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
Malcom Subban Day-To-Day, Gallant Talks Golden Knights' Goaltenders - VIDEO
After suffering an undisclosed lower body injury in a loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban was announced as having a day-to-day injury when head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about his goaltenders after practice.
Golden Knights lose 4-1 to Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale. VGK Goalie Malcolm Subban exited the game early with an injury and is Day-to-day.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant knows Coyotes are "very aggressive" - Video
The Golden Knights will head to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Thursday with hopes to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Bruins. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant is fully aware that the Coyotes are a very aggressive team and knows his guys will have to match that speed.
Golden Knights Feast on Shark - Video
After swimming with (and defeating) the Sharks in their first two games of the season, the entire Vegas Golden Knights team feasted on their fair share of seafood at Zuma Las Vegas inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Golden Knights Greet Fans At Gold Carpet - Video
The Golden Knights walk the gold carpet before puck drop at their season opener against the San Jose Sharks at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Hold Private Practice, Lunch for 1 October First Responders - Video
The Golden Knights held a private practice at City National Arena for first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and guests who were affected by the 1 October events. After practice, guests were able to meet the Golden Knights themselves to take pictures and get autographs.
Golden Knights Prepare to Honor Those Affected by 1 October - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams upcoming practice which will honor those affected by the events on October 1, 2017. The team has invited guests including first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and others who were impacted. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon Discusses Roster Updates - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams roster and key injuries ahead of Opening Day (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Golden Knights Max Pacioretty on the Golden Edge Podcast - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty joins the Golden Edge podcast to talk about the upcoming season for the Knights, the rivalry with the Sharks and the Pacioretty 67 burger.
Golden Knights Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin Injured in Preseason Loss to Kings
The Golden Knights not only lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Friday night, the team also saw Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin head off the ice with injuries. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz give an update on the players injuries as well as discuss what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Preseason Loss to the Kings - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's second loss of the preseason, this time to the LA Kings 3-2. Head coach Gerard Gallant knows his team got off to a sloppy start but was impressed with the final effort.
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves wants to play in the pre-season - VIDEO
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves talks about coming back from an injury and a possible long term deal with the team. September 26, 2019.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gallant speaks on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant speaks after practice on September 26, 2019, on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games.
Golden Knights Suffer First Preseason Loss to Avalanche, 4-1 - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's first preseason loss, after falling to the Avalanche 4-1. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz break down what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights React to First Preseason Loss - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant called the first loss of the preseason a "team loss" that was "tough to watch."
Paul Stastny On Playing More Games - Video
Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny talks about preparing for the regular season and playing more games before the season starts.
Golden Knights Nate Schmidt Talks About Seeking Change With PED Testing - Video
The Golden Knights wrap up their practice for the day and Nate Schmidt hoping to see changes to PED testing.
Nate Schmidt On Wanting Change With PED Testing - Video
Nate Schmidt speaks about wanting to see change with PED testing in the NHL.
Fleury and Marchessault Play Heads Up - Video
Golden Knights Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault play heads up VGK edition.
Aliens Invade City National Arena for Competition
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights rally to beat Kings in OT, 3-2
The Golden Knights were down 2-0 halfway through the third period, but two quick goals helped get the team back on track to beat the Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Golden Knights' Deryk Engelland Shares Advice with Rookies - Video
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland has some advice for rookies: “Stick with what got you there.” The veteran NHL player also recalls his first goal as a pro.
Golden Knights Continue Preseason Success with Win Over Avalanche - Video
The Golden Knights prospects are continuing to prove they are worthy of a starting position, this time with a shutout 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Praises Prospects - Video
A day after the Golden Knights 6-2 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Gerard Gallant discussed how impressed he is with the prospects, including defensemen Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan.
Golden Knights On First Preseason Win - Video
The Golden Knights talk about their first preseason win including Max Pacioretty's hat trick and putting Malcolm Subban as the goaltender for tonight's game.
Golden Knights Zamboni Lessons 101 - Video
The Golden Knights preseason tips off on Sunday, Sept. 15 and you know what that mean, it's time to roll out the zamboni! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a zamboni operator for the Golden Knights? Golden Edge host Cassie Soto finds out!
Allegiant Unveils Golden Knights Plane - Video
Allegiant air officially unveils its new Golden Knights airbus that will take to the skies soon.
Golden Knights Rookie Camp: 3 Takeaways - Video
Vegas Golden Knights rookies took to the ice on Friday morning for practice at City National Arena. While the rookies mainly participated in drills, it was good to see the prospects get ice time. Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz discuss their three takeaways from the practice.
Golden Knights Host Charity Golf Classic - Video
The Golden Knights held its 2019 Charity Golf Classic on Wednesday at TPC Summerlin. Before teeing off, Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves, Jonathan Marchassault and Alex Tuch said who they thought were the worst and best golfers on their team.
Ryan Reaves performs wedding ceremony
Reverand Reavo makes his debut for one time only at the Chapel of Flowers for a get married by Ryan Reaves contest.
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.