The 8-2-0 Vegas Golden Knights may be piling up the wins in their debut season, but they’re also labouring under a unique problem: they have more injured goalies than healthy ones.
On Tuesday, the club called up Dylan Ferguson from the WHL on an emergency basis after goalie Oscar Dansk left Monday’s game with an apparent injury.
That situation put Maxime Lagace in goal against the New York Islanders on Monday. Lagace is the fourth of five NHL goalies signed to a contract with Vegas, which means they’re getting pretty near the bottom of the list.
On Tuesday, the Golden Knights announced that Dansk was on the injured reserve list and will miss the remainder of the road trip – at least. That’s five games.
Lagace is slated for the start against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. He made his NHL debut on Monday in relief of Dansk.
The undrafted free agent signed with the team in July and spent four games with the Chicago Wolves before finding his way to Vegas.
The Golden Knights have used four goalies in 10 games, which ties them with the Arizona Coyotes for the most netminders used this season.
But Vegas has also illustrated exactly how to respond in such a situation, with no sense of panic to be found throughout the locker room. And it hasn’t really impacted the bottom line yet, even if the team did drop Monday’s game to Long Island.
“It gives guys opportunities that normally they wouldn’t get,” defenceman Colin Miller said. “[Lagace] is getting thrown in the fire here a bit, but I’m sure he’ll do fine. He’s played hockey a long time and he’ll be all right. We’re all confident in Max. He’ll be ready to go.”
For the record, the Golden Knights are without goalies Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban and Dansk. Fleury went down with a concussion on October 13 and is without a timetable for his return, while Subban is due out another two to three weeks.
Vegas has made their way through with a positive attitude and a strong sense of perspective. They’ve haven’t given into despair and have made the right adjustments, which shows a strength of character that should serve them well.
And it all comes back to winning, which is something the expansion club has been able to do rather well this season.