83°F
weather icon Clear

Sharks, Jets threats to Golden Knights in NHL’s West side story

For the second consecutive season, the Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks will square off in the NHL playoffs in an evenly matched series Las Vegas oddsmakers opened at pick’em.

For the second straight year, handicapper Dana Lane is going against popular public opinion in Las Vegas and siding with the Sharks as minus 105 series underdogs to the Knights (-115).

“This is a really, really close series. But I still think San Jose is a little bit better,” said Lane (@DanaLaneSports). “They have two things going for them — home-ice advantage and the revenge factor from last season. That gives them a little chip on their shoulder and a little bit of an edge.”

The Knights whipped San Jose 7-0 in the opener of their 2018 Western Conference semifinal series and eliminated the Sharks in six games en route to the Stanley Cup Final.

Lane likes San Jose to win in seven games this time around, mostly because of its edge on the power play. The Sharks are sixth in the NHL on the power play (23.7 percent) and the Knights are 24th (16.8 percent).

“Special teams in the postseason are absolutely gigantic, and the Sharks are flat out better than Vegas from a power play standpoint,” he said.

“I really think (Knights goalie) Marc-Andre Fleury is going to have to be spectacular to win this series, as is (Sharks goalie) Martin Jones.”

Vegas sharps

Wiseguys at the Westgate sportsbook jumped on the Knights to win the series when the odds were first posted on April 2.

“We wrote a ton of two-way action on it, but right away people we view as smart people bet the Knights at (minus) 110,” Westgate sportsbook manager Ed Salmons said. “The goaltending difference is huge. The Sharks goalie is not good. I think the Knights will find a way to win. They’re the deeper team and have better goaltending.”

If Vegas knocks off San Jose, Salmons expects the Knights to make another run to the Stanley Cup Final.

“The Western Conference is really weak,” he said. “If the Knights can win the first series, that will give them momentum, and I think they’ll probably get back to the Final. They just need to get some momentum going again.”

Vegas lost seven of its last eight regular-season games.

Bruins (-145) over Maple Leafs, series

Lane likes the Bruins (-145) over the Maple Leafs.

“Boston is a really, really good team. That top line (of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak) is arguably the best top line in hockey,” he said. “I worry a little about Boston’s depth as they go on, but Toronto is so bad defensively, I think they get by Toronto in six.”

Jets (+115) over Blues, series Jets (18-1) to win Stanley Cup

Lane also likes the Winnipeg Jets (+115) over the St. Louis Blues in their playoff series and recommends taking Winnipeg as a Stanley Cup sleeper at 18-1 odds.

“I love Winnipeg’s home-ice advantage. They’re extremely efficient on the offensive end and they remind me a little bit of Washington with their puck movement and spacing,” he said. “They have the toughness that they need to go through the Stanley Cup playoffs.”

The Jets split two regular-season games with the Lightning, who Lane expects to win the East.

“They’re not as efficient as Tampa, but they’re a bigger team and I think they can bully Tampa around a little bit,” he said. “I really like Winnipeg. I think this is their year.”

Don’t ride the Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2-1 favorites to win the Stanley Cup after tying an NHL record for wins with 62 (62-16-4).

“They should win it, but there’s zero value at their odds,” Salmons said. “The East is such a deeper and better conference than the West. One thing that works against Tampa is no matter who they play, they’re all going to be really good teams.

“Their hardest series will be in the second round. Whoever wins the Boston-Toronto series will probably have the best chance of knocking out Tampa.”

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and@RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz on the Golden Edge Podcast
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen talk with Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz about his experiences with LeBron James, the team's new initiatives, a possible MLS expansion team and more.
George McPhee Conference Call on Nikita Gusev trade - VIDEO
Golden Knights President of Operations George McPhee answers questions on a conference call about the teams most recent trade of Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
Vegas Golden Knight's Deryk Engelland Happy to Re-Sign - Video
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is happy to stay in Las Vegas after signing a one-year deal with the team.
Golden Aces hold Tryouts For 2019-2020 Season - Video
The Golden Aces hold tryouts for the 2019-2020 season for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gary Bettman discusses NHL rule changes - VIDEO
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media after Wednesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone up for Selke Trophy
Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. The award goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Stone led the league in takeaways last season with 122. His competition is St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly... And Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Stone will find out if he wins Wednesday at the NHL Awards.
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights and Henderson make deal on new facility - VIDEO
Henderson City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson, Tuesday evening. ( Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
THE LATEST