Hits keep coming for Golden Knights winger William Carrier

Updated December 11, 2018 - 6:25 pm

NEW YORK — William Carrier still believes scoring a goal is a better feeling than dishing out a big hit.

But the Golden Knights’ winger is starting to change his view.

“Sometimes, a big hit is worth it,” he said.

Carrier leads the NHL in hits by a wide margin — don’t remind linemate Ryan Reaves of that fact — and has developed into one of the league’s most punishing forecheckers in his third season.

But the 6-foot-2-inch, 212-pound Carrier also has added some scoring touch to complement his bump-and-grind style of play.

“He’s real confident,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “When he gets the puck, he doesn’t just dump it in anymore and just chase it. He makes plays, he takes pucks hard to the net.”

Carrier was not known for his physical play when he was drafted in the second round by St. Louis in 2013. But after being acquired by Buffalo in 2014 as part of the deal that sent goaltender Ryan Miller to the Blues, Carrier altered his style.

When grinder Nicolas Deslauries was injured in October 2016, the Sabres recalled Carrier and asked him to fill that role.

“To make it in the NHL, you’ve got to find a way,” Carrier said. “I fit in that role, and my first game I had like 15 checks or something like that and they said, ‘OK, we’ll keep him up.’ From there, I just kept doing it, and now I’m really good at it, so we’re trying to work on other stuff, too.”

Carrier has 165 hits entering Wednesday’s game against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center, while Reaves is second in the league with 127.

Carrier is on pace for 422 hits over 82 games, which would be the highest total since the league began releasing figures on hits in 2002-03.

Islanders winger Matt Martin, who led the league in hits five straight seasons, owns the top mark with 382 hits during the 2014-15 season, according to statistics at NHL.com.

“Why you gotta rub it in like that?” Reaves said lightheartedly when reminded he’s lagging behind Carrier in that department.

“It’s got to be frustrating to have the guys 1-2 in the league in hits coming at you every night. Usually that’s just me bringing that to a line, and it’s nice to have somebody else bring that. And him bringing it that much is unreal.”

Carrier, who turns 24 on Dec. 20, said he notices the toll his line takes on opposing defensemen.

That group was tasked with matching up against the Capitals’ top line on Dec. 4 and held Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson largely in check. Ovechkin’s goal came shortly after Reaves hopped over the boards to join third-liners Tomas Nosek and Daniel Carr.

“You see (defensemen) start cheating and they let you go get the puck first,” Carrier said. “And that’s why we’re doing it. We’re not just doing it to get out there and energy and stuff. We get out there, and we’ve got the puck.”

Carrier missed 45 games last season due to various injuries and another 10 games during the playoffs, but hasn’t missed a game this season.

He matched his career high in goals (5), which he set as a rookie with Buffalo in 2016-17, and continues to generate scoring chances.

“I had tons of chances last year, I just couldn’t finish,” Carrier said. “I’m still young and I’m still learning, (I’m) slowing it down. (I have) a little bit more poise on my blade.

“Whatever the team needs we’ll do. If it’s a check, if it’s a goal. Right now the team is loving the way we’re scoring, chipping in every night. I think we’ll keep doing that. If the team needs anything else, we’ll do it.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Fall for the Third Time in Five Games
The Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Dave Schoen, Adam Hill, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights after their loss to the Wild
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to be tougher in certain areas and the players assess their loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Gallant: The Wild had our number last year
Head coach Gerard Gallant says the Minnesota Wild had the Golden Knights number last year. Tuch talks about the playoff hopes of the Golden Knights and Schmidt chimes in on team's tenacity.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Put up Record Amount Shots but Fall Short - VIDEO
The Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. In the second period the Knights put up a record number of shots on goal but still go back to the locker room down 2-0. David Schoen reports from Winnipeg.
Gallant: Knights played a 'good game' vs. Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant says the Knights played a good game in the loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Golden Knights power play
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knight power play vs. Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on loss to Winnipeg
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Mailbag: Will Brandon Pirri be an official Knight? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over the Golden Knights fans reactions to Jonathan Machessault not making the NHL all star roster and Brandon Pirri potentially joining the Knights.
Gerard Gallant on Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about continuing to play good hockey in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on facing Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about trying to take 2 points in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Win In Overtime Against Blackhawks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win 4-3 in overtime against the Blackhawks with Shea Theodore scoring the game winning goal. Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights comeback win.
Gallant on Carpenter goal
Gallant on win
Gallant on overturned goal
Gallant CHI 1
Theodore CHI
Golden Knights Win Streak Ends Against Sharks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win streak ends after a loss against the San Jose Sharks. Golden Knights reporters David Schoen and Adam Hill go over the Knights giving up two goals in the third period and how the team will recover on the road.
Golden Knights React To Loss Against Sharks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights react to their 3-2 loss against the Sharks including Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and head coach Gerard Gallant.
Golden Edge: Knights beat Rangers for 7th straight win
The RJ's David Schoen and Adam Hill recap the Golden Knights' win over the New York Rangers on January 8, 2019.
CES 2019: VR Hockey Trainer Sense Arena - VIDEO
CES 2019 has a lot of VR options, but none quite as cool for Golden Knights fans as Sense Arena. Former NHL Jan Ludvig and Patrik Eliáš talk about the future benefits and possibilities of technology like this. Eliáš also talks about his experience at his first Golden Knights game this past Sunday when the knights faced off against his former team the New Jersey Devils.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks on Jan. 7
Gallant talked about forward Brandon Pirri being recalled, injuries and more.
Golden Edge Mailbag - January 7, 2019 - VIDEO
Reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over all your burning VGK questions and comments
Gallant says the Golden Knights need to keep pressing
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant on how important it is that the team keep playing tough down the stretch as things as the race for the top in the Pacific Division remains close.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rally Behind Subban
The Vegas Golden Knights pick up their 6th win in a row scoring 3 goals to come back from a 2-0 New Jersey lead. Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and Dave Schoen report from T-Mobile arena.
Golden Knights on their comeback victory over the the Devils
Vegas Golden Knights players reflect on their come-from-behind win over the New Jersey Devils. Max Pacioretty talks about the becoming a father for the fourth time and then playing.
UNLV hockey program aims for NCAA Division I status
As the hockey culture continues to grow in Las Vegas, UNLV looks to develop its hockey program and eventually reach NCAA division I status. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Schmidt 3rd periods 2
Schmidt 3rd periods
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks on Jan. 5
Gallant talked about the team’s recent run of success in the third period, the schedule and more.
Golden Knights On Five Game Win Streak After Beating Ducks: Golden Edge - VIDEO
The Golden Knights are now on a five game winning streak after beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Golden Knights reporter Adam Hill goes over the Knights win.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Win with another Goal from Brandon Pirri
The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the LA Kings 2-0 with another goal from Brandon Pirri and shutout number 6 from Marc-Andre Fleury. David Schoen and Adam Hill repot from T-Mobile arena.
Pirri, Fleury on the Golden Knights shutout win over the Kings
Brandon Pirri and Marc-Andre Fleury discuss the team's play that led to the Vegas Golden Knights win over the L.A. Kings.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Big Against Coyotes
The Golden Knights defeat the Arizona Coyotes after scoring three goals in the third period and allowing one goal from a 5-on-3 power play. Golden Knights reporter Ben Gotz breaks down the highlights from the game.
Closing Out 2018 With The Golden Knights
With 2018 coming to a close, Golden Edge host Cassie Soto shares some of the highlights from the end of the Golden Knights inaugural season and the start of year two. While there were many big sports stories in 2018, none might be as historic as what the Golden Knights were able to accomplish in their first year of competition. The team joined the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues as the only professional baseball, basketball, football or hockey team to make it to the championship round. Although the Golden Knights fell short in their hunt to the hoisting the Stanley Cup, the team was able to unite the city of Las Vegas unlike anything ever before and for that, the community thanks them.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights fefeat Kings giving Subban his first win
The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the LA Kings 4-1 and Malcolm Subban gets his first win on the season reported by Ben Gotz and Adam Hill from Los Angeles.
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018: The Golden Year
The Golden Knights started off the year strong by making it to the Stanley Cup Finals and held many community to be closer with the fans.
Golden Knight Lee Orchard Discusses Career
Golden Knight Lee Orchard discusses his career and what he loves most about being part of an NHL team in Las Vegas.
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves visits tavern to launch his beer brand
Ryan Reaves visits the Parkway Tavern to sign autographs for fans and get reactions about his new beer called training day.
Golden Edge: Knights get back in the win column at home
After losing two games in overtime on the road, the Vegas Golden Knights returned home to score a victory over the Colorado Avalanche. David Schoen and Ben Gotz analyze the team's 2-1 victory in their final home game of 2018.
Fleury, Pirri and Stastny recap Golden Knights win over Avalanche
After their 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brandon Pirri and Paul Stastny recap the team's performance.
Gallant says Golden Knights were recharged after 3 days off
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's win over the Colorado Avalanche and says the time off helped the team perform better.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Consecutive Overtime Loss
The Golden Knights fell to the Kings 4-3 in overtime and will enter the holiday break on a two-game losing streak. Golden Edge reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz discuss the loss.
Golden Knights Discuss Overtime Loss to Kings
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Nate Schmidt and head coach Gerard Gallant discuss the 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings ahead of the holiday break.
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley Talks About First Season
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley talks about the Knights phenomenal first season of the NHL and how they hope to continue the momentum this season.
Golden Knights Fall To Canadiens In Overtime
Golden Knights lose to the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen, Adam Hill and Ben Gotz go over the Knights loss and how Marc-Andre Fleury was upset after the game about a potential high sticking call.
Golden Knights React To Overtime Loss Against Canadiens
Golden Knights react to their 4-3 overtime loss against the Montreal Canadiens.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant previews Islanders game
Gallant discussed William Carrier’s hot streak, shuffling his lines and more.
Gallant NY 4
Gallant NY 3
Gallant NY 2
Gallant NY 1
Gallant NJ 3
Gallant NJ 2
Gallant NJ 1
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Deryk Engelland at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was a new experience for Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland on Wednesday night. He said he was looking forward to spending time with family and going for a skate, as well as lighting the Christmas tree for fans.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like