Next Man Up in the Golden Knights' Crease

With Adin Hill and Logan Thompson sidelined, Jiri Patera takes over in net.
Jiri Patera, Vegas Golden Knights
Jiri Patera, Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

What is it with the Vegas Golden Knights and goaltending injuries? Last season saw five different netminders start games for the club, none of whom was projected No. 1 Robin Lehner. Meanwhile, this year's group of crease protectors seems to be well on track to match last year's level of disarray.

With Adin Hill (undisclosed) already sidelined, back-up Logan Thompson left Tuesday's 6-3 loss in Carolina early with an upper-body injury and will not dress for tonight's visit to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning. That leaves third-string goalie Jiri Patera to start, backed by AHL call-up Isaiah Saville, who would be making his NHL debut if he gets into a game.

Logan Thompson, Adin Hill
Adin Hill & Logan Thompson / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

A potential nice moment for Saville aside, this is far from an ideal situation for Vegas. Hill's status is as murky as it is concerning, making a return last weekend that lasted just seven minutes before he re-aggravated his injury and had to be pulled. All head coach Bruce Cassidy could offer as an update was that he "hoped" the injury wasn't long-term.

There has been no update on the nature of Thompson's injury or the timetable for his return, but any length of absence will leave them woefully inexperienced in net. Patera is the 'veteran' of the new tandem with four games of NHL experience. In a fun bit of trivia, the 24-year-old Czech was part of the first trade in franchise history, with his draft selection (No. 161 over-all in the 2017 Entry Draft) being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres for Expansion Draft considerations.

With no immediate long-term answers, Cassidy could do little but joke about the situation, pointing out that the Golden Knights are "probably the only team that's dressing a tandem in the NHL with undefeated goaltenders".