The Golden Knights are bringing some extra equipment for their three-game trip to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
The Knights are taking three goaltenders for the first time this season. Jonathan Quick, Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit are traveling for an important stretch of division games.
It’s an important step for Thompson and Brossoit, who are on injured reserve with lower-body injuries. But it’s going to be a challenge for coach Bruce Cassidy to work them back into the lineup and keep Quick sharp. The Knights have 12 regular-season games remaining, which isn’t much time to determine who begins the NHL playoffs in the crease.
“Eventually we’re going to have to go with a guy, but we’re a ways away from that,” Cassidy said. “I really believe LT and LB need to get some reps before we can be excited or not.”
One thing that should make the decision easier for Cassidy is every one of the franchise-record five goaltenders the Knights have started this season has played well.
Their .910 team save percentage is the seventh-best in the NHL. The defensive play deserves plenty of credit for that, because it has limited dangerous scoring chances for opponents.
Each of the three goaltenders on the trip brings something to the table. Quick is a two-time Stanley Cup winner who is 4-1 with the Knights since being acquired at the trade deadline. Thompson has been the team’s primary starter and was named to the All-Star Game as a rookie. Brossoit was sensational in his three starts before getting hurt.
The Knights also have rookie Jiri Patera, who went 2-0 before being sent down to Henderson on Monday. Adin Hill, Thompson’s backup most of the season, also could factor in if he recovers from the lower-body injury that has caused him to miss the past six games. Cassidy said Hill hasn’t resumed skating.
”We’re comfortable with whoever’s back there,” defenseman Nic Hague said. “They’ve all given us great hockey games this year.”
Cassidy said injured forwards Nicolas Roy and right wing Keegan Kolesar will travel with the Knights.
Roy has missed the past 13 games with a lower-body injury, and Kolesar has missed four games with an upper-body injury. Cassidy said he’s not sure when either will be ready to return.
Kolesar’s injury led to an opportunity for 22-year-old rookie right wing Pavel Dorofeyev, who has three goals and two assists in his past four games. The 2019 third-round pick is making the Knights think about whether he deserves to stay in the lineup when the team gets healthier.
“Right now, it’s hard to take him out, right?” Cassidy said. “But it would depend how the other guys are doing, and he’s got to keep that consistency up. I love what he’s doing. He’s creating some internal competition.”
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