Key storylines to watch out for across the NHL’s two Outdoor Games at Lake Tahoe

The Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Nathan MacKinnon (29)
Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Abundance of riches

The main reason why the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights are seen by many as two juggernauts destined to battle for the Stanley Cup for years to come is the fact that they are both absolutely loaded.

And that will be on full display today.

Just look at the Avalanche who will be getting their Captain back in Gabriel Landeskog, who has been on the COVID-19 Protocol list since Feb. 4, but was taken off on Wednesday and that will be a huge, huge boost for the Avs.

After all, Landeskog has eight points (3 G, 5 A) in 11 games this season, and he really helps to drive play for Colorado along with superstar center Nathan MacKinnon, while stud defenseman Cale Makar is a game-time decision after missing the last two games with an upper-body injury.

Makar is just a pretty special talent and, with one goal and 11 assists for 12 points in 12 games this season, the offensive blueliner would be a lethal threat on the ice if he is able to prove his fitness for today’s mouthwatering showdown at Lake Tahoe.

Max Pacioretty (67)
Max Pacioretty #67 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

It isn’t just the Avalanche who are stacked with talent, however, given that the Vegas Golden Knights are a loaded roster with depth and quality in every single area. We’ve already looked at goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the previous slide, who has been playing at an elite level so far this season, while the Knights also got back defenseman Shea Theodore earlier in the week.

With a deadly one-two punch of Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo on the backend, the likes of Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault leading an explosive top-six forward unit and a bottom-six group that can provide secondary scoring and a boatload of grit and tenacity, today’s matchup is going to be a showdown between two insanely deep and talented rosters and it should make for one hell of a game in what will be a stunning backdrop.