Vegas is arguably on their most important road trip of the season beginning tonight in Vancouver. Three games against three hungry Canadian teams from the Pacific Division. The Canucks are desperately scratching and clawing, the Flames are in 1st place, and the Oiler’s high-powered offense has likely fueled them to the playoffs. There’s no understating, the next set of games are vital to Vegas’ postseason pursuit.
We’re doing whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s killing big penalties or scoring big goals on the power play. We have the ability in our room. It’s just a matter of us going out there and do it. -Bo Horvat, VAN captain
Let’s start with Vancouver. As Golden Knights fans watched last week the Canucks are not a team to take lightly. The team in green and blue are riding a three-game win streak and have no room for mistakes.
We all know how we have to finish this season. There’s no point of putting all of the stress on yourself. Every game is stressful because it’s do or die. We’ll play the right way and give ourselves a chance. It’s right in front of us. -JT Miller, VAN forward
Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau has his players loose and motivated for a chance to shock the conference. If Vegas drops tonight’s game, Vancouver will be only two points behind them. Vegas fans are already scoreboard watching LA, Dallas, and Nashville games, there’s not enough energy to keep tabs on another. That’s why the Golden Knights must play sound defensively, take advantage of second chances and get their star players back to form. Most importantly, leave British Columbia with two points.
Then it’s on to Calgary.
Some thought the Flames would play it safe down the stretch and possibly rest some impact players. That was news to head coach Daryl Sutter and his team.
It’s about the team. There’s been too much talk over the last week or so about individuals. It’s about the team. We’re trying to become a better club and get some respect in the league. You got to earn it. -Daryl Sutter, CGY coach
The two-time Stanley Cup winning general doesn’t seem concerned about carefully preparing for the postseason. Sutter is holding his practices like it’s the start of the conference final.
When you’re at practice, you’re expected to make tape-to-tape passes, work hard, skate, & then prepare for the next game. It just becomes a big cycle where you play, reset, and expect to win and try and get better everyday. That’s going to be big for us down the stretch. We need to clean things up and get our game where it needs to be. -Chris Tanev, Flames defenseman
The Golden Knights can certainly fly into Calgary and collect two points. With Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty available, Vegas is a different hockey club. No matter what the final score is the Golden Knights should prepare for a battle.
These 10 games left are critical. We want to get points and clinch a playoff spot and we want to finish first in our division to get home advantage. So, all these games left are huge. It’s not a time to relax. It’s pressure time, so you have to be game on. -Oliver Kylington, CGY defenseman
The Golden Knights’ road trip ends in Edmonton. The Oilers are out for blood right now. They’re 12-2-2 in their last 16 games and have scored an average of 4.31 goals per game. Edmonton earned the most points (26) since early March and surprisingly they’re getting quality goaltending.
Our mindset first and foremost finding a way to lock in that position and make sure we’re playing after these nine games. -Darnell Nurse, EDM defenseman
The messages are clear, all three teams on Vegas’ trip will make each game a challenge. One is fighting for their season, a second one is fighting for position and another is fighting for respect. Six points are on the line and splitting them may not be enough. On the other hand, if Stone and other reinforcements make a significant impact on this trip, the Golden Knights’ odds to make the playoffs will have significantly increased. But like most hockey players in the league likes to say; take it one game at a time.