Vegas Golden Knights

The Stanley Cup playoffs are almost upon us.

They can’t come soon enough after a certain NHL owner fell flat on his face last night.

Quest for the Cup Begins

What Happened: Six of the eight series of the Stanley Cup playoffs are set, with the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers waiting to see how the Vegas Golden Knights/Los Angeles Kings seedings will shake out in the Western Conference. The Eastern Conference matchups are finalized.

Time to look at some odds? Time to look at some odds.

Why It Matters: Despite finishing second in their own division, the Carolina Hurricanes own the best odds at DraftKings to lift the Cup at +650. The Rangers, by capturing the Presidents Trophy as the best regular season team in the NHL, have taken themselves out of the running apparently. They are carrying +800 odds, only third-best in the East. (No team has finished atop the league standings and hoisted the Cup since Chicago back in 2013.)

The Dallas Stars face the same bias, with the third-best odds in the West (+850) despite finishing atop their conference. Vegas might end up as the eighth seed in the bracket, but they are defending champs, so oddsmakers are splitting the difference and giving them the fourth-best odds (+1200) in the West to repeat.

How We’re Feeling Today

Embarrassed by Alex Meruelo’s behavior last night.

The owner of the NHL franchise formerly known as the Arizona Coyotes had one final chance to support his organization before they pack up and head to Utah. Meruelo is all but guaranteed to get another shot at owning a team in the area, so he’s obviously not going away anytime soon.

But the fact that Meruelo couldn’t even show face as a farewell to the loyal fans of the team that is picking up and heading to Utah soon? Pretty disgraceful if you ask us. Alex, you’ll have plenty of time to run your new team into the ground in the years ahead. Last night should’ve been a priority to thank the fans you let down. What a bozo.

The Look Ahead

Tomas Hertl

Tomas Hertl POINTS As the Golden Knights wait to see if it’s Dallas or Edmonton in Round 1, expect the team to have plenty of motivation to win tonight in search of the higher seed. Hertl will be instrumental in the center no. 2 role, and he’s delivered during his time in Vegas. He’s recorded a point in his last three games and in five of six, and gets the gift that is Anaheim’s truly awful defense tonight. Hertl has played the Ducks twice this season, and has a goal and two assists against them.

Kevin Fiala SOG Fiala has run streaky lately, putting up multiple shots on net six times, but recording one shot or fewer in the other four. But the good news is, his ability to rebound has been consistent; Fiala followed his last two bad games (one shot, one shot) with much more productive ones (four and five shots) and he’s coming off a single-shot performance against Minnesota on Monday.