It’s time to turn our attention to a new season. After staying in the basement of the NHL last season, Anaheim looks to mark their territory against Vegas. As for the Golden Knights, they hope to show once again how talented this group is when they take on their old Pacific Division rival.
Free Picks: Anaheim Ducks vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Keep an eye on the goalie
The good thing about being in the basement for the Anaheim Ducks is that you can only go up.
Unfortunately for the one-time Stanley Cup champions, the Ducks will start their season off against one of the top teams in the NHL. The Vegas Golden Knights are top tier and should give the Ducks a tough contest to open the season.
There is one player in this game I really want to focus on because if he plays up to his elite standard, it could change the outlook for this contest. That player? Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson.
While there are many players on the Golden Knights that can take over a game, running into a hot goalie is the easiest way to lose a game despite how well you play.
Gibson has stolen huge games before and will need an incredible performance to help Anaheim steal a victory.
Now, with that being said, I have to look at every aspect of the game. From first line to fourth, the Golden Knights are stronger in every facet of the game. Anaheim may have a decent first line, but I don’t think they have the depth to compete with Vegas.
The Golden Knights also improved on defense, while the Ducks haven’t. Okay, that’s a bit harsh. The Ducks’ defense has improved but not enough to compete with some of the best teams in their Division.
I think the only aspect in the game where Anaheim can outduel Vegas is goaltending. The Golden Knights have exceptional offensive talent and they bolstered their blue line in the off-season. Unless Gibson has a career-game against the Golden Knights, I expect him to be peppered with shots in the blue paint.
Vegas was one of the highest-scoring teams in the entire NHL last season. Their offense hasn’t regressed in any way, which has me thinking they are going to light the lamp on Anaheim.
As for the Ducks, I don’t think they will come close to stopping Vegas.
- Anaheim are 1-7 SU in their last 8 against Vegas.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Anaheim’s last 6.
- Vegas are 5-1 SU in their last 6 against Anaheim at home.
- The total has gone UNDER in in 7 of Vegas’ last 8 games.
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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.