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Which Players Do The Golden Knights Miss Most (And Least) When They Are Out

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On December 13th, 2017 the Golden Knights claimed Ryan Carpenter on waivers from the San Jose Sharks. It took him almost a month, until January 5th to finally get in his first game. Since, he’s become a staple in Gerard Gallant’s lineup… much to the chagrin of many in the fan base.

Carpenter has just 13 points in 50 games this season and is a -8 in the plus/minus category. He’s among the worst on the team in just about every statistical category, yet when asked Gallant never has anything but good things to say about #40.

Carpenter is the same for me every night, pretty much. He is a solid player, he doesn’t make many mistakes. He does the right thing with the puck all the time, so we had very few turnovers tonight and he is a part of that. He did a good job on our penalty kill, so really liked his game -Gallant

He is one of the best in giveaways, just coughing the puck up 15 times in 630 minutes on the ice, and there’s no question he’s a strong penalty killer.

But let me throw another group of numbers into the mix. Whether it’s related to Carpenter or not, the Golden Knights are miserable without him. They are a pathetic 2-11-1 without Carpenter in the lineup and score just 2.21 goals while allowing 3.57 when he’s in the press box.

Here is a breakdown of all 19 players who are currently on the roster that have missed games. The numbers shown are how the Golden Knights perform without the designated player.


For context, the Golden Knights points percentage currently is .555. They average 2.92 goals a game while allowing 2.81.

Maybe as surprising as Carpenter is how well Vegas played with Max Pacioretty out of the lineup. Earning points in 11 of 13 games is solid and the .731 points percentage without #67 would be the best in the Western Conference.

Of course, these numbers are certainly oversimplified, but intriguing nonetheless. Am I suggesting Gallant benches Pacioretty for Carpenter? Of course not. But, it is certainly fair to use the numbers to give some context to the reigning Jack Adams award winner’s love for Ryan Carpenter.

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  1. waiting for a cab

    and the Penguins won the the Stanley cup a couple years ago with Letang out injured the entire playoffs. and they also won it in 2009 with Crosby out injured in game 7. and I don’t remember Carpenter being on those teams.

    but look at the damage Carpenter does to the OFFENSE on the 3rd line. Tuch and Eakin offensive skills are completely wasted, and Tuch is forced to play lw on his backhand side. and the PP is hurt by sitting an offensive player.

    if Carpenter is supposedly so valuable in the lineup, then he should be on the 4th line at LW, NOT on line 3.

    no, the reason that Gallant won’t use Carpenter on the 4th line, is because he does not fit the physical forechecking style of that line.

    let’s face it, Carpenter is a guy who efficiently ties up the stick of his opponent. THAT is his skill, that is main attribute.

    but apparently to some Carpenter is the lucky rabbits foot of the Knights. He is a mediocre player who was waived by the Sharks, and I don’t think the Sharks record suffered without him, did it?

    will Haula or Tuch be demoted or benched in the playoffs to accomodate Carpenter? of course not. But Reaves will. is that what fans want, having their best physical force benched in favor of a rabbits foot?

    remember, there is only room for 4 wingers on the bottom 2 lines

    let’s vote right now. the choice is Tuch, Haula, Pirri, Reaves, Nosek, Carrier, or Carpenter

    7 guys for 4 spots. 3 guys will be sitting each playoff game. rabbits foot or on ice talent?

    Reaves or Carpenter? ask Tom Wilson who he would rather face.

    • Daniel Foley

      Great analysis as well – what say you SinBin? I realize it’s not a fight or right or wrong – just curious because this is a well thought out response.

    • Gabriella

      I think with all of this hockey knowledge that you should be on the line and Carpenter and Reaves should both be benched. Can we have a vote on the cab waiter being added to the roster??

    • I’m perfectly fine with Reaves being on the bench for Carpenter, especially if they are playing an offensively talented team like Calgary or San Jose.

      I also put specifically in the article that I’m not suggesting Carpenter is the reason the team was losing while he was out, but it is interesting nonetheless.

      Gallant has a style of player he likes and Carpenter happens to fit it. The guy is the reigning Jack Adams award winner, I tend to trust most of his decision making.

    • Joe Mecham

      Clearly, the Golden Knights made a serious mistake hiring Gallant rather than you as coach.

  2. Joseph Biase

    I say Ryan Reaves due to the proven facts that he is the heart and soul of the Golden Knights who is the first to fight for his team and protect his teammates.

  3. Gabriella

    I think with all of this hockey knowledge that you should be on the line and Carpenter and Reaves should both be benched. Can we have a vote on the cab waiter being added to the roster??

  4. JD

    So the team has 27 wins without Haula and are 8-2-3 without Pacioretty. But they are 2-11-1 without Carpenter.

    Does anyone seriously think that if the Knights dumped Patches and Haula, and had 2 more Carpenters , that the team would do better? Of course not.

    Carpenter is a defensive forward who can be used to kill penalties or protect a one goal lead late in a game, but that is all he is, a role player

  5. Don B

    I thought the player was going to be Carrier. We seem to play much harder and fore check better with him in the lineup.

  6. JD

    yep, that Carpenter is sure a winner. the first period is a defensive disaster, and the PK is the biggest problem.

    When is McNabb going to start blocking shots on the PK, and quit worrying about the slot pass. His damn job is to stop the shooter from the circle. Hoffman is wide open.

  7. Gio

    Another win that Carpenter had ZERO to do with. Now we know that they win in spite of Carpenter, rather than because of him.

  8. Vgk2018

    Has you guys ever heard of the saying “statistically insignificant”. I actually lgoogled it and there was a picture of this article. Who cares!

    It’s like flipping a coin a million times…I gaurentee you that at some point over those million flips that heads will come up 11 of 13 times. Why? Because that is what the law of averages suggest.

    So your boy #71 has a points percentage of .555…same as the overall team. Does that mean he adds no value?

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