Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2019

Currently: 76° — Complete forecast

The Big 10: Circle these games on your VGK calendar

0423_AP_VGKSharks2

Jeff Chiu/AP

Vegas Golden Knights left wing William Carrier (28) reaches for the puck against San Jose Sharks right wing Barclay Goodrow (23) during the second period of Game 7 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

If you see no other hockey games for the next six months or so, these are the ones to watch this season for the Vegas Golden Knights:

Oct. 2 vs San Jose Sharks

Opening night. It’s hard not to be excited for this one. Golden Knights’ fans owe the league scheduler a thank-you note for kicking off the season right.

Oct. 8 vs. Boston Bruins

The Golden Knights get an early look at the defending Eastern Conference champions, a team that swept them in the two-game season series last year, in their second home game. It will be an early barometer of how Vegas fares against the league’s elite.

Nov. 27 at Nashville Predators

It’s the last game before Thanksgiving, a good place to take stock of where the team sits in the standings. Typically, teams in a playoff spot a quarter of the way through the season are there at the end. 

Dec. 3 at New Jersey Devils

The Golden Knights made a controversial trade with the Devils over the summer, shipping promising forward Nikita Gusev to the Devils in a salary cap-spurred move. It will be Vegas’ first look at Gusev, as well as top overall pick Jack Hughes.

Dec. 8 vs. New York Rangers

Vegas fans get to see a new-look squad that accelerated its rebuild over the summer. The Rangers drafted Kaapo Kakko second overall, traded for Jacob Trouba and signed Artemi Panarin.

Jan. 4 vs. St. Louis Blues

The Stanley Cup champions come to town twice this year (also Feb. 13), and Vegas will relish the chance to knock off the champs in its own building.

Feb. 17 vs. Washington Capitals

A rematch of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final will always get T-Mobile Arena rocking. It’s going to take quite a while before the Capitals are not resoundingly booed every time they take the ice on the Strip.

Feb. 20 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last year’s Lightning put together one of the best regular seasons of all-time and late February will be their only trip to Las Vegas this season.  Vegas is 3-1 all-time against Tampa Bay.

March 25 vs. Arizona Coyotes

It’s the last home game of the season and the fifth against what should be an improved Coyotes squad. This could be a crucial game for the Golden Knights. 

March 29 at Winnipeg Jets

It’s the penultimate game of the season and potentially a final tune-up before opening the playoffs. A rematch of the 2018 Western Conference Final, this should give Vegas its last look at a Stanley Cup contender before the postseason begins.

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.