Few could have predicted the meteoric start for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights who opened up at 100/1 Futures Book longshots to win the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup. Let’s analyze why VGK is a team who could realistically win an NHL championship.
Only one team in the NHL has won more games than the expansion Vegas Golden Knights and as we approach the 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend in Tampa (Jan. 27-28), it is impossible to ignore three things surrounding this expansion NHL hockey team who laces up its skates here in Sin City:
1—Their Record and standing atop the Western Conference
2—How quickly this team has gelled and how talented it really is, especially in the context of a first-year, built-from-scratch franchise
3—How far the Odds have dropped from a team which opened at 100/1 to win the 2018 Stanley Cup against “The Field” (1/1,000, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) around seven months ago.
All-Stars James Neal, Marc-André Fleury and Vegas (29-11-3, 61 points) have been sensational at Home at the T-Mobile Arena going 18-2-2 in the new building which means any potential Playoffs opponent will have to try to win in what’s because a big and instant Home-ice Advantage and should the Golden Knights continue on this path, they could have the Home-ice edge in the West when the puck ultimately drops on the NHL Postseason on April 10.
The Golden Knights (+900 to win 2018 Stanley Cup) definitely possess the Roster, the surprising Depth, the Cohesiveness, the Momentum needed as well as the Consistency to make a decent run at the Stanley Cup with the VGK faithful expecting nothing less than an appearance in the NHL championship series. Crowd matters in the NHL. And Gerard Gallant is the perfect and driving Head Coach for the youngish Golden Knights and has been the apt maestro for this new team which played consistently well on the frozen water from Day One. This is not a dream.This is real life, Pablo.
And besides the aforementioned Lightning (+675 to win 2018 Stanley Cup), only the Winnipeg Jets (26-13-7, 59 points) and the New Jersey Devils (23-12-8, 54 points) have seemingly been as solid in this first half-plus of the NHL Regular Season. The ability to win on the Road is paramount for teams wanting to make a run a professional sports’ greatest trophy, and Vegas has definitely proved it can hang with anyone in the NHL, as the simple eyeball and Final Score tests prove. Ask an opponent if you’re unsure. This team has arrived and this is no fluke. And those sports bettors who backed the VGK to go Over their Regular Season Points Total of 68½ (-110), win their Pacific Division (2000) and/or win the Western Conference are looking like geniuses right about now along with those who backed the ‘Yes’ at +1000 in the “Will the Vegas Golden Knights Make the 2017-18 Playoffs? Prop offering from the SuperBook.
Here are updated 2018 NHL Stanley Cup, Eastern and Western Conference odds from Bovada. The 2018 All-Star Game will be held in Tampa at the Amalie Arena on Sunday, Jan. 28 (3:30 pm ET/12:30 pm PT) and employ a 3-on-3 format incorporating all four of the league’s divisions (Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central, Pacific) made up of two (likely) goal-heavy, 10-minute Halves with a Shootout employed if the two teams are still tied after the 20 minutes of play. The Rosters for the four All-Star teams have already been chosen and the Atlantic and Metropolitan will play in the first game (3:30 pm ET/12:30 pm PT), followed by the Central and Pacific (4:30 pm ET/1:30 pm PT) with the two winners meeting in the championship (5:30 pm ET/2:30 pm PT).