There is an extra prize on the line for the Vegas Golden Knights tonight.
Not only can the Vegas Golden Knights advance to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years with a win in Game 6, they can also earn some extra rest and extra preparation time.
And that will be important.
Of course, the Golden Knights have to get past the Vancouver Canucks first, who have proven throughout this series that they aren’t that far away from being a contender.
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They showed that will to win in Game 5 and lived to fight another day thanks to Thatcher Demko, who made a stunning 42 saves in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut.
So Game 6 won’t be a walk in the park for the Knights who have certainly been tested by this young but very talented Canucks roster.
However, if the Golden Knights can close this series out at the second time of asking then they would only be helping themselves.
For starters, Game 7 between the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars is scheduled for Friday meaning that Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals will likely be slated for Sunday or Monday.
If that was the case then the Golden Knights would guarantee themselves at least a couple of days rest if they could wrap things up tonight.
It would allow them to recharge the batteries while giving players the chance to heal and prepare for another gruelling series.
After all, we all know that most if not all players are banged up by this stage of the postseason, so even a couple of days rest between rounds could be a major benefit.
Secondly, finishing things up against the Canucks tonight would allow Head Coach Peter DeBoer and his Coaching Staff to start doing some serious homework on their next opponents.
Thy could really start crunching the tape with Vancouver out of the way, drawing up plans on how to deal with the Stars or the Avs, both of whom are loaded and will be formidable opponents in the Western Conference Final.
Systems could be put into place and just two extra days to heal, rest and prepare could be a real difference maker for the Vegas Golden Knights.
So, while there is still a lot of work to be done in Game 6 against the Vancouver Canucks, the Golden Knights should be motivated and driven by the extra benefits that come with closing this series out tonight.