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The Revenge Game: How Are Golden Knights Faring Against Their Old Teams?

As if Wild Bill was not going to tear up the Blue Jackets. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Playing against former teams has been a storyline all year and understandably it boiled over yesterday with Marc-Andre Fleury’s return to Pittsburgh.

All Star head coach Gerard Gallant joked early in the season that the “revenge game” was overblown. Then, after a win over the Buffalo Sabres in which “fourth” line forward William Carrier played his best game, Gallant’s mind was changed.

I didn’t think this was a big deal but William Carrier played his best game tonight against his old team. His old team is Buffalo, so it definitely made a difference. I didn’t think it did, but tonight he proved to me that he played his best game so far. He played real well. -Gallant

Since then the answer has been the same from Gallant when asked about any player facing his former team; he expects them to play one of their best games because “that’s how it seems to go.”

So, let’s take a look at how the Golden Knights have actually fared against their old teams.

 GPGASOG+/-
Karlsson12033
Marchessault214104
Smith20241
Neal31014-2
Haula2111-3
Perron2018-1
Tuch2004-1
Eakin30352
Leipsic20022
Carrier10030
Nosek1002-1

*Bellemare and Carpenter have yet to face their former teams.

The effort might be there, but the numbers certainly aren’t as a whole. In 21 games they have just five goals from forwards, 11 assists, and a +4 rating.

On to defensemen.

 GPPTS+/-SOGBLKHIT
Schmidt111152
McNabb204246
Miller200712
Hunt100600
Engelland101251
Theodore321760

*Sbisa was on IR for the game against Vancouver. Garrison did not play in either game against Tampa Bay. Vegas has yet to play Merrill’s former team, New Jersey.

The defensemen have fared well against their old teams. In 10 games they are +7 without a single player in the minus.

Finally, Fleury and Subban.

 GASVSV%W/L
Fleury657.9051-1
Subban121.9551-0

Darn, those numbers looked so much better before the Golden Knights D left Fleury out to dry.

Next up, it’s Ryan Carpenter’s return to San Jose, then Pierre-Edouard Bellemare takes on his former mates, the Flyers, at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.

(Stick tap to Charles Morrison for assisting in the research for this article)

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2 Comments

  1. Mark

    great write up. And you can tell Gallant bought in to it at least earlier in the season. I remember he benched Carrier for Leipsic in the first Toronto game.

  2. RJ

    This is for the team they played for last season right? I wonder how much the numbers change when all former teams are taken into account? In particular I think of James Neal who broke in with the Stars (and has owned them this year) the played some significant time with Pittsburgh before going to Nashville. Similarly Smith played with DAL, BOS, and FLA; Perron in STL, EDM, PIT, and ANA; Engelland in PIT and CAL etc.

    Honestly I wonder how much the players even care though? Other than Fluery, none of our players would have been considered a ‘great’ with their former team. The one thing I seem to see from the numbers above is a couple Dmen seem to take a few more shots against their former team? And it might have more to do with knowledge of the defense scheme and Goalie tendencies than any revenge situation.

    Either way, at this point of the season, most of the league is looking to get ‘revenge’ against the Golden Knights; and it’s clear our players are focused on their future with this team, not their past with their former team.

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