Are Carpenter, Subban better tippers than Robin?
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.”
Blackhawks forward Ryan Carpenter and goalie Malcolm Subban are former Golden Knights, and they can provide inside info.