As the Golden Knights regular season winds down, everyone is beginning to gear up for round one of the postseason. While Vegas is on their Western Canadian spring break, it’s just a waiting game until real hockey resumes. With that in mind, we decided to look into how much playoff experience the Golden Knights have on the roster, and depending on how you slice it, it could be viewed as a lot or a little.
Playoffs is just kind of a crap shoot because everyone is coming out so hot. It doesn’t really matter what position you finish in the regular season. -Ryan Reaves
Only Marc-Andre Fleury has played in 100+ postseason games. Three Vegas players have played 40+ postseason games. Twelve Golden Knights have seven or fewer playoff appearances. Combined, the team has played 480 individual postseason games.
115 Playoff games: Marc-Andre Fleury
.908 save %, 2.65 GAA, 62 wins
80 Playoff games: James Neal
25 goals, 44 points, 5 game-winning goals
42 Playoff games: David Perron
3 goals, 14 points, 1 game-winner
36 Playoff games: Ryan Reaves
1 goal, 9:34 ATOI (last season), 23 PIM
28 Playoff games: Deryk Engelland
2 assists, -9, 16:24 ATOI
24 Playoff games: Erik Haula
6 goals, 13 points, 15 takeaways
21 Playoff goals: Nate Schmidt
1 goal, 4 points, +3, 16:39 ATOI (last season)
20 Playoff goals: Luca Sbisa
1 goal, 4 points, -10, 17:15 ATOI
20 Playoff goals: Shea Theodore
2 goals, 8 points, 17:25 ATOI, 20 giveaways
19 Playoff games: Cody Eakin
3 goals, 10 assists, 51.9 FO%, 18:44 ATOI
18 Playoff games: Reilly Smith
8 goals, 13 points, +12, 8 points/24:57 ATOI (’17)
17 Playoff games: Tomas Tatar
3 goals, 7 points, -5, 15:21 ATOI
14 Playoff games: Oscar Lindberg
3 goals, 4 points, 52.6 FO%, 10:27 ATOI
7 Playoff games: Jonathan Marchessault
1 assist, +1, 8:21 ATOI
5 Playoff games: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
1 assist, 4 blocked shots, 15 PIM,
5 Playoff games: William Karlsson
2 goals, 3 points, +4, 16:06 ATOI
5 Playoff games: Brayden McNabb
6 SOG, -4, 16:54 ATOI
4 Playoff games: Colin Miller
1 assist, 18 shot attempts, +1, 15:33 ATOI
0 Playoff games: Ryan Carpenter, William Carrier, Brad Hunt, Jon Merrill, Tomas Nosek, Malcolm Subban, Alex Tuch
Of course, it’s beneficial for Vegas to have perennial postseason players in their lineup like Fleury and Neal. However, Vegas will need the “inexperienced” guys to produce in order to advance. Players like Karlsson, Marchessault, Miller, Schmidt, Smith, and Theodore will all have to add impact.
The good news, Karlsson has 3 points in five career postseason games, and Smith had 8 points in six playoff games under Gerard Gallant.
Defensively, all signs are trending up. Although limited to low minutes, Miller fired 18 shot attempts in four career playoff games. Expect to see the same approach from Mr. Don’t Have to Ask Me to Shoot Twice. Same goes for Theodore who suited up for 20 postseason games as an Anaheim Duck.
I’ve got some good playoff experience. Playing with Anaheim we made some good playoff runs. That’s going to help this year playing a bigger role for this team. -Shea Theodore
In 14 games last season, Theodore averaged 17:25 of ice time and eight points. He registered a point in three playoff rounds. In his own words, that experience will help improve his postseason game.
480 individual postseason games seems like a lot but it’s really not compared to most of the playoff field, and certainly three of the four potential first round matchups. Anaheim, Los Angeles, and St. Louis all have much more experience, and the same goes for San Jose and Nashville, potential second and third round opponents.
Anaheim: 1,336 Individual Playoff games
San Jose: 1,138 Individual Playoff games
Nashville: 1,016 Individual Playoff games
Los Angeles: 928 Individual Playoff games
Minnesota: 748 Individual Playoff games
Vegas: 480 Individual Playoff games
Winnipeg: 264 Individual Playoff games
Colorado: 175 Individual Playoff games
But… only the Kings (and a few Ducks) have parade experience, and that’s the experience the Golden Knights are really looking for.