The Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks will face each other in a match that will undoubtedly go down as one of the best games in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. The only question is, who is going to win the match? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the upcoming game.

How Did these Two Teams Get Here?

The San Jose Sharks didn’t achieve it until September, landing the NHL offseason prize in Erik Karlsson, providing them with two elite offensive blueliners in the league as well as Brent Burns. The 34-year-old defenseman joined an experienced team that were built to reach the playoffs this season, thanks to players like Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, Evander Kane, and Joe Pavelski. During the trade deadline, the team also acquired Gustav Nyquist, allowing the Sharks to finish in second place for the season. The only problem is that the Sharks were considered the worst team when it came to saving percentage, and in-team, the defence were ranked 21st.

The Vegas Golden Knights were directly behind the Sharks who were considered the expansion darlings last season which managed to be defeated in the Stanley Cup final. The Golden Knights made a few significant upgrades during the offseason when they obtained Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Paul Stastny. However, due to accidental injuries to vital players, expected regression, and inconsistent play, the Vegas Golden Knights, were left in 3rd place within the Pacific Division.

Depth

The Vegas Golden Knights will return with most of the players that assisted them during the postseason, including Cody Eakin, Ryan Reaves, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Alex Touch. The San Jose Sharks boast with players like Melker Karlsson, Barclay Goodrow, Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc, and Marcus Sorensen. This will make the advantage a tie.

Defence

Burns was considered the best offensive defenseman in the league, producing 300 goal shots and skating for more than 25 minutes a game for the Sharks. He will be going up against none other than Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Karlsson will skate with Justin Bruan, Joakim Ryan, and Brenden Dillion. The Vegas Golden Knights will return with the same group as the previous season, including Nick Holden, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, Deryk Engelland, Colin Miller, and Nate Schmidt. This will give the Sharks the advantage.

Health

San Jose will be at full strength for the match once Meier returns. However, there’s going to be concerned regarding the effectiveness of injured players, such as Pavelski and Karlsson. The Knights are also going to be at full strength for the game without Erik Haula. This will be another advantage for the Sharks in the game.

Prediction

This is going to be one hell of a match. Both teams have managed to make a few significant upgrades to their teams and its highly possible that the series will be determined by whoever wins this match. It’s going to be a perfect match game with plenty up for a stake at the end.

The numbers of the Tampa Bay Lightning team during the 2018/19 regular season tells an exciting story. The points and wins in the standings bring them into the conversation as the best team in the history of the NHL. The statistics for the offensive team makes them a juggernaut. The accomplishments on an individual level will provide tons of NHL Awards during the summer. However, the most significant number is undoubtedly the salary cap at $79.5 million which the franchise has managed to construct underneath the name for several seasons. With that in mind, let’s take a look at other surprising numbers for Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Standings

With a total of 62 victories, Tampa Bay is currently tied with the Red Wings from the 1995/96 season for the team with the most regular season wins in the history of the NHL. Their incredible 30 road victories are second in the NHL of all time, placing them behind the Detroit Red Wings during the 2005/06 season with 31.

With a .780 in points percentage, Tampa Bay has the second highest rate for a regular season, placing them just behind the Detroit Red Wings during the 1995/96 season with .799. This makes it the 5th-best in the history of the NHL for a team that has played at least 80 matches.

Tampa Bay is also 21 points ahead of Calgary Flames who are currently in second place. This is considered the widest gap between second and first place teams since the Red Wings from the 1995/96 season who managed to finish 27 points ahead of the second place team, Colorado Avalanche.

Tampa Bay Lightning is only the second team in the history of the NHL to post four different winning streaks of 7 matches or more during a single regular season.

The Team

Tampa Bay managed to finish with a plus-103 goal differential which is the second-highest in the last two decades. The Senators during the 2005/06 season is the only NHL team with a higher rate. Tampa Bay’s 3.96 goals per match are the highest in the National Hockey League since 1996.

There is a total of 37 matches this season where Tampa Bay managed to score 5 or more goals. This is considered the most goals by an NHL team since Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1995/96 season with 41.

There is a total of 19 matches this season where Tampa Bay has managed to score 6 or more goals. This is considered the most goals by an NHL team since Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1995/96 season with 26.

Tampa Bay had trailed behind when they entered the third period a total of 21 times during the regular season which is the fewest in the National Hockey League and the fewest since the Boston Bruins during the 2008/09 season with 17.

This gives you a better perspective of just how sensational Tampa Bay Lightning has been in recent years.

Don’t tell Gerard Gallant, the head coach for the Vegas Golden Knights, that the rest of the NHL regular season is pointless. Even though the Vegas Golden Knights already managed to become the 7th NHL team to reach the playoffs in each of their first two seasons, Gegard Gallant insisted that the last three matches mean loads to them as a team. This certainly showed when they played on Monday evening.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Marchessault managed to score his 6th game-winning goal, allowing the Vegas Golden Knights to earn a 3-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

“This evening provided a perfect game for myself and my team,” Gallant stated. “Going down the stretch, these games don’t mean much when it comes to standings. However, it keeps my guys going, and it keeps them going well. It’s for this reason that I thought my team played a solid, good game this evening.”

With an incredible third position in the Pacific Division, along with a first-round date for the playoffs with San Jose already in the works, the Vegas Golden Knights managed to end their 5-game losing streak. The Vegas Golden Knights managed to win the season series 3-1 where they outscored the Edmonton Oilers 15-9.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Cody Eakin also managed to score for the Vegas Golden Knights, which is 11-4-2 since the deadline for trades. Malcolm Subban stopped 18 shots and made his 9th consecutive start after replacing Marc-Andre Fleury. Subban led to end a 0-3-2 skid since he earned his first career shootout on 21 March and boasts with a 2.67 goals-against average across the nine-match span.

“It’s a remarkable win, for sure, and an incredible team victory,” Subban stated. “We always attempt to score the first goal to get in front which helps a great deal during the game. It makes it a lot easier as well.”

Eakin managed to give the Vegas Golden Knights an early 1-0 lead during the first period when he obtained the puck outside of the blue line and skated to the right circle where he produced a phenomenal wrist shot to get the puck past Mikko Koskinen.

“Every match is important to us this time of year, and we always want to establish some good habits. This evening was an incredible start, and we would like to continue down this path, Eakin stated. “I believe we are well aware of how we can be successful. I believe we had some great habits this evening to get back to form a winning streak.”

Edmonton Oilers

Marchessault’s game-winning goal occurred in 51 seconds during the second. Meanwhile, the Oilers began the match with playoff hopes. However, they were soon eliminated halfway through the game when Colorado managed to earn a point against St. Louis.

“We are unfortunately out this time around. Regardless of how many points you make, eight are in, and eight are out,” Ken Hitchcock stated after the match.