The Golden Knights sent a bit of a mixed bag roster to San Jose including younger players such as Cody Glass, Tyler Wong, and Keegan Kolesar as well as a group of older defenseman like Clayton Stoner, Luca Sbisa, Nate Schmidt, and Brayden McNabb. Meanwhile, the Sharks rolled out something rather close to what they expect to see when they depart camp for the regular season.
To no one’s surprise, it took the Golden Knights a while to get going as they found themselves in a 4-0 hole before getting on the board for the first time in the third. After the game, a number of Sharks were asked by TheSFNews.com about the Golden Knights and their expectations for the inaugural season.
They’ve got NHL players on their team, I expect them to be competitive. For an expansion team, you hope they do well. It’s like any team, they’ve got young guys, they’ve got new guys to be competitive. You don’t take it easy on them, they’re an expansion team, you play to beat them. –Logan Couture
I expect them to be good, I expect them to be competitive and work hard. I think all teams, especially a new team like Vegas with 23 guys new to one franchise, I think they’re going to work hard for each other and they’re going to compete every night. –Joe Thornton
Right off the bat, it’s a bit of cliche-city using the words “compete” and “work,” but if you read between the lines a bit, both players essentially seem to be saying the same thing. “They are an expansion team. We should be better than them. We will need to beat them every single time.”
Every team is competitive now, we’re not going to be surprised by them and how they play. Yeah, it will be interesting to see how the season progresses for them. Obviously it is a unique situation having all new guys in there, but I expect them to be competitive, that’s for sure. –Martin Jones
They look like they’re a really good team, they’ve got a lot of skill, a lot of experience, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they do in the regular season. –Chris Tierney
This is what we expect to hear much more of as the season gets underway. “Unique situation,” “really good team,” and “interesting” to describe a team no other player wants to say is inferior to their own.
It’s obviously yet to be seen how the Golden Knights will fare when the games actually count, but there’s no question motivation by their opponents is going to be a storyline throughout the year.