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Probabilities Of Each Opponent Based On Round-Robin Seed

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The NHL is a league built on parity. Winning the Stanley Cup is as much about matchups (and luck) as it is the skill of any given team. This year, the matchups have a chance to vary wildly as the league is re-seeding teams at the conclusions of the play-in and first rounds.

Unlike the eight teams with set play-in round matchups, the Golden Knights seed throughout the tournament is dependant on their performance in three round-robin games. The round-robin not only determines who the Golden Knights will play in the 1st Round, but it also determines the opponent in the 2nd round as well.

With four games in the play-in round, there are 16 possible outcomes between the eight teams. Using William Hill odds, we ranked them from most likely to least likely to occur. Then, using those rankings, we are able to show the probabilities of which team the Golden Knights would be most likely to face depending on which seed they end up with in the round-robin. (An explanation of how I arrived at these numbers is at the end of the article.)

 #1 Seed#2 Seed#3 Seed#4 Seed
Edmonton (5)59.6%
Nashville (6)33.0%22.3%
Vancouver (7)19.1%28.4%10.5%
Calgary (8)10.4%22.9%16.8%4.1%
Winnipeg (9)8.7%19.3%14.2%3.5%
Minnesota (10)13.8%20.6%7.6%
Arizona (11)26.7%18.1%
Chicago (12)40.4%

As you can see from the chart, there’s a significant advantage to finish atop the round-robin. Finishing first eliminates the possibility of a matchup with Edmonton, Nashville, or Vancouver, while coming in fourth takes away any chance to play Chicago, Arizona, or Minnesota.

Compare that to this chart, how Vegas has played against each of these eight teams.

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Potential Realignment Shouldn’t Affect Golden Knights

The NHL pause has become the newest, most addicting daily soap opera. Every morning fans wake up to read the latest news on the NHL’s plans to restart the season. Yesterday, Commissioner Gary Bettman shared his optimism with the NHL network.

We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start. There’s no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that’s something that will be under consideration. We’re going to try and make good, prudent, careful judgments. This isn’t a race to be first back. When we come back, we want it to be at the right time, for the right reasons, under the right circumstances. -Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

Now that the players and owners are engaging in daily conversations it shows the effort to recover the season from both sides. One scenario NHL officials have mulled over was originally conceived by Major League Baseball.

MLB is considering a three-division, 10-team plan in which teams play only within their division – a concept gaining support among owners and executives. It would abolish the traditional American and National Leagues, and realign the divisions based on geography.

The plan, pending approval of medical experts and providing that COVID-19 testing is available to the public, would eliminate the need for players to be in isolation and allow them to still play at their home ballparks while severely reducing travel. -USA Today

TSN’s Bob McKenzie weighed on the possibility of the NHL taking the realignment approach, specifically reducing travel which allows players to play in locations closer to their homes and families.

If they get four sites, and we kind of assumed it would try to be done divisionally if they try to get the 19-20 season finished up. Four NHL sites, one for each division. There is the possibility that they would just say ‘well the Atlantic division is going to based out of Toronto. We’re not going to do can’t that, Florida and Tampa Bay can’t get from Florida up to Toronto. We’ll put them with some of the Metro teams, and move one of those Metro teams.’ You could do some mixing and matching on geographical lines versus divisions. -Bob McKenzie, TSN Analyst

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 NASHVILLE PREDATORS 0 (27-20-7 61 PTS)

Recap: The 1st period in Nashville was a special teams battle. Each team was awarded multiple power plays but neither could get past the others penalty kill. It was a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes.

Chandler Stephenson opened up the scoring with his 10th goal of the season five minutes into the 2nd period. Vegas was awarded two more power plays but couldn’t convert, and the Golden Knights took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

Nicolas Roy doubled Vegas’ lead 2-0 with his third goal of the season. The Golden Knights fought off their fifth penalty late in the game, holding on to their two goal lead. Reilly Smith tacked on an empty netter to secure the victory 3-0, and a shutout for Marc-Andre Fleury.

Vegas’ record improves to 27-20-7 and now have 61 points on the season. The team will travel to Florida, for games against the Lightning and the Panthers. Their next game is Tuesday in Tampa, scheduled for 4PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: This was one of the most complete games the Golden Knights have put in all year. They controlled the game from the outset only facing trouble because they couldn’t stay out of the box. The penalty kill came through big again and eventually the dam broke and the goals started to go in. They held the Predators to just 19 shots and even that felt high. Overall and awesome game and a big-time pair of wins in a back-to-back.  (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena

  • Carp’s Sunday column

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Brayden McNabb
** Nate Schmidt
* Chandler Stephenson

On A Set Play Vegas Comes Through In The Clutch

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was the play of the game, if not one of the biggest plays of the season (feels like we’ve said that a lot, hopefully this one actually sticks). Having given up a 3-1 lead, Vegas could have easily skated out the period and secured at least a point in Carolina. However, the Hurricanes gave the Golden Knights one more chance to come away with a win. And that’s exactly what they did.

The late-game power play allowed Vegas to execute a perfectly set up game-winning goal. The beautifully designed tic-tac-toe sequence by Shea Theodore, Paul Statsny and Alex Tuch clinched a wild game for the Golden Knights. Not only was it a big goal for Tuch, but for the new coaching staff as well.

It was a good play by Theo and Stas, something we were kind of looking to do and we were able to execute. I just put my stick on the ice and made sure I hit the net. -Alex Tuch

The play began with a faceoff won by Stastny, purposely to his left, which Mark Stone jumped on and fed out to Theodore. Instead of taking his own shot, giving the puck back to Stone or Max Pacioretty to his right, the defenseman walked the blue line with the puck, opened up the seam and then used a little shot pass to feed the puck through an incredibly tight window to Stastny.

Theodore’s stutter-step/fake shot shifted the defense and goaltender just enough to find an open passing lane to Stastny who was waiting on one side of the net.

Knowing the puck was coming to him, he quickly directed the pass across the crease and on to the stick of Tuch, who tapped in the game-winner.

From the initial pass by Stone, to Theodore’s shot fake, to Stastny’s quick touch pass, each player knew exactly where the others would be. You’ll even notice Pacioretty charging in behind Tuch ready to scoop up any rebounds in case the puck was blocked. Or perhaps as a secondary option. Either way, all five players did their job and the execution paid off.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 NASHVILLE PREDATORS 3 (12-11-4 28 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights took the first lead of the game on a nice shot by Mark Stone. The winger gave his team an important early lead by scoring his 11th goal of the season. Malcolm Subban shutout the Predators in the 1st period stopping all twelve shots.

Reilly Smith would give Vegas a 2-0 edge with his 11th goal of the season. Unfortunately. Nashville would respond less than a minute later to cut the lead in half. The Predators would add another 2nd period goal to tie the game 2-2.

Matt Duchene broke the tie 1:23 into the 3rd period giving the home team a 3-2 lead. Vegas tried to get back in the game, even having a late power play. However, Max Pacioretty scored an exciting last second game tying goal. The Golden Knights forced an overtime period. Vegas would go on to win 4-3 in OT on a game winner by Paul Stastny.

Vegas’ record improves to (12-11-4) and remain in the wild card hunt. The Golden Knights get back to work on Friday afternoon against the Arizona Coyotes. Puck drop is scheduled for 3PM.

Happy Thanksgiving from SinBin! (Recap by Jason)

Analysis:  The Golden Knights played a very good 1st period taking care of the puck and creating plenty of chances. But, things fell apart in the 2nd as they forgot how to defend against an activated defenseman. However, a magical moment from Pacioretty and then a fluky 2-on-0 in OT sent Vegas into the holiday on a high. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena

  • I still have a problem with the way they defended activating blue liners.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Paul Stastny
* Max Pacioretty

Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators Photo Gallery – October 15th, 2019

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NASHVILLE PREDATORS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (4-3-0 8 PTS)

Nashville got off to a quick start scoring 2:14 into the game. Down one early the Golden Knights gathered themselves and score two unanswered goals. Team leaders Mark Stone and Reilly Smith each registered their fifth goals of the season in the 1st period. After 20 minutes Vegas took the 2-1 lead into the intermission.

The 2nd period was all Nashville. The visiting team was able to take advantage of a few of Vegas’ miscues. The Predators scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead into the second break.

Nashville had two early power plays to start the 3rd period. The Predators were able to convert on one of them to take a 5-2 lead.

Vegas’ record drops to 4-3-0 but they’ll have a chance to better it on Thursday night. The Ottawa Senators come to town to take on the Golden Knights for a 7 PM puck drop. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena

  • Puck management lapses have plagued the Golden Knights with Nate Schmidt out of the lineup
  • SinBin.vegas Podcast recorded from Moneyline Sports Bar after the game
  • Photo gallery from the game.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Reilly Smith
* Mark Stone

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 NASHVILLE PREDATORS 1 (32-24-4 68 PTS)

It took a bit of time, and a few nice saves from Malcolm Subban, but the Golden Knights eventually kicked it into gear. A spilled puck on a dump in led to the Golden Knights first goal by Max Pacioretty. Then, in the 2nd Vegas took over controlling play for a majority of the period. It eventually led to a power play goal by Brandon Pirri after a terrific entry by William Karlsson. Vegas took a three-goal lead early in the 3rd. Nashville made it interesting cutting it back to two, but a pair of goals from Oscar Lindberg and Pacioretty sealed the deal on a big win for the Golden Knights.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Carp on the player the Golden Knights should most target at the trade deadline.
  • Ken on a different player he would like to see in Vegas by February 25th.
  • The difference Schmidt made offensively playing with Engelland. (And Theodore with McNabb)

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Cody Eakin
** Oscar Lindberg
* Max Pacioretty

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 2 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (29-19-4 62 PTS)

Vegas struck first using a strong 1st period effort. An excellent goal that touched the sticks of all three linemates was finished off by Max Pacioretty. However, another series of lapses in their own end led to consecutive goals by the Predators to take the lead. The Golden Knights peppered shots at Saros all night long, but could not find the equalizer. It’s the first time they’ve lost two straight at home in regulation all season.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena.

  • The bye week extravaganza on SinBin.vegas. (We have a bunch of somewhat ridiculous non-hockey related stuff)

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Oscar Lindberg (I actually thought he was good tonight.)
** Juuse Saros
* Juuse Saros

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (5-6-1 11 PTS)

An excellent 1st period by the Golden Knights ended with a power play goal from Reilly Smith. The 2nd period didn’t go as well for Vegas as multiple odd-man rushes let to a pair of goals for the Predators. Then, a couple more bad pinches from blueliners led to the third Nashville goal. The Golden Knights hit multiple posts and missed a few other chances and once again could not muster up more than one goal. Vegas also falls to 3-3-1 when scoring first. They were 34-5-2 a year ago.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

  • The first installment of Steve Carp’s column on SinBin.vegas titled “The Foreword”

Three Stars
*** Kevin Fiala
** Juuse Saros
* Ryan Hartman

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