It was not a surprise that a Pacific Division team went to the Stanley Cup Finals. What was flabbergasting is that it was an expansion team named Vegas.
The Golden Knights original plan is in the garbage like a 10-team parlay as Vegas tries to return to Finals. Los Angeles and Anaheim figure to compete but San Jose made the biggest move and believes they can return to play for the Stanley Cup as they did in the spring of 2016.
Beside team previews, we will also cover each clubs Over/Under wager for season points in the standings and their odds to win their division and conference. The latter two odds are presented by Intertops.
San Jose – +250 to win Pacific and +600 to win the Western Conference
After years of being a bridesmaid on multiple levels, the Sharks are ready to devour the West and snatch that first Stanley Cup. San Jose ran into a buzz saw in Vegas and lost in the conference finals. The Sharks made cap room and took a serious run at John Tavares and came up short. In late summer, they took another run at all-world defensemen Eric Karlsson and landed him in a trade, while still maintaining their key assets. Match him with fellow blue-liner Brent Burns and scoring leaders Logan Colture, Evander Kane and Joe Pavelski and this is a team that can finally bring home the hardware with a little luck.
Projected Points Total: O/U 101.5
Vegas – +300 to win Pacific and +600 to win the Western Conference
Vegas proved a shrewd front office, a head coach that could meld misfits together and a group of unwanted players with sheer desire and enough skill can take you a long way. Nobody other than the Golden Knights organization is calling for an unprecedented repeat. Vegas like the city is built for speed and that was up and down every line and group of defensemen. Though VGK suffered free agency losses, they seem to have filled those spots well and have stockpiled picks to fill the pipeline in the near future. Last year was pure magic and not one player or coach had anything to lose. Now established and with a reputation, will all those that exceeded every expectation return to normal? That’s the hard question on Vegas.
Projected Points Total: O/U 97.5