Logan Thompson Has Earned The Golden Knights Starting Goalie Job
The Golden Knights missed the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history this year. Injuries and unwise roster decisions sealed Vegas’ fate this year with goaltending being one of the biggest question marks heading into the offseason. Moving on from Marc-Andre Fleury was probably unwise but there is no going back now. It’s officially time to hand the keys to Logan Thompson who has rightfully earned the job for next season.
Let’s just cut right to the chase; Robin Lehner will not be on the roster next year. It’s almost impossible to see him back next year. Given the end of the year fiasco with Lehner, I would anticipate Vegas moving him somehow, someway.
Lehner’s time in Vegas is done. There isn’t coming back from this. Lehner essentially was benched and ruled himself out for the season despite the coaching staff saying they expected him to play. It’s done. The trust has been broken. The crazy part is, it’s hard to side with Lehner.
Let’s not beat around the bush, the Panda was trash this past year. In fairness, Lehner didn’t look healthy but we can’t excuse his overall performance. Your eyes tell the story. Lehner is a big body but he’s painfully slow. Lehner can’t get to his spot and often times finds himself laying on the ground failing to recover from a rebound chance. The stats match what your eyes tell you. Thompson is just flat out the better option.
Lehner: 2.83 GAA, .907 SV%, AdjGAA 2.90
Thompson: 2.66 GAA, .914 SV%, AdjGAA 2.73
It’s not really about the numbers. Thompson competes his ass off. That guy constantly battles in net. No, he’s not the most talented guy in the world but he’s getting better every single night and gives his team a chance. You never know which Lehner you’re getting on a nightly basis and you can mark him down for giving up at least one cookie every night for being lackadaisical.
There is something about Thompson. I truly believe he will develop into a more than reliable option in net. It’s hard to quantify this but Thompson really does a good job at throwing off the timing of the opposition. Maybe it has something to do with him being a left-handed goalie. There are just so many nights you can see the opposing team is thrown off by Thompson being a lefty and I think it matters.
Vegas is right up against the cap and will have to become creative for how they want to improve the team. Sure, it may be risky but the Knights should trust their gut. They know Thompson can play and probably will be better than Lehner long term. Using Lehner as a trade chip while entrusting the starters net to Thompson realistically seems like the smart option.
Is it risky? Sure, but this is the reality of the new NHL. Scoring is way up. I don’t know what a good goalie is anymore. You need a guy back there that will compete his ass off, find a way to throw off the rhythm of the opposing team, and has fresh legs to hold up over a lengthy season. Thompson is the epitome of that statement. Lehner isn’t reliable in any sense of the word… period.
Lehner is a big turd in the net. All that guy does it take up space. He can’t move and constantly finds himself laying on the ground unable to get back up while the other team scores. I’m tired of watching it and it can’t be the better alternative.
Who knows what Vegas will do this offseason. A shake up in the goaltending department feels like something that will be addressed. It’s a mistake if that converstation starts with anyone other than Thompson. He’s proved he deserves a chance to earn starter minutes for a team itching to get back in the mix.