The addition of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017-2018 season is sure to create a buzz around the NHL. How does this addition play into the Kings’ season?
The Las Vegas Knights will be the latest addition to the National Hockey League in the 2018 season. And while their preseason has not gone terrific, they have a lot to look forward to in the Pacific Division. They will be playing against five teams in the Western Conference that did not even have a .500 record in the prior season, the Kings unfortunately being one of them. But as is true with any new franchise, there will no doubt be some growing pains early on.
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Although expansion rules and limitations can allow for teams to compete immediately to some extent, don’t expect too much from the Knights. They will be headlined by former Penguins’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as well as former Nashville all-star left-wing James Neal. So what does this all mean for Los Angeles?
Well we can start with their schedule. The Kings had a pretty tough schedule in the prior year, especially within their conference. The biggest thorns in their side for the 2017 season were teams within their own division, let alone the entire conference. The Kings finished up at 11-17 overall against teams in the Pacific Division, and even dropping two out of four games to the dead last Vancouver Canucks.
This season will match up a little bit different with the addition of the Knights for Los Angeles. San Jose, Anaheim and Edmonton all beat up on Los Angeles pretty bad last season. They played each team five times through the course of the year, and managed to squeeze two wins out of each team. The addition of Las Vegas is favorable for them not, as it will reduce the match-ups to four games a piece, other than Anaheim who they will still play five times.
While facing up against the Knights will certainly not be a cake walk for Los Angeles, it does alleviate some of the pressure. The addition of the new, less experienced team should spell out more success overall for the Kings, at least for this season.