From the moment the Golden Knights’ schedule was released in June, one home game was impossible to miss. The home opener against San Jose practically had wacky inflatable air men dancing by the curb and flashing neon signs pointing at it.
But a few others stood out, too.
With single-game tickets going on sale online at 10 a.m. Monday, here is a handy guide to the can’t-miss games at T-Mobile Arena.
Just to be different, one game from each month is highlighted.
vs. San Jose, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 2
Whoever wrote the algorithm for this season’s schedule deserves a raise based on this game alone.
Season opener. National TV on NBCSN. And the stench of Cody Eakin’s five-minute major penalty still lingering in the dry Vegas air.
More than 18,000 Knights fans are set to unleash five months of pent-up rage and frustration toward their newly minted rival in the form of Peter DeBoer clown costumes and “Not a major!” chants.
All that’s missing is Joe Pavelski.
vs. Toronto, 7 p.m., Nov. 19
The Maple Leafs’ past trips to T-Mobile Arena were on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, and the visiting fans helped create a rock concert energy inside the building.
This visit falls on an otherwise regular Tuesday night, but it sticks out like Warren Buffett at the dollar store amid a slew of home games against Western Conference foes. (For instance, defending Pacific Division champion Calgary is in town two nights earlier.)
Toronto is loaded with superstars, including Auston Matthews and John Tavares. Mitch Marner might even be signed by then.
vs. Colorado, 7 p.m., Dec. 23
From a betting perspective, this is a tough spot for the Knights at the end of a road-home back-to-back before the three-day Christmas break.
The upstart Avalanche, who also play in Las Vegas in October for Nevada Day, are expected to be a threat in the Western Conference after pushing San Jose to seven games in the second round of the playoffs last season.
Colorado added several pieces during the offseason, including former Knights center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and defenseman Cale Makar is a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
vs. St. Louis, 1 p.m., Jan. 4
This matinee drops the puck on a hockey tripleheader at T-Mobile Arena, with the championship and third-place games of the collegiate Fortress Invitational slated to follow.
The reigning Stanley Cup champions make the first of their two appearances in Las Vegas — Feb. 13 is the other — smack dab in the middle of a seven-game homestand for the Knights.
Goaltender Jordan Binnington has yet to play at T-Mobile Arena, but don’t expect him to be nervous. David Perron might even keep his shirt on if they play “Gloria” afterward.
— Gerard-DutchBluesFan (@Dutch_Bluesfan) June 15, 2019
vs. Washington, 3 p.m., Feb. 17
The Capitals and Knights are inexorably linked after meeting in the Stanley Cup Final, and this early start gets the nod over Tampa Bay’s visit Feb. 20. Besides, any time Alex Ovechkin and Co. show up at T-Mobile Arena, it’s a “pool party.”
Washington won two of three games at T-Mobile in the playoffs but is winless there during the regular season in two tries. Last season’s emotional matchup ended with two goals in the final 1:24 of the third period by Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt against his former team.
It also featured the latest installment of the Ryan Reaves-Tom Wilson rivalry entitled “The Lion in the Jungle.”
vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m., March 23
This is the penultimate home game for the Knights and falls around the time when they’ve clinched a playoff berth the past two seasons.
But it also could have implications for the Canucks, who are being pegged as a possible surprise team in the Pacific Division after missing the playoffs four straight seasons.
Vancouver is led by talented forwards Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, and upgraded its defense with rookie Quinn Hughes and free-agent signing Tyler Myers.