As BetAnySports customers wait for the start of Thursday’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, slated for 8:05 PM ET at the T-Mobile Arena, they have to be asking a question………….Is there a problem with Marc-Andre Fleury? He was so sizzling in the playoffs for the Vegas Golden Knights leading up to this Stanley Cup Finals series, but he appears to be “fizzling” now. he has more than doubled his goals against average, allowing a total of 16 goals in the four games played, and there haven’t even been that many shot attempts. Think about this for a second – the Washington Capitals had 41 shots attempted in Game 4, yet they managed to score six times. They had three goals with their first ten shots on goal, taking a 3-0 lead at the end of one period that allowed them to coast to a certain extent.
2018 Stanley Cup Finals Odds – Game 5:
In Game 5 there is no excuse if they can’t MAKE their own breaks, with a raucous home crowd behind them. And they are favored, according to BetAnySports:
Vegas Golden Knights -145
Washington Capitals +125
Vegas -1.5 Goals +195
Washington +1.5 Goals -235
Over 5.5 Goals -110
Under 5.5 Goals -110
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But you can’t take anything away from the Golden Knights, who have provided one of the feel-good stories of this or any other season. Not only have they energized a city that was not thought to be “major league” prior to the NHL’s arrival, they have also helped it heal, as the tragic shooting that took place at the music festival came right at the season’s outset.
This team, as you may know by now, was put together very carefully by George McPhee, who also was responsible for the acquisition of more than a dozen members of the Capitals during his 17 years as a general manager there. So although he doesn’t want to lose – not by a longshot – he can still take a certain amount of pride at the end in knowing that he did indeed assemble a Cup winner, either way.
Gerard Gallant is going to be the runaway winner of the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s top coach, so you have to give him at least a little respect when he says that his team could have been up 2-0 in the first period of Game 4 if they had gotten a couple of breaks.
Gallant’s opposite number is Barry Trotz, and there is no telling where he is going to be next season. It’s not that team management is unhappy with his work, or that there is a personality conflict of any significance. But his contract is up, and he has chosen to test the market. If he wins the Cup with the Caps, the market for him is going to be very active. Trotz has experienced a lot of frustration in his head coaching career, which includes fifteen years at the helm of the Nashville Predators. He made a lot of playoff appearances, but never got too far in any of them. Now, if he has a chance to drink from the Cup, he is going to be looking at an offer from somewhere. And he is going to be paid handsomely for it. Or are we speaking too soon? The New York Islanders are the only team that has a vacancy in the head coaching spot, and ownership created that on Tuesday when it fired GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight.
Stephen Psihogios of Yahoo Sports Canada has christened Trotz a “genius” in this series, and didn’t necessarily do a real good job of explaining why. But what is interesting about all this is that before the playoffs started, Trotz’s job security was said to be in a lot of doubt if the Caps didn’t get to this point, which, considering his contract situation, meant that he would not have been offered anything in the way of a new deal. There really isn’t whole lot of difference between being a genius and being an also-ran.
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By Charles Jay