Vegas Golden Knights: Three goalies down with injuries

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Oscar Dansk
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Oscar Dansk /

When the Vegas Golden Knights are healthy, they have one of the best goaltending tandems in the league.

In their first 10 games, the Vegas Golden Knights have somehow lost their starter, backup and third-string goalie to injuries. It is a pretty rare occurrence for the starter and backup to be injured, but losing their third-string goalie on top of that, in only 10 games, is unheard of.

The Golden Knights have made history by having the best start to an NHL season by an expansion team. In their first 10 games, Vegas has gone 8-2-0, sitting fourth in the standings.

Strong Goaltending

Vegas is currently second in the NHL in goals against (GA). They have allowed only 25 goals thus far (2.5 goals per game), the only team in front of them is the Los Angeles Kings with 24 GA. Marc-Andre Fleury started the season as the starter and had a record of 3-1-0 before sustaining a concussion against the Detroit Red Wings. Over the four games, Fleury had a GAA of 2.48 and a Sv% of .925.

After the injury to Fleury, the Golden Knights would turn to Malcolm Subban to take the reins. He would start three games for the Knights before being injured in the third game against the St. Louis Blues. He has a 2-0-0 record with a GAA of 2.06 and a Sv% of .936.

Oscar Dansk replaced Subban against the Blues and recorded his first NHL win. After allowing two goals against the blackhawks (he won the game), he had a 32 save shutout for the first of his career and the first in VGK history. In his next game against the New York Islanders, Dansk acquired a lower-body injury and was taken out of the game. He had a 3-0-0 record with a GAA of 1.78 and a Sv% of .946.

With their three best goalies out, Vegas turned to Maxime Lagace. He replaced Dansk to finish of the game against the NYI, but allowed four goals on 11 shots. The game was tied 2-2 when he entered the game, but quickly took a downward spiral. The ending score was 6-3 for NYI, ending Vegas’ five game winning streak. With a record of 0-0-1, a GAA of 9.60 and a Sv% of .636, Lagace does not look ready to be in the NHL.

What Now?

The Knights called up Dylan Ferguson on an emergency basis from the WHL. In the WHL, Ferguson has a record of 4-9-0 with a GAA of 4.05 and a Sv% of .878. While it is easier to score in juniors – which hurts goaltenders stats – those numbers are way below average. He will more than likely play in a backup role, but could see ice-time if Lagace plays poorly.

Vegas could take a different route, but I do not think it would be wise to do so. They could trade for a goalie. While this may seem kind of funny, their best choice would be to trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Calvin Pickard. This is amusing because earlier this month they traded Pickard to the Leafs for Tobias Lindberg and a sixth round pick in the 2018 draft.

What Should They Do?

One word: nothing. Leave it as it is. There is no reason to go out and acquire another NHL ready goalie. They should not have four goalies who can play in the NHL – even though three of them are injured. If they want a goalie then they should wait for a team to try to waive one. While the team is playing good now, they still have to think about their future.

Trading picks and/or prospects for a goalie they will use until one of their goalies comes back would not be a wise decision for the future of their team. Ride out the pain for a bit, Fleury is supposed to be back sometime in November. Until then, make new systems to help out the rookie goalies more.

Next: Oscar Dansk Injured In Loss VS Islanders

Overall, I think the Knights have a strong enough defensive group to ride out their goaltenders’ injuries. They should not trade away picks and/or prospects for a goalie who will help them for a small length of time.