Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 | 2 a.m.
In the preseason, when many NHL arenas are half full, the Golden Knights played in front of 17,958 fans on Sunday.
Yes, it’s safe to assume tickets will again be tough to land for home games, starting Thursday for the season opener against visiting Philadelphia.
Last year, the Golden Knights played in front of 18,042 fans on average, which was 104 percent of the capacity at T-Mobile Arena when factoring in standing-room-only tickets.
While some opponents are more attractive than others, you can argue there’s isn’t a game on the schedule where tickets won’t be heavily coveted.
Here are five games worth attending:
Philadelphia Flyers (Oct. 4) It’s a no-brainer that the home opener will be one of the biggest dates this season for the Golden Knights. Not only will fans get their first look at the 2018-19 roster, but there will likely be a grand opening ceremony that includes the hanging of multiple banners: Pacific Division and Western Conference champs.
Washington Capitals (Dec. 4) The defending Stanley Cup champions will take the ice at T-Mobile Arena for the first time since Alex Ovechkin and his teammates hoisted the trophy there on June 7. Both sides return mostly the same lineups, so this contest should be a heated one.
Los Angeles Kings (Jan. 1) The NHL generally uses New Year’s Day to showcase some of its best matchups, particularly the Winter Classic, which is played at an outdoor stadium. (This year, the Blackhawks and Bruins will face off in Notre Dame Stadium.) There will be another marquee game in Las Vegas, however, as the Golden Knights host their rivals from Southern California after sweeping them in the first round of the playoffs.
Nashville Predators (Feb. 16) The Predators should again be one of the top contenders in the Western Conference, making this mid-February showdown an important one. The Golden Knights swept Nashville last season, so the Preds should be hungry for their first win over the franchise. Added bonus: a chance for backup goalie Malcolm Subban to face his brother, star Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban.
Winnipeg Jets (Feb. 22) In late February, the Jets will travel to Las Vegas for a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals. Despite losing four straight games to meet their demise, the Jets were favored in the series and are expected to be even stronger this season. It’s also a reunion for new VGK center Paul Stastny, who played for Winnipeg during last year’s run before signing with Vegas in the offseason.