It’s just a part of life for an expansion team that every night it’s going to be someone else’s turn to be going against their old mates.
Though most had the Penguins game circled as the most emotional one on the schedule, the circumstances surrounding tonight’s game may be more motivating for the Golden Knights.
We were winning 2-1 after the 2nd and they came back 3-2. We lost that game. I think we were a little over .500. We lost the game, we were disappointed, but out of nowhere they told us to go back into the room. We didn’t know what was happening. Tom Rowe, the GM, told us they were going to fire Turk and Mike. Everybody was just shocked and so mad because Turk was the kind of coach that a player wants to battle for. That’s one of the reasons we are winning right now, because he want to win for a guy, not because he’s a good coach. Everybody was disappointed, and when I say everybody, I mean everybody. -Jonathan Marchessault
But not only did the Florida Panthers fire head coach Gerard Gallant and assistant Mike Kelly, they left them on the street to hail a cab. It was widely regarded around the league as the wrong way to handle business and it didn’t go unnoticed in the Golden Knights locker room. I asked seven players if they knew about the “taxi picture” and the way it ended in for Gallant in Florida, six of the seven were aware of it and the seventh seemed legitimately peeved when I told him what happened.
Do the guys in this room already have the feeling that you need to win this one for Gallant? -SinBin.vegas
I think so but I don’t think he would really want us to do that. I think he would just want us to play our game and to play how we’ve been playing. Obviously, you want to win for guys like Turk, and Marchy and Smitty, and Mike. Everybody loves all four of those guys. -Brad Hunt
Even more so for Marchessault.
I think for me and Reilly it’s special but not as special as it will be for Turk. It ended up bad and everybody has a chip on their shoulder. Everybody moves on, but obviously, we are all going to want that win for him. -Marchessault
When the Golden Knights played the Penguins every player talked about how special it would be to help get Fleury a win, but there was never any sense of anger or seeking revenge. With Fleury it was more of a celebration of an amazing career in Pittsburgh. That’s not the case tonight. Tonight, the Golden Knights have two players that were cast aside from their previous organization despite playing great hockey, and they also have two coaches who were literally left out in the cold.
Everybody’s aware of the situation and how it turned out. It’s not going to be as hard as a feeling as it was for Flower against the Penguins, but it’ll be similar for sure. -Marchessault
Marchessault wants this game. Smith wants this game. Kelly wants this game. The entire Golden Knights roster wants this game.
And though he won’t say it, this one is different for the head coach.
Seriously, no, it’s not different. We all know what happened but it really isn’t. It’s not a big big deal. It’s another game, but it’s a big game because we need two points. -Gerard Gallant
We’ll ask him again when it’s over.