While the Vegas Golden Knights have maintained their place in contention for the Pacific Division title this season, it hasn’t been an easy road for them, especially in the crease. Injuries to the team’s stable of goaltenders (starting way back over the summer when Robin Lehner underwent hip surgery) forced them to acquire the legendary Jonathan Quick from the Columbus Blue Jackets and has also forced Jiri Patera, who spent time in the ECHL last season, to make two starts. Thankfully for Vegas, though, it seems there could be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the health of their goaltenders.
As relayed by Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy has revealed that all three of Quick, Logan Thompson, and Laurent Brossoit are traveling with the team on their three-game road trip. As a result of that trio nearing a return to the ice, the team sent Patera back to their AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights. The return of Thompson in particular would come as a major boost to Vegas, as he had been the team’s number-one goalie before going down with an injury. He has posted a .914 save percentage in 36 games, and should he hit the ground running upon his return to the ice is in pole position to be the team’s playoff starter.
- While he remains a player widely considered the best defenseman in the NHL, injuries have proved to be a roadblock for the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar, and have caused him to fall behind in the Norris Trophy race when compared to players such as the San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson. While he has thankfully seemed to put the concussion issues that sidelined him earlier this year behind him, there’s a new injury for him to deal with. Per the Denver Post’s Bennett Durando, Makar is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said that the injury is “nothing too serious,” and that he is being held out for tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks as a precautionary measure. Makar has scored 61 points in 55 games this season and leads all NHLers in time-on-ice per game, averaging 26:36 TOI per game.
- New York Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho left last night’s New York Islanders game with an injury, prompting the team to recall defenseman Samuel Bolduc to fill Aho’s spot in the lineup. Newsday’s Andrew Gross has more details on Aho’s injury, reporting that the Swede is out day-to-day with an upper-body injury. This season has been a breakout one of sorts for Aho, who has flown past his career-high in games played with 66 so far and seen his average time-on-ice tick upwards. He has scored 21 points this season and will hope to return to the lineup quickly to help New York clinch a return to the playoffs.