Las Vegas May Witness Hockey History
Perhaps you’ve heard that a big sporting event was going on in Las Vegas this week. Two great teams and the potential for history in the making.
We are, of course, talking about the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, who take their 16-game winning streak into the home of the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights. The Oilers are just one win away from tying the all-time record of 17 wins in a row. That record was set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1992-93 season.
At the very least, the Oilers streak is the longest the NHL has seen in more than 30 years. And making it even more impressive is that this team opened the season by losing 10 of their first 12 games. When the streak began, they were just 13-15-1.
In contrast, the Penguins team that won 17 straight games didn’t lose a game in the first month of the season. And when they began their historic win streak, they were 39-21-6. However, that Penguins team failed to make it past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Edmonton is hoping that this turnaround will lead to their first Cup win since 1990.
Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights
The Oilers are the hottest team in all of sports as the NHL drops the puck on the second half of its season following the All-Star break. But the Golden Knights, as the most recent Stanley Cup champion, are no pushovers. Like the Oilers, the Golden Knights have 29 wins on the season, and they are second in the Pacific Division, behind the Vancouver Canucks.
The Oilers are currently in third in the division, five points behind Vegas.
On the home ice of Vegas, BetUS.com has the Oilers as the moneyline favorite. They are paying -145 to win outright, compared to +125 for the Golden Knights.
If Edmonton wins on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, they will have a chance to break the winning streak record on Friday, February 9, at the Anaheim Ducks.
Shifting Stanley Cup Odds
When the season began in October, NHL online sportsbooks had the Oilers at +1050 to win the Stanley Cup. But because of their bad start, they quickly ballooned to +1800, putting them well behind the Colorado Avalanche, who were the favorites at +750.
As things stand today, the Avalanche are still +750 to win the Stanley Cup. But they now trail the Oilers, who are paying +700.
The Boston Bruins are also paying +750, followed by the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes, who are all at +1000.
The defending champion Golden Knights are +1300 to become repeat champions.
Player Award Futures
Connor McDavid has points in 15 of the 16 games that make up the streak, and he is now +425 to win the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP). Over those 16 games, he has nine goals and 26 points.
However, over the same span of games, Nathan MacKinnon of the Avalanche has 36 points, and he remains the MVP favorite at -120. Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning is paying +260. He has 31 points over the same stretch of games.
The real key for the Oilers during the streak has been goaltending and defense. In each of their last 14 wins, they have allowed two goals or fewer, and goaltender Stuart Skinner has won 12 straight games.
Skinner is a distant underdog to win the Vezina Trophy, given annually to the best goaltender each season. He is paying +3500 to win the trophy. The heavy favorite is Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck at -110.