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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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Recap: The first period was a bit of the mess for the Golden Knights up in Minnesota. Vegas was awarded a power play :30 seconds into the game but couldn’t take the early lead. The Wild jumped all over their man-advantages, scoring twice to take a 2-0 first period lead. The Golden Knights had three total power plays but could only muster up two shots.

Minnesota doubled their lead to 4-0 in the middle frame. One of the Wild’s second period goals was on the power play, scoring three so far in the game. Vegas again had trouble getting going on offense, and continued to struggle on special teams.

Down 4-0, coach Pete DeBoer replaced Marc-Andre Fleury with backup Malcolm Subban to start the final period. Neither team had much offense in the 3rd, combining for only nine shots on net. The Wild closed out the period and finished off Vegas 4-0.

Vegas’ record drops to 28-22-8 and sit on 64 points. The team heads home and will face the reigning Stanley Cup champions St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Puck drops at 7p. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The special teams were especially bad tonight. Despite having heaps of chances on the PP the Golden Knights did nothing and they couldn’t kill a penalty to save their lives. From there, they became undisciplined and it devolved into a nightmare. An absolute trainwreck from start to finish. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center

  • A new message about the goalie rotation

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Reilly Smith
** Brayden McNabb
* William Karlsson


Recap: Vegas hosted the Minnesota Wild a team with past success at the T-Mobile arena. In three previous games in Las Vegas, the Wild were 3-0.

The opening period was a back and fourth contest but turned quickly in favor for the Wild with about four minutes remaining. Vegas was called for three late penalties resulting in a power play goal for Minnesota. After 20 minutes, the Golden Knights trailed 1-0.

Chandler Stephenson would continue to impress his new teammates tying up the game with his 6th goal of the season, and his 3rd as a Golden Knight. Shea Theodore would give Vegas the lead on a nice rush with :10 seconds left in the 2nd period.

Tomas Nosek added to Vegas’ lead with his 5th goal of the season stretching his team’s lead to 3-1. Minnesota would get one with their goalie pulled but couldn’t find the equalizer in the dying seconds.

Vegas’ record improves to 19-13-5 with 43 points. The team will take a quick divisional road trip to play Vancouver and San Jose. They’ll face off against the Canucks on Thursday night. Game time is scheduled for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas did well to overcome some 1st period adversity. A pair of horrendous penalty calls set the Golden Knights back as they headed to the 1st intermission down a goal. However, they put together back-to-back solid periods and earned a much needed win against a team they’ve struggled mightily against. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena.

  • If Nashville was the turning point, what/who deserves the most credit?

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Deryk Engelland
** Tomas Nosek
* Mark Stone


The Golden Knights hosted the Minnesota Wild still in search of clinching a playoff berth. Vegas would get a bit of great news in that star forward Max Pacioretty was back in the lineup after being injured earlier in the month.

Minnesota came out strong scoring 2:12 into the contest on a weird angled shot that squeaked by Malcolm Subban. Vegas wouldn’t be able to create much offensively mustering only a few quality shots on net. With under a minute defenseman Deryk Engelland took a costly tripping penalty leading to a power play goal for Minnesota. After twenty minutes the Golden Knights trailed the Wild 2-0.

The 2nd period Vegas continued having problems generating offense. Midway through the period Minnesota’s goaltender Devan Dubnyk made one of the saves of the year on Mark Stone’s wraparound attempt. A few minutes later the Wild added a second power play goal taking a three goal lead. Vegas would get some life as Paul Stastny scored his 12th of the season right before the end of the period. After forty minutes of action Vegas trailed Minnesota 3-1.

Stastny would score his 13th later to make it a one goal game with twelve minutes to play. Subban would be pulled for an extra attacker but Minnesota shut down every opportunity from Vegas. It was a crazy finish, however the home team came up empty losing 3-2.

The Golden Knights record drops to (42-30-6) but with Arizona’s loss Vegas clinched a playoff berth. They remain in the Pacific Division’s third place position, with four games left to play. The team will get back on the ice tomorrow night as Vegas will travel to San Jose. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 6 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Martin Jones’ VGK nightmares

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Ken
** Didn’t Watch
* The Game

How The Golden Knights Can Clinch By Sunday

The Golden Knights clinched last year on March 26th. They can actually do it sooner this year.

Having won 10 of the past 11 games the Golden Knights have soared well above the playoff cut line and it’s only a matter of time until it becomes official that Vegas is heading to the postseason.

But, like everything in sports, nothing is a sure thing until it’s actually a sure thing. It can become a sure thing soon though, as soon as Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Knights currently have 89 points with eight games left to play. The first team out of the playoff picture is Arizona with 78 points, also with eight to go.

Thus, the easiest way for the Golden Knights to lock in their place is to eliminate the Coyotes. Using our “Points to Elimination” tool, it takes six points to do so (and only five VGK clinches the tiebreaker).

Arizona plays at New Jersey tomorrow and at the New York Islanders on Sunday. Vegas hosts Detroit tomorrow. If the Golden Knights win in regulation or overtime, and Arizona records only one point in those two games, Vegas will clinch.

If Arizona records two or more points, the Golden Knights still have a chance to clinch.

The attention would then turn to the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, and Chicago Blackhawks. With a Vegas win tomorrow, the Golden Knights would need just one more point to eliminate Chicago and three to eliminate Minnesota and Colorado.

The Wild have a back-to-back in Washington and Carolina tonight and tomorrow while Chicago and Colorado have a home-and-home back-to-back against each other Saturday and Sunday.

So, if Vegas wins tomorrow, they would need Minnesota to record one or zero points in their two games, and Chicago and Colorado would have to split (with Colorado’s loss coming in regulation).

VGK win + ARI loss to NJD + ARI loss to NYI


VGK win + MIN loss to WSH + MIN loss to CAR + COL/CHI Split 2 Games

If any piece of both of those scenarios falls short, the next Golden Knights attention will turn to Monday in St. Louis.

It could happen Sunday, it could not, but either way, it’s happening soon. Once that’s locked up, the focus is going to start to shift towards San Jose, who as of this article are five points ahead of Vegas with eight to go. It’s a tall task, but if the Golden Knights can knock off the Sharks again on the 30th, things could get very interesting that final week.


A sloppy 1st period in which only 11 total shots on goal were taken resulted in a 1-0 lead for Vegas on a PP goal from Alex Tuch. A missed wide-open net on a rolling puck by Brandon Pirri kept VGK from going up 2-0. Then the Wild got going as they scored two straight to take the lead. A terrific passing display by Paul Stastny led to a Max Pacioretty goal which knotted it back up. A scramble play in the Golden Knights end led to the go-ahead goal for the Wild and Vegas could not rebound. The loss moves them to 1-4-0 against the Wild all time.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena.

  • What is going on with Zykov if he’s not going to get into a game?

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Colin Miller
** Jonathan Marchessault
* Devan Dubnyk


For the second game in a row, the Golden Knights looked like the better team in the first period but didn’t head to the locker room with the lead. Vegas dominated the play in the 2nd, but neither team scored. The Golden Knights had plenty of chances in the 3rd but just could not get one past Devan Dubnyk until the very last moment. Max Pacioretty fired one home to tie the game with about a minute to go. The Golden Knights had to kill a penalty in OT, which they did and the game went to a shootout. Former Wild Erik Haula scores the game-winner in SO!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

  • Sunday’s are off for, so we’ll see ya for the early game on Monday.

Three Stars
*** Matt Dumba
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Devan Dubnyk

Wild Feeling Pretty Pretty Pretty Good About Potentially Seeing Vegas Again In April

We’ve forgotten about them right now until the thing happens. -Bruce Boudreau, Wild Head Coach

There’s just something about the Wild… in the regular season. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The ‘thing’ that Boudreau was referring to is a potential playoff matchup against the Golden Knights. It’s not the matchup as of right now, but Minnesota’s holds just a three point lead on the wild card teams which means a date with Vegas is certainly a realistic possibility.

Boudreau’s nickname is Gabby, because he’s constantly gabbing. However, he gave short responses when I asked how a season sweep could carry over to the postseason.

Playoffs are a whole different animal. But this was as close to a playoff matchup you’ll get. -Boudreau

Unlike their coach, the Wild players didn’t downplay the season sweep.

Yeah I think we can use this confidence. I think to have the psychological advantage over them says something. We can definitely use that. -Charlie Coyle, Wild Forward

Coyle scored his 11th goal of the season on Friday night.

We’d be pretty confident playing against these guys. For some reason we play well against them every game. We see our real team when we play against these guys. -Coyle

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For the second game in a row the Golden Knights got off to a miserable start. They allowed one in the 1st and two more in the 2nd and headed to intermission down 3-0. Vegas finally looked like themselves for the final seven minutes or so of the game, but the goals game to few and too late and an empty netter sealed it for Minnesota. That’s four straight losses at T-Mobile Arena for the Golden Knights.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena.

  • How does All Star head coach Gerard Gallant choose who starts each game? (It’s not the best players or best line)
  • What are the Wild doing against VGK and could they do it if this were a round one playoff series?

Three Stars
*** Mat Dumba
** Erik Haula
* Jason Zucker


A miserable opening period for the Golden Knights in which they gave up two goals, were outshot 19-8, and lost the Corsi battle 26-12. The Wild added the game’s third goal but a power play tip-in from Erik Haula cut the lead back to two. Minnesota scored again on the power play sending the game to the 3rd at 4-1. Vegas never quite got going as the Wild become the third team to beat the Golden Knights twice.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

  • On to Washington.

Three Stars
*** Charlie Coyle
** Eric Staal
* Jonas Brodin

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