game 6 and move on to the Stanley Cup Semifinals versus the Montreal Canadiens.
Again, some will argue that they also have the superior players, with the Golden Knights led by Marc-Andre Fleury, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Alex Pietrangelo for starters. Also, the Vegas second line along with Alex Tuch has had several glorious moments in Round 2. Even the top line has been able to slow down Nathan MacKinnon to the point where Colorado has had to break up their top line. If Vegas had not given up a last-minute first-period goal in Game 5, they would have won in regulation. The Golden Knights have been that good since the late stages of Game 1 — especially at even strength.
Ahead of this pivotal Game 6 showdown, the NHL odds are out and they’re in favor of Vegas. The Golden Knights have been listed between -135 and -140, while the Colorado Avalanche is hovering around +115 to +120. If you’re an Avalanche fan, even you have to be thinking that beating Vegas twice in a row is going to be tough. Minnesota was able to do this in Round 1. The Golden Knights have learned their lesson and will not take Colorado that lightly. They know how good Colorado can be.
For NHL Picks, our best bet on Thursday night features taking Vegas on the moneyline.
In what has totally become an unexpected and weird second-round matchup, Vegas should take down Colorado in Game 6 on Thursday night. The Golden Knights will likely draw what most are terming the “golden ticket” with the Montreal Canadiens. That series expected to start sometime this weekend or early next week at the very latest. Vegas expects to be a heavy favorite in that best-of-seven.
That’s because when the inevitable reseeding comes, Vegas getting Montreal is about the biggest gift they could ask for while Tampa Bay will see either the Boston Bruins or New York Islanders. The Stanley Cup Semifinal round changes all the dynamics. Vegas will not have the luxury of a ton of rest time but they will be considered the much stronger team. Playing without resting a ton may be more of a blessing for Game 1 and that way, Vegas is not rusty.
The Las Vegas sportsbooks had projected -180 odds for a Game 1, while Montreal would be again the underdog at +155. Earlier this postseason, Vegas was one of our better value picks to compete for the NHL Stanley Cup title. Now, Vegas slotted right near the top and their odds are shortening more and more by the day. This is because of all their depth.
Now, Montreal will not be an easy team to eliminate but easier than Boston or New York. The Canadiens’ balanced attack combined with their youthful infusion (Cole Caufield, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Nick Suzuki) has been something that will present Vegas somewhat of a challenge. Whether it is depth or whatever, the Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens may not be the series everyone wants. However, it may be a series that is better than expected. Vegas is likely to prove to be the third time is the charm.
Earlier this postseason, the Golden Knights were set at +1000 to win it all. Now, Vegas’ Stanley Cup odds keep on climbing, as they now hold +225 odds to be crowned the Stanley Cup champions. Vegas was thoroughly outplayed by Colorado in Game 1 and lost Game 2 in overtime. Yet, here they are, just behind Tampa Bay as favorites to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Also, this was also the same Vegas team that was on the brink of elimination against the Minnesota Wild. Max Pacioretty returned and saved the team from a potential early visit to the golf course.
Now, the team is getting ready for a Game 6 that could potentially be the final game of this round for them. First, the Golden Knights must advance. If they can do that, then Vegas will be able to face that Montreal team. With the increased expectations, things will not be easy. However, Vegas is one of those teams that may not need as much scoring against a Montreal Canadiens team that can have difficulty finding the back of the net.
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Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.