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Thursday FTB: Vegas claim defeat from the jaws of victory

The 16 teams are set, but what order?

NHL: APR 27 Golden Knights at Blackhawks
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 27: Vegas Golden Knights fans lean against the glass after regulation time during a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago on April 27, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, IL.
Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last night, the Vegas Golden Knights were eliminated in a shootout loss to Chicago. The timeline of events were quite extraordinary as things were swinging back and forth all night.

  1. Early in the night, Dallas got up to a 3-0 lead over Arizona, they only needed one point to eliminate Vegas so all hope was lost at this point
  2. Vegas was losing to Chicago at the same time, but they scored, sending their game to overtime. A point would have not been enough, Vegas needed to win in any way possible to stay alive.
  3. Then all of a sudden, Arizona started scoring goals. They got three and nearly beat the Stars in regulation. That along with a Vegas win would’ve kept their hopes alive.
  4. As the clock was ticking down on a tie game in Dallas, Vegas was in a shootout with Chicago. No goals after 6 shooters, after 8, after 10. Eventually in the 7th round Tyler Johnson scored to put Chicago up.
  5. As Johnson was scoring on his attempt, Dallas’ game went to overtime, eliminating the Golden Knights from the playoffs. Season over.
  6. Someone on Vegas still needed to shoot to try and keep the game alive. They chose Michael Amadio, who un-inspiringly hit the goalie’s pad. Game over.

Vegas was one of the favourites to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the year, and was ahead of the Leafs in the league standings on New Year’s Day. After around then, they just played like a bottom-10 team for the rest of the season while Calgary, LA, and to a lesser extent Edmonton racked up the points and all passed them in the standings.

This entire second half of the season has been ugly for Vegas, inside and out. It’s time to start pointing fingers, it’s going to be a fun offseason in Vegas.

To the team that kicked them out of the Pacific.

Staying in the Pacific, here’s something out of San Jose. Vegas pretty widely being recognized as the most hated team in the league. Starting with the fact they were good, with their salary cap shenanigans, to dealing with Evgenii Dadonov, and Robin Lehner. There’s a lot of reasons to hate the team.

Meanwhile in the other bottom of the NHL, with Arizona’s win, Montreal clinched last place in the NHL for the first time since 1940. Shane Wright might soon have to fight Cole Caufield and Jonathan Drouin and Nick Suzuki and Ryan Poehling and Michael McCarron over who’s going to be better than Auston Matthews.

Carolina is without Freddy Anderson, Pittsburgh doesn’t have Tristan Jarry, and now Nashville is without Juuse Saros as the playoffs draw near. All those teams were/are hunting for second opinions that’ll allow them to play their goalie hurt.

And finally on the playoff matchups, pretty much all the spots are locked in, except a few battling for seeding position. Here are the battles:

  • Tampa and Boston for 3rd in the Atlantic (magic number for Tampa: 2).
  • Pittsburgh and Washington for 3rd in the Metro (one point between them with Pittsburgh only one game left, Washington with two).
  • Minnesota and St. Louis for home ice in the Central (tied with a game in hand for Minnesota).
  • Dallas and Nashville for wild card position in the West (Dallas up by one with one game remaining, Nashville with two).

Let’s see how things play out over the final two days of the regular season (for the playoff teams). Tampa Bay could close the discussion in the Atlantic tonight. Washington can jump ahead by one with a win, as well. Minnesota play their game in hand as well. Everyone is playing on Friday.