Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights. Twenty-six years ago, the very utterance about a possible future NHL Stanley Cup Playoff city series matchup would have been grounds for admission to a mental health ward.
On Sunday night in Denver, where NHL hockey was given a rare future reconnoiter after the original Colorado Rockies left town in 1982, the Golden Knights will play the Avs in Game 1 of a second-round series. Vegas earned a trip to the second round with their seventh-game victory over the Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena in Sin City tonight.
Colorado beat out Vegas by percentage points on a tie-breaker to win the first seed in the Honda West Division title. Many pundits believe these may be the two best teams in the NHL.
Vegas is a bigger, heavier team than the Avs. But the Avs have more speed and skill. It remains to be seen, though, whether the Avs can impose their will more on Vegas than vice-versa. The Avs will enter as the favored team with the sportsbooks probably.
But the Avs have failed to get past the second round of the playoffs since 2002, including two straight second-round exits. There is a lot of pressure on this Avs team, and it won’t be easy at all against Vegas. In Game 7, Vegas’ Max Pacrioretty returned in dramatic fashion, after having not played since May 1. Pacrioretty scored in his return.
All the games in the series will be available to any cable subscribers and NBC channels, with no local blackouts.