When NHL expansion team Vegas started 8-1, it was a head-turner. All the reports stated the Golden Knights did a brilliant job in assembling team, while thinking about the future to build stability. It seems the future came early.
Like reacting to a child who does something surprising well, most of us making NHL picks essentially patted the Vegas Golden Knights on the head and said, "Nice job," knowing their days of playing good hockey had limits once the excitement subsided and the losses started to pile.
Yet, that has not happened. The expansion team is tied for first place in the Pacific Division, and just the other night they knocked off league-leader Tampa Bay in the waning seconds at home.
If you follow the NHL odds, you probably know the Golden Knights are the best bet in the sport at +15.1 units. With Vegas 22-11 SU and having completed 40 percent of their regular season, this band of hockey gypsies is no fluke.
They are sixth in the league in scoring and are incredible 14-3 SU on home ice. Around the NHL there is a new characterization for the Knights' home success, referred as the "Vegas flu." This is visiting teams playing in Las Vegas and being near all the glittery lights and night life. With plenty of places to go and perhaps not being recognized, plus no "last call" when partaking in adult beverages, this is now a working theory and concern for away squads.
Maybe playing 10 road games in 12 assignments starting Jan. 16 will bring Vegas back to earth. However, not considering the Golden Knights for hockey wagers is like throwing away aces dealt to you while playing blackjack.