NHL Betting Preview - Golden Knights aiming high

Las Vegas Golden Knights honing in on Stanley Cup semi-finals

The Golden Knights have put themselves on the brink of the Stanley Cup semi-finals after they edged out the Avalanche 3-2 in Game 5. For Avalanche, the turnovers were costly, and there were three individual errors in the build up to all the goals. Mark Stone delivered for the Knights as he slammed home the puck just 50 seconds into Overtime.

Vegas Golden Knights coming to the boil at just the right time

Avalanche are lacking in many areas, and no doubt there will be envious looks in the direction of the Golden Knights. At this moment in time, the Golden Knights have more tactical nous, nerve and can execute when called upon. Stanley Cup ties are decided on such fine margins.

But right now, the Golden Knights have the upper hand, and the momentum going into Game 6. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, however, refused to blame his side after their defeat, as he said: “We were on our toes. We played to our identity.” Yet the basic mistakes that have crept into the Avalanche’s game have seen them faded in this particular series.

Colorado Avalanche in danger of shock elimination

For the Avalanche, they are in danger of a spectacular collapse. Having led 2-0 in the series, they could be eliminated on Thursday evening. Many expected Avalanche to roll over the Golden Knights in the series, but the Golden Knights have shown strength in character to respond in the manner they have done.

Colorado Avalanche could see Stanley Cup wait prolonged

For much of Game 5, the Avalanche looked like they had restored their confidence. Bednar made the changes, as he shuffled the forward lines to engineer some more favourable matchups. The last time the Avalanche won the postseason playoffs was back in 2001, when they beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in the final. But their wait to lift it again could be extended.

Nazem Kadri to miss Game 6 for Colorado Avalanche after losing appeal

After being suspended for an illegal check in Game 2 of the first round, Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri tried to get his eight-game suspension overturned. However, Kadri’s ban was upheld, and that means Kadri could potentially miss the rest of the series if Golden Knights come out on top in Game 6.

Montreal Canadiens await the winners in the semi-finals

The semi-final picture is starting to look a lot clearer. In fact, whoever prevails in the Golden Knights v Avalanche series, will face off against the Montreal Canadiens in the semi-finals. The Canadiens barely broke a sweat against the Winnipeg Jets in the second round, as they enjoyed a 4-0 series whitewash victory.

If Vegas Golden Knights can clinch victory in Game 6, a tie with the Canadiens would be quite intriguing. The Canadiens are targeting their first major title since 1986, while the Vegas Golden Knights have always been on the outside looking in. However, the way they’ve been going, they could write another thrilling chapter to their postseason odyssey.

What is clear for all to see, is that the team chemistry is very strong at the Canadiens, and this has been duly reflected by their performances on the ice. And Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli is hoping this continues. He said: “It just feels like we’re all playing as one.”

How’s the other half of the Stanley Cup draw shaping up?

On the other side of the semi-final draw, the New York Islanders could wrap things up in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins. Against the Bruins, Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov was rock solid once again, and he has been ever dependable when called upon. With Ilya Sorokin, Varlamov will be desperate to nail down his place in the starting line-up.

Standing in the Islanders’ path should they wrap things up in Game 6 against the Bruins, will be the reigning Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning powered their way past the Carolina Hurricanes, as they ran out 4-1 winners in the series in round two, and they are a franchise on a mission.

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