Sharks vs Golden Knights Prediction NHL Picks Today 10/12
- Lm Tipster
- Oct 12, 2023, 1:31:10 AM
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
NHL Predictions: Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks
The Vegas Golden Knights, reigning Stanley Cup Champions, kick off their season against the San Jose Sharks, who are eager to rebound from a tough previous season. This matchup marks a contrast in expectations, with Vegas aiming to defend their title, while the Sharks embark on a rebuilding journey.
The Golden Knights made a resounding statement on opening night with a convincing 4-1 victory, highlighting their championship pedigree. In contrast, the Sharks, one of the NHL's strugglers last season, seek signs of improvement as they hope to reshape their roster.
Vegas Golden Knights' Strength
The Golden Knights, known for their well-rounded team, wasted no time in showcasing their offensive prowess on opening night. They continued where they left off last season, scoring four goals after averaging 3.26 goals per game. Jack Eichel and Chandler Stephenson, who combined for 43 goals and 88 assists last season, led the charge with two goals and an assist.
However, it wasn't just Eichel and Stephenson who shone. Mark Stone, Ivan Barbashev, and Jonathan Marchessault collectively contributed two goals and two assists, while defenseman Brayden McNabb chipped in with an assist, fortifying their offensive depth.
While the offense looked impressive, the Golden Knights' defensive unit, which allowed only 2.74 goals per game last season, stepped up as well. They limited the opposition to just one goal on opening night. Defensemen like Alex Pietrangelo, Brayden McNabb, Nicolas Hague, and Shea Theodore played crucial roles in creating turnovers and disrupting shooting lanes.
Furthermore, goaltender Adin Hill put on a stellar performance in the season opener, making 32 saves out of 33 shots faced, ensuring a solid start for Vegas.
San Jose Sharks' Challenges
Conversely, the San Jose Sharks struggled mightily last season, averaging only 2.84 goals per game offensively. While Tomas Hertl and Alexander Barvbanov combined for 37 goals and 73 assists, the rest of the offense couldn't find consistency. To bolster their scoring, the Sharks added Anthony Duclair and Mike Hoffman during the offseason, hoping they can provide the offensive spark the team needs.
Defensively, the Sharks encountered significant issues last season, allowing a concerning 3.84 goals per game. The situation worsened with the departure of Erik Karlsson, a former Norris Trophy winner, in the offseason. Now, the defensive responsibilities fall on players like Mario Ferraro, Jan Rutta, and Marc-Édouard Vlasic, who will lead the top two pairings.
The challenge for the Sharks lies in their depth on the blue line, as they look for the later pairings to step up and prevent the defense from becoming a liability once again.
Additionally, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen aims for a rebound season after a tough year with a .883 save percentage and a 3.85 goals-against average. His performance in net will be crucial to the Sharks' chances of improvement.
When assessing this matchup, it's evident that the Vegas Golden Knights, with their championship pedigree and strong performances on opening night, have the upper hand in various aspects of the game. Considering their well-rounded roster and offensive firepower, betting on Vegas to win and cover the -1.5 puck line appears to be a favorable prediction.
As they aim to defend their title, expect the Golden Knights to assert their dominance in this matchup against the San Jose Sharks.
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Pick: Golden Knights -1.5