It should come as no surprise that teams are starting to look at the Golden Knights a little differently than they did three months ago. Everyone expected Vegas to be a standard expansion team, terrible. But they aren’t. Instead, they are one of the best teams in the NHL and all the winning is starting to bring out the competitive juices from a few division rivals.
There’s no way they are going to be a better team than us by the end of the season. -Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings defenseman
They get lucky. (Laughter) They played us much better in Anaheim than they did tonight. Ask me that question again at the end of the year. -Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks Coach
That’s a lot different than what it sounded like earlier in the year…
I don’t think anyone expected them to be that good coming into the league. They played a fast game, they seem to all be on the same page. I think they’ve got a good team. –Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman on October 24th
Yeah I was saying at game’s end they have a good quick team they have some nice skill, they don’t give you a whole lot of off the rush, and their goalie made some timely saves. -Paul Maurice, Jets Head coach on November 10th
It’s almost become a challenge for the other teams to the Golden Knights. They are basically saying, “sure you are winning now, but there’s no way you’ll keep it up.”
Gerard Gallant likes it that way.
I like the challenge. Nobody is going to take us for granted, no one is going to say ‘they are an expansion team.’ Everybody knows we are a good team, but we’ve got to keep doing that, we’ve got to keep playing. -Gerard Gallant
The amazing thing is how the Golden Knights have kept up their intensity. Everything was there for the Kings to really want their revenge on Vegas. They should have wanted the game more, and they didn’t.
Tonight we were the team that wanted it more, absolutely, I didn’t think it was close. Throughout the game I thought we were the better team, we outplayed them. -David Perron
The Golden Knights are becoming the hunted rather than the hunter. It’s just another phase of this insane transformation of a team’s image going from the worst team in the league to the best. The good news for the Golden Knights, nothing has seemed to phase them, so there’s really no reason to believe this will either.