Vegas Golden Knights: When Will Dylan Ferguson Start?

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 04: Vegas Golden Knights Goalie Dylan Ferguson (1) participates in drills during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the Vegas Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators on November 4, 2017, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 04: Vegas Golden Knights Goalie Dylan Ferguson (1) participates in drills during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the Vegas Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators on November 4, 2017, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Will the Vegas Golden Knights fifth string goaltender take the crease at some point during the western Canadian road trip?

Goaltending depth has been the biggest test for the Vegas Golden Knights on this young season. The team went through four netminders already and let’s not forget that this is a franchise in their inaugural campaign. Let’s start from the very beginning.

The Golden Knights started out with Marc- Andre Fleury and Calvin Pickard entering training camp. After an up and down camp and preseason, general manager George McPhee decided to trade Pickard for right wing Tobias Lindberg and a sixth-round draft choice in 2018. However, McPhee didn’t let Pickard go without acquiring some goaltending depth.

McPhee made the call in claiming goalie Malcolm Subban off waivers from the Boston Bruins. Subban came in just before the regular season kicked off and the team named him the backup goaltender to Fleury. And he was needed much earlier in the season than anyone ever expected.

It all started when Fleury suffered a concussion in the team’s first loss in franchise history against the Detroit Red Wings on home ice. Subban stepped in the next game against the old club that drafted him in the first round in 2012, the Boston Bruins. Subban was very impressive in the three games that he played for the NHL’s newest franchise.

The Toronto, Ontario native went 2-0-0 with a GAA of 2.06, and a save percentage of .936. Everything seemed to be going well for Subban til the injury bug once again bit the Golden Knights. Subban overextended to make a save and did not feel great afterward. He left the game against the St Louis Blues and the team placed him on the injured reserve just one day later. The 23-year-old will miss approximately four weeks with a lower-body injury.

The Golden Knights had to call up third-string goaltender Oscar Dansk and fourth string goaltender Maxime Lagace from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. Ironically, Dansk impressed the most out of anyone of the goalies the Golden Knights had used. The Stockholm, Sweden native went 3-0-0 in four games played with a 1.78 GAA, a .946 save percentage and the first shutout in franchise history.

Dansk even won second star of the week honors for the week ending October 29th. McPhee looked like a genius taking a flier on the former second-round pick in 2012. But another unfortunate injury occurred when Dansk went side to side and slipped awkwardly. Dansk doesn’t have a clear timetable on when he’ll return from his lower body injury.

The Golden Knights are down to their last two goaltenders within their organization. No one would’ve thought that it would come down to Lagace and 2017 seventh round draft Dylan Ferguson. Lagace’s numbers don’t sparkle like the other goaltenders as his numbers are a bit inflated due to his team’s poor  play as of late

The Saint-Augustin, Quebec native has a 1-4-1 record in six games played, a GAA of 3.87 and a save percentage of .866. Keep in mind, we can’t expect a fourth-string goaltender to steal the show night in and night out. But it begs the question, when will Ferguson get his shot?

Related Story: Vegas Golden Knights Complete Awful Eastern Coast Road Trip.

The Golden Knights have a short two-game road trip coming up against the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferguson gets one of those games as he does play in the Western Hockey League for Kamloops. I also can’t really see Lagace playing eight or nine games in a row. If I were to bet, I’d say Ferguson should get the start in Vancouver as long as one of the injured goaltenders doesn’t come back in time.

The Vegas Golden Knights acquired Ferguson along with a 2020 second round draft selection in exchange for defenseman Marc Methot. In 2016-17, Ferguson went  16-10-2 with a 2.74 GAA, and a .922 save percentage for the Blazers. However, he struggled out of the gate this season going 4-9-0 with a 4.05 GAA and a save percentage of .878.

Next: The Vadim Shipachyov Saga Is Finally Over.

All in all, this is a sticky situation to be in if you’re the Golden Knights. If none of the goaltenders are even close to returning, we need to see some more appearances from Ferguson. Because if we don’t, they’re asking for another potential injury if they keep riding Lagace who hasn’t seen this much action in his professional career.