Vegas Golden Knights: 5 games to be excited about in 2019-20

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

SAN JOSE, CA – APRIL 23: San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (39) and Vegas Golden Knights center Paul Stastny (26) scramble for control during overtime in Game 7, Round 1 between the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. (Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1. October 2, 2019 vs San Jose Sharks

This one goes without saying. Not only will this game mark both teams’ first regular season game of 2019-20 and Vegas’ home opener, but it also gives us an early rematch of that epic playoff series from this year.

Of course, we all know the facts by now with the Knights at one point holding a 3-1 series lead and looking destined to move on to the next round.

That outcome looked almost certain when Vegas led 3-0 midway through the third period of Game 7, but a hugely controversial decision to give Cody Eakin a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for cross-checking Joe Pavelski led to an almighty pendulum swing.

Four power play goals in as many minutes shocked the Golden Knights and, although Jonathan Marchessault would strike late to take the game to overtime, Barclay Goodrow made himself a Game 7 hero with the overtime winner for the Sharks.

There was plenty of bad blood between the two teams throughout that frantic, exhilarating series even when you take Game 7 out of the equation.

Evander Kane and Ryan Reaves had their moments, as did head coaches Gerard Gallant and Peter DeBoer off the ice.

You won’t need much to light a spark when these two foes meet again and the script was written for their next meeting to be on opening night of 2019-20.

Plus, the atmosphere around T-Mobile Arena will be electric with fans of both teams bathing in the return of hockey.

Bring it on!

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 04: Cody Eakin #21 of the Vegas Golden Knights faces off with Nick Cousins #25 of the Arizona Coyotes during the first period at T-Mobile Arena on April 4, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images)

2. October 10, 2019 @ Arizona Coyotes

With two games in three days against the San Jose Sharks to start the regular season, the Golden Knights will play host to the Boston Bruins before hitting the road to face the Arizona Coyotes in a early Pacific Division showdown.

The Coyotes just missed out on the playoffs last year and they will be targeting a strong start in 2019-20 to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

They are a well-organised, hard-working unit under Rick Tocchet and this game could set the tone for how competitive the Pacific Division might be next year.

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 4: Jonathan Marchessault #81 of the Vegas Golden Knights faces off with Lars Eller #20 of the Washington Capitals during the first period of a game at T-Mobile Arena on December 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images)

3. November 9, 2019 @ Washington Capitals

Games between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals will always have some spice to them now after the two teams did battle in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

It will be the same story when the two meet for the first time in 2019-20 and, with both franchises expected to be Stanley Cup contenders again, it should be an intriguing matchup.

The Capitals have a bucketload of firepower but they are also a hard-nosed team and this game will no doubt have plenty of edge to it with both Washington and Vegas hoping to have shaken off the early-season rust by that point.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 08: Ryan Reaves #75 of the Vegas Golden Knights fights Adam McQuaid #54 of the New York Rangers during the third period at T-Mobile Arena on January 8, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

4. December 2, 2019 @ New York Rangers / December 3, 2019 @ New Jersey Devils

We’ve singled out these games because it will be the first time that Vegas fans, those who travel anyway, get to see the top two picks in this year’s NHL Entry Draft in action up close and personal for the very first time.

First up will be Kaapo Kakko and the Rangers with the Finnish sensation expected to make the team straight out of training camp.

He lit up the IIHF World Championships and he’s an 18-year-old stud playing and thriving in a man’s body.

Kakko looks built for the big moments on the big stage and he’ll be looking to put on a show for his fans at Madison Square Garden when the Knights visit The Big Apple in early December.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 06: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates after scoring a goal during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at T-Mobile Arena on January 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

Then, it will be on to New Jersey the following evening where No.1 overall pick Jack Hughes and a star-studded Devils team will be lying in wait.

Not only did the Devils draft a generational talent at the weekend but they also pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade for P.K. Subban.

Say what you want but Subban is still an elite offensive defenseman in the NHL and he’s another weapon for New Jersey, who already have Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier and a boatload of cap space to be able to make a splash or two in free agency.

Both the Rangers and the Devils appear to be on the up and this back-to-back on the road could prove to be one of the toughest challenges of the year for the Golden Knights.

VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 9: Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on dejected as Tomas Nosek #92 of the Vegas Golden Knights is congratulated by teammates after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena March 9, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vegas won 6-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

5. April 4, 2020 @ Vancouver Canucks

We are fast forwarding now onto the regular season finale where hopefully, all being well, the Golden Knights will already have a postseason berth wrapped up.

If not and they are still in the race then this could be a captivating finale to the regular season for the Knights who still have hopes of becoming the fastest ever expansion team to win a major championship.

On the other hand, the Canucks with their perfect blend of young stars and battle-hardened veterans will also be hoping to be a playoff contender in 2019-20 and this matchup could well end up being a pivotal decider in who makes the postseason and who doesn’t.

Those are just five (technically six, but who’s counting!) games we are looking forward to in 2019-20. What ones are you excited about?

Next: Fresh faces highlight start of Development Camp

But, one thing is for certain, with star center William Karlsson now locked down for the next eight years along with Mark Stone, the Vegas Golden Knights have enough firepower to sink a small fleet of battleships and they will be hoping to make a really deep postseason run in 2019-20, culminating in (fingers crossed) the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup.

It promises to be a fun and exciting year ahead. October, hurry up!

You can view the full 2019-20 NHL Regular Season Schedule for the Vegas Golden Knights here.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Load Comments