The Golden Knights are heading into the playoffs with the task of determining their starting goaltender, choosing between Thompson and Hill

Published Categorized as NHL No Comments on The Golden Knights are heading into the playoffs with the task of determining their starting goaltender, choosing between Thompson and Hill
Golden Knights (Credits: NBC Sports)

Bruce Cassidy, the coach of the Golden Knights, mentioned that he’s still working out the goalie situation, deciding whether to play both goalies or to rely more on one than the other. And then, which goalie should get more time?

Both Logan Thompson and Adin Hill have strong arguments for being in the net when Vegas starts its journey to defend the Stanley Cup. There are also valid reasons why one should step aside while the other takes the lead.

Cassidy has been splitting the starts recently, and Thompson has been performing better lately. However, Hill’s performance in last year’s playoffs played a significant role in the Knights winning the championship.

“I think (Thompson’s) mindset is good going into the playoffs,” Cassidy said. “He hasn’t played playoff hockey, so that’s another animal.

So to say, ‘OK, Logan, you’re going to be the guy,’ (but) he’s never played, is that fair to him, especially after what Hilly did last year?

“If we just give it to Hilly and say, ‘OK, have at it,’ well, Logan’s played pretty well recently and played more because he’s been healthier. So is that the right way to go? You probably in some way, shape or form will see both guys. That’s not because of poor play, either.

Golden Knights

That just might be the best way to go for where they’re both at right now and how their seasons have gone.” Cassidy mentioned that the opponent won’t play a big role in deciding which 27-year-old goalie starts.

Thompson has faced challenges to achieve his success in hockey, taking a different path to the NHL. In 2021, he became the first goalie from U Sports — Canada’s equivalent of the NCAA — to play in the league since 1994.

Thompson made it to the All-Star Game in 2022-23, his official rookie season, but injuries to his lower body kept him out of most games in the season’s second half.

He began this season as the backup, but due to Hill’s health issues, Thompson has seized the opportunity, helping the Knights make the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

In his last 11 games, Thompson has allowed an average of 2.14 goals with a save percentage of .926. If we exclude two games where he allowed a total of 10 goals, his save percentage goes up to .949.

“Last year, personally, was tough missing the second half of the season and not being able to play,” Thompson remarked. “So I’m just grateful to be in the locker room, wear the jersey every day, and be a part of it.”

Cassidy mentioned that some credit should go to the improved defensive play in front of Thompson, as well as the fact that the Knights are tied for third with the fewest penalty minutes per game at 7.4. Additionally, Cassidy noted that Thompson is eager to play in his first playoffs.

“I think he’s managing situations better now than he was at the start of the year,” Cassidy remarked. “So that suggests to me that his technique is solid.”

Hill was the go-to player for the Knights during last year’s playoffs when Laurent Brossoit got injured in Game 3 of the second-round series against Edmonton. Hill not only kept Vegas in the game, but he also had impressive stats with an 11-4 record, a .932 save percentage, and 2.17 goals allowed per game.

His excellent performance continued into this season when Hill had a record of 10-2-2 with a 1.87 goals-against average (GAA) and a .935 save percentage before he got injured.

Golden Knights

In January and February, Hill had another impressive streak, winning four games with a 1.75 GAA and a .947 save percentage. However, he has faced injuries and inconsistent play since then.

Since February 12, his record is 5-9 with a 3.76 GAA and a .876 save percentage going into Thursday night’s regular-season finale against Anaheim.

“His recent numbers aren’t as good as they were at the start,” Cassidy said. “We can’t ignore that. But his game doesn’t look bad now. Pucks are just going in, whether it’s through some gaps or bounces. He needs to stay mentally strong and overcome these challenges because we know he’s capable.”

Hill admitted he could play better but believes he can draw from the success of last year’s playoff experience. Whether Hill gets another chance to replicate last season’s playoff performance or takes on a supporting role will be decided soon.

“I haven’t seen a team rotate goalies in the playoffs before, so we’ll wait and see,” Hill said. “I’ll just focus on taking it one day at a time.”


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *