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Golden Knights Analysis

Krepps: It’s Time For the Golden Knights to go Back to Logan Thompson



Logan Thompson Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

I am fully and wholeheartedly against some of the things that the Vegas Golden Knights fanbase do to Robin Lehner. Some of the FaceBook comments you people leave are disheartening and worrisome. He has essentially been bullied off of Twitter. And don’t even get me started on the “Lehner Sucks” jacket.

These things grind my gears from a basic humanistic standpoint. Lehner is a person and one that is very open about his mental health. But with that being said, I am not defending Lehner’s play.

It’s my job to analyze Lehner and the Golden Knight’s performances. In his four games back from injury, Robin Lehner has not been great. I think he has the possibility of being a consistent starter in the National Hockey League. But I have not seen it consistently this season.

A Lackluster Lehner Lately

Rebound control was the Achilles Heel for the Golden Knights and Lehner Tuesday night against the Canucks. We saw Lehner give up a weak goal to Elias Pettersson as he lost the puck after making the initial save. Then in overtime, Quinn Hughes was gifted a juicy rebound and scored the game-winner.

Despite being one of the biggest goalies in the league in terms of size, Lehner likes to come out of his net to challenge the shooter and cut down the angle. But this has resulted in him being way out of position and scrambling back to make the second and third save.

The Golden Knights simply cannot wait for Lehner to nurture his injury back to full health. They have eight games remaining and are behind in a tightly contested playoff race.

We could sit here and critique his game all day and it would get us nowhere. So instead I will offer a solution, and it’s the most obvious one, sitting right on the Golden Knights bench.

Time For Thompson

With Laurent Brossoit on LTIR for the remainder of the regular season, Logan Thompson is the backup for the VGK. In a stretch where both Lehner and Brossoit were injured, Thompson started eight straight games. The Golden Knights went 6-2 in that stretch. Thompson currently owns a save percentage of .921% and a goals-against-average of 2.55.

We have only seen a glimpse of what Thompson can do at the NHL level. But in 13 career games, he seems calm and composed in the net and confident in himself. Almost the complete opposite of Lehner.

I write this opinion piece during a time of crisis for the Golden Knights. They are still out of a playoff spot and only have eight games left. My point here is simple- you can’t rely on a struggling goaltender to get you into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Golden Knights cannot afford to lose anymore and have to be near perfect to finish out the regular season. Having a struggling goaltender is rarely acceptable, but right now it is completely unacceptable for the Golden Knights. If that means starting Logan Thompson against Johnny Gaudreau and Connor McDavid then so be it.

The Golden Knights will play the Calgary Flames Thursday night then finish off their three-game Canadian road trip against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.