Just 54 games into their existence as an NHL franchise, perhaps no team in the league more familiar than the Vegas Golden Knights when it comes to injuries in goal. Other than their amazing success in their inaugural season, the other big story line for Vegas this season has been the unbelievable frequency with which their net minders get hurt. Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban, Oscar Dansk, and Maxime Lagace have all missed time this season due to injury and much of it came at the same time. Their #1, #2, and #3 keepers were all injured in October and the unproven Lagace struggled in relief. Yet, the Knights stayed strong through it all and had put their goalie injury woes behind them.
Now, they’re back again. The Sin Bin reports that Subban is headed to the injured reserve for the second time this season. Subban sustained an upper-body injury on Thursday morning ahead of the team’s game with the San Jose Sharks. Vegas took a risk and still dressed Subban for the match-up, though The Sin Bin states that he was not actually available to play. Following a practice today in which the team’s emergency goalie was in attendance and Subban was not, came the official move to place him on IR.
The loss of Subban is not without some significant repercussions. While Fleury has been phenomenal for the Knights this season, Subban has also done very well for himself in his first full NHL season. After struggling to even win the AHL job with the Boston Bruins over the past few years, Subban has thrived in Vegas after coming over via waivers. The 24-year-old has an 11-3-1 record and seven quality starts, which has mattered more the to capable Golden Knights than his pedestrian .912 save percentage and 2.49 GAA.
Lagace has been tabbed as his replacement for now, as he has been recalled from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. While Lagace’s NHL numbers earlier this season were far from Stellar, Dansk is still working his way back to full health, making Lagace the clear choice for the time being. Both young goaltenders could see action in Vegas while Subban remains sidelined. The last thing the Golden Knights want to do is overwork Fleury and risk injury to then end up with both NHL options on the shelf yet again.