As the calendar turns to May, teams are turning to pumpkins. The COVID-19 Mash-Up that’s thrown schedules into chaos leaves us with two late games, one between teams hearing the clock strike midnight and two others that will help determine who gets to stay at the ball.
Predictions Featuring the Vegas Golden Knights vs Arizona Coyotes
Los Angeles Kings vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Kings 3 – 3 Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks pulled off an unlikely win on Wednesday, overcoming two special-teams goals and a 0-2 deficit. The hero was Cam Fowler and his almost-last-minute goal as the teams play out the string by seeing what their kids can do. The ice time shows it, outside of the Los Angeles Kings forgetting to bring their taser to keep Drew Doughty on the bench. The Kings and Ducks have two games left to decide the season’s bragging rights between neighbours, and that keeps the energy up. Neither team’s making the playoffs, but so what? Max Comtois is proving himself after dropping from a possible first-overall pick to getting taken 50th overall in his draft year. Gabriel Vilardi is finally finding his place after fighting through injuries. Check out the closing games of Ryan Miller‘s career. There are more than enough reasons to watch.
Prediction: LA just has more right now. Kings win 3-1.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 5 – 1 Coyotes
The Vegas Golden Knights win on Wednesday extended their division lead over the Colorado Avalanche. The Arizona Coyotes’ loss had dropped them three points back of the fourth and final playoff spot. For one of these teams, every game is vital. For the other, wins are a luxury. Can that be enough for the Desert Dogs to pull off an upset? Maybe. The Coyotes haven’t had any goaltender really grab the available starter’s slot. Adin Hill is the heir apparent, and odds are good they’ll be riding him to the end. How much support Hill gets is the hard question, especially with Conor Garland remaining on the sidelines.
As for Vegas, they may have their ticket punched but that doesn’t mean the pressure is off. They could be missing as many as five regulars for this game, but all are players from deeper in the lineup. All the big names remain, and all of them want to bring the Stanley Cup to town. They are a far-and-away more dangerous team, and they are built to win now. The biggest risk is that they may already be looking past season’s end, and in doing so overlook Arizona. Then again, no one wants to be the player responsible for breaking a ten-game winning streak. Especially one that was kicked off against these self-same Coyotes.
Prediction: Massive upset. Coyotes break Vegas’ streak themselves, winning 3-2.