The Pacific Division has not exactly been a hotbed for NHL dominance the last few years. This year though, there’s been enough player movement in and out of the division that there’s a bit of a question as to how strong it will actually be.
Last year’s division champs, the Calgary Flames, lost two-thirds of their top line but were able to replace it with a couple of stellar players due to a blockbuster trade with the Florida Panthers. Edmonton, who advanced the furthest of any Pacific team, is basically bringing the band back together, and Los Angeles, Vancouver, Anaheim, and Seattle all added in the offseason.
The Golden Knights, despite an offseason of cap managing, should still be right in the mix to compete for the division title. They’ll continue to have the strongest D-corps in the division, an above-average top-six, and an excellent head coach.
With camp still a few weeks away and the regular season more than a month out, it can be tricky to find good prediction models for how the season may go. Luckily, here in Vegas, we call home to the best model in the world, betting odds.
Whether you gamble on sports or not, odds give a strong indication as to not just what sportsbooks believe is going to happen, but also what the public sees as the most likely outcome in a game or season. As bets come in on each team, sportsbooks adjust their lines to limit their likelihood of taking big wins or losses. So, what ends up happening is the odds become essentially a giant poll of public opinion with votes being cast by dollars.
William Hill posted season point totals and make or miss the playoffs lines on every team in the league a few weeks ago. As early bets came in, some of the numbers shifted giving us a better perspective on how the public views the league.
|Point Total||Make Playoffs||Earned on $10 Bet|
As you can see, the Golden Knights are currently projected to finish in third place, well behind the Oilers and Flames, but comfortably in a playoff position ahead of Los Angeles and Vancouver.
William Hill’s odds actually project the playoff cut line to be much lower than it was a year ago. Last season, Vegas finished with 94 points and missed the playoffs by three. The odds show 94 points being enough to reach the playoffs this year in the West, mainly because of the perceived power of the East.
Here are the numbers for the Central to show the playoff chase.
|Point Total||Make Playoffs||Earned on $10 Bet|
The projected 96.5 points for the Golden Knights are higher than all but four teams in the conference, which would put them in the playoffs fairly easily. However, the difference between the teams they are chasing and the teams chasing them are not equal. VGK are eight points off the division leader in the Pacific and a whopping 18 points short of Colorado in the Central, while being just three points ahead of Dallas who represent the first team out of the playoffs using these numbers.
According to the oddsmakers, it’s going to be tight, which for my money makes this the most intriguing regular season for the Golden Knights since Year 1.
**William Hill is the official betting sponsor of SinBin.vegas.**
With the questions surrounding Stone and a possible goaltending controversy, that +200 on missing the playoffs is starting to look intriguing.
I see it a little different. I see Los Angeles 3 and us or Vancouver 4th. If Stones out any length of time not sure we’ll compete. Stones not the big offensive threat but boy can he steal the puck. I’m just going to enjoy the games we can’t control what management has done to lead us down the path were on.
The whole “Canucks are making the playoffs” narrative is based on a hot end of season. I’m not buying it.
I say VGK has a range of 2nd-5th in the Pacific even if hit with injuries.
This team is WAY underrated.
Let me understand, you’ll “enjoy the games we can’t control what management has done to lead us down this path”. Not sure I understand that statement but it sure doesn’t sound like a VGK fan. Anyone who calls themself a fan of the franchise yet routs against them due to a misplaced anger against the front office does not really represent what most would consider a loyal fan.
It took me a few tries to comprehend what he was trying to say. Punctuation is crucial. That sentence would actually be understandable if it read like this:
“I’m just going to enjoy the games; we can’t control what management has done to lead us down the path were on.”
THE hockey God
we’ll know by end of November if we have a contender or pretender.
I don’t see Cassidy holding the pieces together. i see AHLers making the roster, and meddling along.
The kings, ducks, canucks, and yotes all got better. Kings goalie is long in tooth, but as we saw with farce of franchise even a goalie on crutches, patched up knees, and eye patch can catch lightning in bottle. Or as Sting would say, message in a bottl.e
THG, We’ve has our differences but your post is spot on.
i am not a betting man
i make smart investments, waiting for opening day, will do a lot of hedging.
i vill be bach,
knights fan in minny
jt miller re ups with the nucks
Ken, thanks for another nice piece.
I like this this one too.
From Jesse Granger’s recent article on Cassidy striving to elevate Eichel.
“Eichel has worked hard this offseason, mostly training at Elev802 in Andover, Mass., where he’s built up his strength and sharpened his puck skills. With a full training camp to mesh with his new, talented linemates, Cassidy and the Golden Knights are hoping for the best version of Eichel the NHL has seen yet. Here’s some footage of Eichel’s on-ice workouts, from Elev802’s Instagram.”
they could easily finish anywhere from 2-5 in this division. Edmonton should take it. but Van, LA & Cal are no slouches either.
Stone and eichel one hit away from career ending injuries
Hell will freeze over before Vegas makes the playoffs
A psycho crack head for a goalie …. Good luck
What will happen is another mountain of excuses why they suck so bad