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Probabilities Of Each Opponent Based On Round-Robin Seed

(Photo Credit: 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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Las Vegas “Virtually A Lock” As NHL Hub City

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s one of the worst kept secrets, the city of Las Vegas is the front runner to become one of the NHL’s playoff hubs.

I think out West that Vegas is virtually a lock. I don’t know that there’s one perfect place but I sense that Vegas has an inside track.-Ray Ferraro, Ray & Dregs podcast

With the decision still in the hands of the league, TSN insider’s Ray Ferraro and Darren Dreger spoke with Commissioner Gary Bettman about the plan to return to play and the selected hubs. Which could impact the Golden Knights and our city.

I’m going to have to make a decision collectively on this probably in about three weeks. I think in two weeks we’ll start narrowing down even further. Somewhere around three weeks we’re going to have to pull the trigger and start finalizing the arrangements and make our deposits. -Bettman

Over the past two months, we’ve covered every reason why Las Vegas makes sense to the NHL, but the decision really falls on the local and state governments. Bettman’s mention that any decision was still weeks away helps the city government assess the logistics. Once elected officials make their decision, the NHL can choose Las Vegas or not. Personally, I have a feeling that both parties would like to come to an agreement.

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Recap: The Canucks got off a quick start, scoring the game’s first goal 2:49 into the game. Pesty Antoine Roussel controlled a rebound and buried it passed Marc-Andre Fleury. Vegas would go down two on a Vancouver power play goal. Jonathan Marchessault cut the lead in half with his 11th goal of the season. Unfortunately, the Canucks scored with :28 seconds to go in the period. After one, Vegas trailed 3-1.

Reilly Smith brought Vegas within one with his 14th goal of the season. Nick Holden tied the game 3-3 on a screened shot from the point. Vegas would fight off a late penalty and hold the tie after 40 minutes in the books.

Vancouver would regain the lead 4-3 midway through the final period. Elias Petterson scored his second goal of the game to give the home team the one goal edge. Mark Stone would tie the contest 4-4 on a beautiful catch and shoot with Max Pacioretty. The game would be settled in overtime. The Golden Knights comeback attempt came up short losing 5-4 in OT.

Vegas’ record drops to 19-13-6 with their OT loss against Vancouver. However, the team picked up a point and is now tied with Arizona for first place in the Pacific Division. The team travels to San Jose for another divisional matchup on Sunday night. Game time is scheduled for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Far from Vegas’ best game, the Golden Knights battled through it controlling play for most of the game despite chasing it. Fleury was not at his best and Markstrom was unbelievable. Considering the goalie discrepancy, getting a point is a win. Vegas now improves to 8-1-2 since going to VGKD 2.0. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena

  • VGK is very good on 4-on-4.

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


This one was over quickly as the Golden Knights scored five goals in the 1st period. Mark Stone got on the board for his first Vegas goal. Alex Tuch scored with his visor, Tomas Nosek on a tip, Paul Stastny through the five-hole, and Eakin banked one off a Canuck. Vancouver scored a couple but the game was never in doubt after the first 20.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

  • Carp is in Vancouver to file his Sunday column

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Colin Miller
** Alex Tuch
* Mark Stone

Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks Photo Gallery – March 3rd, 2019

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Vegas controlled almost all of the 1st period but couldn’t find a way to get one past Jacob Markstrom. But in the 2nd a rocket of a shot by Max Pacioretty got the Golden Knights on the board. Then a rebound put back in by Ryan Carpenter upped the lead to two. Reilly Smith tallied the third of the game and then the only question was whether or not Fleury would secure the shutout. He did making just 19 saves.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena.

  • The Gusev story is coming tomorrow. (They are only down 2-1 now)
  • Photo gallery from the game
  • A closer look at exactly how Gallant is deploying Mark Stone and how it’s affected the rest of the roster.
  • Legendary enforcer on the new-age type of enforcer that is Ryan Reaves.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
** Ryan Carpenter
* Max Pacioretty


The Golden Knights controlled the beginning portion of the 1st period but then Connor McDavid happened. Vegas got it going towards the end of the 2nd period and William Karlsson banked one in off an Oiler’s skate scoring for the fourth game in a row. A giveaway behind the goal led to Edmonton regaining the lead early in the 3rd. Vegas couldn’t muster up enough chances to get one behind Mikko Koskinen.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.

  • Steve Carp’s Sunday column on Tom Wilson

Three Stars
*** Marc-Andre Fleury
** Mikko Koskinen
* Connor McDavid


The Golden Knights got off to a bit of a slow start allowing a 1st period goal on a delayed penalty, but they really came on as the period wore on. A great shift for the “4th” line earned a goal for William Carrier. Then, a power play goal by Max Pacioretty gave the Golden Knights the lead heading into the 2nd intermission. Vegas surrendered a two-goal lead, but an awesome effort from Reilly Smith on the penalty kill led to a tap-in for William Karlsson for the game-winner.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena

  • 2nd line FTW

Three Stars
*** Bo Horvat
** Brock Boeser
* Max Pacioretty


Somewhat of a mess of a period from both teams to start the game. Both teams had a power play chance they did nothing with. 0-0 after the 1st felt like the only justifiable score. The Golden Knights got on the board first with a great forechecking play by Erik Haula to set up Max Pacioretty. However, a pair of Canucks goals gave Vancouver the lead back. Ryan Reaves’ second of the year tied it late in the 2nd. Vegas had plenty of chances in the 3rd but couldn’t get one past Jacob Markstrom. The Golden Knights had the better chances in OT, but couldn’t score. In shootout, Fleury stopped the first three but couldn’t keep the fourth out. Vegas went scoreless.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Scored his second goal today, but Pacioretty’s not great in October and December in his career
  • Planning on asking some questions about the 6% power play success rate, not sure what we’ll get back but expect it to be cliche-y.

Three Stars
*** Max Pacioretty
** Ryan Reaves
* Bo Horvat


In his first Golden Knights game, Brandon Pirri scored on his first and third shots netting a pair in the first two periods. Tomas Tatar added a goal himself as the Golden Knights dominated both the 1st and 2nd periods. After they made it 4-1 early in the 3rd, the Canucks stormed back tying it at four with more than nine minutes to go. Vegas scored in OT, but a goalie interference call brought it back. In shootout, Malcolm Subban was his typical dominant self once again stopping four shots. Shea Theodore hit the game-winner in shootout.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

  • Golden Knights playoff experience, it’s a lot but also kind of not a lot.
  • New Pacific Division Podcast episode

Three Stars
*** Shea Theodore
** William Karlsson
* Nikolay Goldobin

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