Here we go. After the most unique season in NHL history, the playoffs have arrived. There is no better trophy in all of sports than the Stanley Cup. It is the hardest trophy to win and that makes it the most satisfying. This season, the format for the playoffs is a little different. With the new division alignment, the first two rounds will continue to be intra-division play. When those two rounds are over, the four remaining teams will compete in the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals. We continue with the Minnesota Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights.
— x-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 14, 2021
Solid Defense On Both Sides
Each team has no shortage of talent when it comes to defense. The Golden Knights made a huge splash during free agency with the signing of Alex Pietrangelo. On a defense that already has Shea Theodore and Alec Martinez, this Golden Knights team is stacked on defense. There is a reason as to why they finished second in the league standings for points.
On the side of the Minnesota Wild, their defense is pretty loaded as well. We all know about the talent of Ryan Suter. He is one of the best shutdown defenders in the league over his entire career. Along with his talents, the Wild also have Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin, and first-year captain Jason Spurgeon. This series should be a low-scoring series with how well each team defends in all three zones on the ice.
Each team has some of the best offensive players in the league. Kirill Kaprizov shows why he is one of the most hyped rookies before the season even started for Minnesota. He led all rookies this year in goals, assists, and points and helped Minnesota have a season to remember. When you add the young talent of Kevin Fiala and Victor Rask, the WIld have some great pieces to produce offense.
The Golden Knights might have the most stacked lineup for offense outside of Colorado. With players like Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty leading the way on offense, your team is in good hands. Add on top of that Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas is not shy to produce some major offensive outbursts.
Goals – Kirill Kaprizov (27)
Assists – Jordan Greenway (26)
Points – Kirill Kaprizov (51)
Vegas Golden Knights
Goals – Max Pacioretty (24)
Assists – Mark Stone (40)
Points – Mark Stone (61)
The goalie matchup is an interesting matchup. The Golden Knights have two solid options to go with during the playoffs. Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury make up one of the best duos for goaltenders across the league. Who will Vegas give the edge to? My guess would be Robin Lehner. He got the majority of play last year in the playoffs and it caused some controversy with Fleury and head coach Pete DeBoer.
The Minnesota Wild have two solid options as well. Cam Talbot has plenty of playoff experience with the Rangers, Oilers, and Flames. He seems to be the better option between himself and rookie goaltending star Kaapo Kahkonen.
Cam Talbot (19-8-5) – 2.63 GAA and 0.915 Save Percentage
Kaapo Kahkonen (16-8-0) – 2.88 GAA and 0.902 Save Percentage
Vegas Golden Knights
Robin Lehner (13-4-2) – 2.29 GAA and 0.913 Save Percentage
Marc-Andre Fleury (26-10-0) – 1.98 GAA and 0.928 Save Percentage
The Golden Knights have earned home-ice advantage in this series. Each team has played extremely well at home this season. If one team can manage to steal a game on the road, they will be in great shape to win the series. The Golden Knights are expected to increase their capacity to 50% for their home playoff games this year. This series could go the distance for sure.
Golden Knights-Wild schedule:
Game 1: Sunday, noon (T-Mobile) — NBC
Game 2: Tuesday, 7 p.m. (T-Mobile) — NBCSN
Game 3: Thursday, 6:30 p.m. (Xcel) — NBCSN
Game 4: May 22, 5 p.m. (Xcel) — NBC
*Game 5: May 24, TBD
*Game 6: May 26, TBD
*Game 7: May 28, TBD
— Jesse Merrick (@JesseNews3LV) May 14, 2021
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. You can find my work here at TarpsOffSports.com and follow me on Twitter @tarpsoffmclovin. To check out all the other great Tarps Off Sports content, head on over to our YouTube channel. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments we are an interactive sports site that takes pride in interacting with our readers.