Is the new Golden Knights schedule too tough to handle?

The Vegas Golden Knights are expected to have an 2024-25 season. But will life become more hectic for them for the upcoming season?
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Six
Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Six / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Have you ever heard of the term, "Hit the ground running?" That will be the Vegas Golden Knights entering the 2024-25 season, where they'll face the Colorado Avalanche on October 9. It's a battle between the 2022 Stanley Cup champions and the 2023 champions, which should provide fireworks on both sides. However, it provides a glimpse into a bumpier road Vegas might face for the upcoming campaign.

Keep in mind that the Golden Knights have gotten off to hot starts in the past two seasons. Last year, they started 11-0-1, an impressive mark for the defending champions. The year prior, Vegas started 13-2-0, going toe-to-toe with the Boston Bruins for early NHL supremacy. While Boston shattered regular season records, Vegas ultimately won the Stanley Cup.

However, another fast start might be hard to pull off this season. Aside from the Avalanche, Vegas will also go on a tough road trip starting October 15. They'll face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning (October 17) and the Florida Panthers (October 19) They also have games against the Los Angeles Kings (October 30), Utah Hockey Club (November 2), and the Western Conference champions, the Edmonton Oilers (November 6). Talk about a tougher NHL schedule.

This could be a tough stretch from the start, potentially leaving the Golden Knights behind. That's bad news for a team looking to capitalize on their Stanley Cup window, especially after a productive trade deadline. Therefore, it's imperative that they beat their underwhelming teams early (i.e. Anaheim and Ottawa) and secure victories against tougher opponents (i.e. Colorado and Florida).

Where else could the Vegas Golden Knights struggle on their NHL schedule?

There's a stretch between December 6 and 19 that'll test the Vegas Golden Knights. It starts at T-Mobile Arena on December 6 against the Dallas Stars, where they'll see Pete DeBoer again. That stretch includes three road games against Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Minnesota. All three teams could be vying for a playoff spot heading into April next year. It all caps off in Las Vegas on December 19 against the Vancouver Canucks, last season's Pacific Division champions.

Those same Dallas Stars kick off another tough stretch for Vegas starting January 24, with this iteration stretching eight games. That consists of matchups against last season's playoff teams, including the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. In fact, six of those matchups are against playoff teams from 2023-24, carrying the Golden Knights into the break. The Rangers and Bruins are part of a tough East Coast trip that'll test Vegas through their playoff push.

If Vegas struggles during that period, that could derail any hopes of winning the Pacific Division. That's especially true with Vegas facing two more 2023-24 playoff teams after the break (Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings). Considering how they dealt with injuries during the January and February months last season, that could be bad news.

The home stretch might be the hardest for the Golden Knights...

On March 16, 2025, the Vegas Golden Knights will face off against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit. Fans might not think of this matchup too much considering the Red Wings have missed the playoffs in recent years. However, that could kickstart arguably the roughest stretch for the Golden Knights's NHL schedule.

After that matchup, the Boston Bruins will come to T-Mobile Arena (March 20), followed by Detroit (March 22), and Tampa Bay (March 23). Then comes a potentially challenging Central Division road trip that starts on March 25 against the Wild. With Chicago boasting Connor Bedard and Nashville going all-in, that could be a make-or-break stretch for Vegas.

After that comes four out of five games against playoff teams, making life miserable for the Golden Knights. On April 1 and 3, the Oilers and Jets will respectively come to Las Vegas for key matchups. But that will be capped off by another brutal road trip with games against Vancouver (April 6) and Colorado (April 8). Ouch.

Overall, the Golden Knights will have their work cut out for them during the upcoming season. With Vancouver a new threat and potential teams like Anaheim emerging, it could make life rough. Golden Knights fans hope that's not the case, especially with injuries hindering the team's trajectory in past seasons. Therefore, getting off on another fast start's key to more on-ice success.