Are Car­pen­ter, Sub­ban bet­ter tip­pers than Robin?

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY BEN POPE, STAFF RE­PORTER bpope@sun­times.com | @BenPopeCST

The Golden Knights have Robin Lehner.

But the Black­hawks have Ryan Car­pen­ter and Mal­colm Sub­ban.

While Lehner — Ve­gas’ start­ing goal­tender Tues­day in Game 1 — al­most cer­tainly will have a big­ger on-ice im­pact in this se­ries than Car­pen­ter, a fourth-line for­ward, and Sub­ban, a backup goalie, com­bined, the Hawks’ two for­mer Knights ar­guably can pro­vide more inside in­for­ma­tion.

Coach Jeremy Col­li­ton said the Hawks’ staff “of course” has talked to both play­ers for tips on the Knights’ strengths and weak­nesses.

“We want to get all the in­for­ma­tion we can as far as what to ex­pect and to help pre­pare the team,” Col­li­ton said. “They were both very help­ful.

“Ob­vi­ously, they have the same on their side, and that’s just part of play­off hockey — try­ing to think of ev­ery­thing, then just de­cid­ing what you’re go­ing to give to the team.”

Both have spent more than half of their NHL ca­reers in Ve­gas.

Sixty-three of Sub­ban’s 66 starts were for the Knights over the last three sea­sons de­spite be­ing drafted by the Bru­ins and now play­ing for the Hawks. He backed up Marc-Andre Fleury from the mo­ment of Ve­gas’ fran­chise in­cep­tion un­til the Lehner trade in Fe­bru­ary.

And 121 of Car­pen­ter’s 222 reg­u­lar-sea­son and post­sea­son NHL ap­pear­ances took place with the Knights dur­ing the 2017-18 and 2018-19 sea­sons af­ter be­ing waived by the Sharks and be­fore sign­ing with the Hawks last sum­mer.

He even played 17 games and had five as­sists dur­ing the Knights’ 2018 run to the Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal.

“Their whole team, they had a bunch of guys try­ing to prove them­selves, and I was one of them,” Car­pen­ter said Tues­day. “They’re a re­ally hard­work­ing team, fast, strong, good all over the ice. They’re well-coached, good goal­tend­ing. For my time in Ve­gas, I felt like they were a con­fi­dent group, but it feels like that’s been for­ever ago.”

Un­for­tu­nately for the Hawks, the Knights made a coach­ing change — from Ger­ard Gal­lant to Pete DeBoer — in Jan­uary, and DeBoer in­evitably changed some of their old tac­tics.

Car­pen­ter was long gone by then, and Sub­ban started only three games un­der DeBoer (he did win all three).

“I wasn’t there when Pete DeBoer took over, so they may have a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent sys­tems and struc­tures,” Car­pen­ter said. “I know some of the play­ers a lit­tle bit, so maybe that helps a lit­tle bit with the pre-scout.

“But when it comes down to th­ese play­offs, you want to fo­cus on the other team a lit­tle bit and make ad­just­ments, but we’re try­ing to fo­cus on our game and what we need to do to be suc­cess­ful.”

NAM Y. HUH/AP (ABOVE), JEFF VINNICK/GETTY IMAGES

Black­hawks for­ward Ryan Car­pen­ter and goalie Mal­colm Sub­ban are for­mer Golden Knights, and they can pro­vide inside info.

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