The Golden Knights play five home games at T-Mobile Arena in the month of February. Our Home Preview, presented by Berkshire Hathaway, looks at what's on tab for the Golden Knights this month.
Since the Golden Knights defeated the Senators in Ottawa in November, the team from Canada's capital has been in a freefall. Although it seems like a virtual certainty that the Senators will not be in the playoffs this season, they still possess arguably the NHL's top defenseman in Erik Karlsson.
If it was not for the Cinderella Story that the Golden Knights have wrote so far this season, the New Jersey Devils might be the league foremost feel-good story. After missing the playoffs for five straight years, the Devils look to be in solid position to qualify this year. They are led by forward Taylor Hall, who has put himself in the conversation to be the league's MVP by putting together the best season of his career.
If there's any team that the Golden Knights have struggled against in the Western Conference this season, it's the Minnesota Wild. Vegas has dropped a pair of decisions in Minnesota this season, and the Golden Knights will be out for revenge as the Wild make their only visit of the season to Sin City.
It's been a weird year for the Calgary Flames this season. After squeaking into the playoffs last year, many expected them to take the next step in 2017-18. So far, the fate of the Flames remains unwritten - they seem just as likely to finish second in the Pacific Division as they are to miss the playoffs. Calgary will come to Vegas badly in need of two points.
It's been a bit of a lost season for the Canucks, who have been submerged deep in the NHL standings since December. If there's anything to look for in this game, it might be the expected return of Brendan Leipsic to T-Mobile Arena. After being traded by Vegas to Vancouver in February, Leipsic is poised to be the first former Golden Knight to return to play in Vegas.
After playing the Colorado Avalanche two days before in Denver, the Golden Knights will again contend with Nathan MacKinnon and company at T-Mobile Arena. The Avalanche were embarrassed 7-0 during their last visit to Las Vegas in October, and will be out to prove something. Which could also be part of earning a playoff spot, as the Avalanche are in the conversation for a postseason appearance a year after finishing dead last in the NHL..
When the Golden Knights entered the NHL, many expected there to be a desert rivalry between Vegas and Arizona. So far, this rivalry has been one-sided. The Golden Knights have won all four of their meetings against the Coyotes this season, who are last in a Pacific Division that Vegas has led since December. This game marks an opportunity for the Golden Knights to complete a five-game, season series sweep.
The night before the Kings visit the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena, the teams will meet in LA. This gives this game the potential of having quite a bit of carryover animosity as both teams will continue to try to jockey for playoff positioning.
The Golden Knights play their final home game of the 2017-18 season against the San Jose Sharks, who have impressively stayed in the thick of the Western Conference race despite the services of future Hall of Famer Joe Thornton for most of the season.