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Can The Jennings Trophy Stay In Vegas?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last season Vegas stacked the net and came away with a Jennings Trophy for their efforts. Between goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner the Golden Knights gave up the least amount of goals in the NHL, holding opponents just 2.18 goals against per game. Of course, the numbers could drop significantly without Fleury’s Vezina winning season, but the Golden Knights are confident in Lehner and supported him by signing a true backup goaltender.

As emotional as the decision to move Fleury was, it was the right move for the organization. Lehner is now the defined starting goaltender and signed free agent Laurent Brossoit is the clear backup. It’s possible a heavier workload will benefit the new Ace to perform as well as his predecessor did. From 2018-19 to 2019-20 Lehner started an average of 40 games and finished top six in Vezina voting in back-to-back seasons. The big Swede has been sharp in Vegas registering a 16-4 record, .917 Save %, and a 2.20 GAA. If those statistics average out over 55+ games Lehner will be one of the league’s best.

To repeat as the Jennings trophy winners the team will need superb goaltending from both backstops. Brossoit had a bounce-back season in 2021 which clearly caught Vegas’ eye. In 11 starts the 27-year-old goalie posted a 2.42 GAA, a significant drop from his 3.28 GAA in 2019-20. The 28-year-old spent the last three seasons relieving 2019-20 Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg. As a Jet, Brossoit posted .913 Save %, allowed 2.75 goals per game, and won 25 of 45 starts. The Golden Knights coaching staff are hoping he will do even better backing up Lehner.

In a perfect world, Lehner would suit up for 55 or more starts, leaving Brossoit to tread above water in his limited time in net. The average Jennings winners allowed only 185 goals per season which the Golden Knights have never accomplished, averaging 225 goals allowed per 82. That could change after a full campaign under Pete DeBoer and his team’s tight defense.

Realistically, expectations for the Lehner-Brossoit tandem should be high but it’s difficult to duplicate another award-worthy season. We all have to move on, it’s impossible to replace the historic combination of Fleury and Lehner no matter how well the new tag team does in 2021-22.

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28 Comments

  1. TR

    Lehner is not the same goalie he was 3 yrs ago. No chance he starts close to 55 games, he’s 40lbs heavier now than he was at end of the bubble 2 seasons ago. How many games was he healthy to start last season? Lets hope #2 is solid.

    question for you, who represents?:
    Lehner
    Petro
    DeBoer
    McCrimmon

  2. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    The Jennings? Really?

    I doubt if that’s really the goal of upcoming season.

    I would guess, WINS, PLAYOFFS and CUP would be well before the Jennings! Humbly speaking of course.

  3. Will Riley

    Love this site but disagree with a ton of this. Lehner spent a fair part of the past regular season concussed. Fleury, the defenseman and the famous trademark VGK forecheck won the Jennings. Lehner was MIA just like his mysterious “injury” during the playoffs where he was not seen for one or two games. Lehner is an unstable individual who creates drama and is not built for the grinding long haul of an NHL season.

    Salary cap? Why waste $2.2 million on a backup when AHL Goalie Of The Year Logan Thompson is available for the NHL minimum of 750,000? Isn’t that what good foresighted teams do – develop players in their system? The fact is idiot McCrimmion and the unmade bed DeBoer wanted any excuse to get rid of Fleury. Fleury could have had his best career season ever and won the Vezina and they still would have traded him. Oh wait…

    • Woolkins

      Your passion is appreciated. You echo much of the outspoken fan base that is so emotionally attached.

      It’s sad that a fan base that loves misfits hates Lehner so much, when he represents so much of should be embraced in that moniker. I’m not sure I can agree he stirs up drama. For instance, I don’t believe he would ever instruct his representation to make a public tantrum if he was benched for a better player.

      I also like Thompson a lot. Ignoring the goalie depth, though, is not what a Stanley Cup inspired front office would do. It will take more than two goalies to finish the season. Having Logan as 3rd in line creates a great depth, at least on paper. Also as much as I like him, I can’t for sure state he’s going to be successful and wouldn’t want to place the season potentially in his pads. He had a great, award winning AHL season. It also was a weird season where he played very few teams and it could be argued their talent is lesser than a normal schedule would have brought.

  4. Tim

    Ken last year I was right keeping both goalies was the right decision being Lehner was out for an extended period. This year your right as much as we like Flower he had to go. We should have a decent tandem but probably not Jennings worthy.
    A quick word on Jack Eichel no team that was interested were going to give Buffalo there top prospect and neither should we. His neck injury is a slippery slope so my trade proposal taking everything into consideration I would give then Kolezar, Coghlan, and our # 1 draft choices in 2022 and 2023. We’ll be drafting anywhere from 28 to 32 so not an issue. If they want Riley Smith included they pay half his salary. Times a ticking will they take the offer who knows but as I always say you can’t catch a fish if you don’t have a kine in the water. That way if Jack doesn’t play we didn’t get burnt to bad and if he performs good for us. Let me also say this what Buffalo wants and Buffalo gets are two different things.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    The goalie market was way down.
    The red wings pulled off a great goalie deal. Seattle got a great goalie.
    VGK dumped a good but waning goalie’s salary cap. And then signed a good goalie.
    The goalie market was down.

    Jason said “the decision to move Fleury was, it was the right move for the organization.” I agree 100000%. Better get something out of nothing NOW, then be holding the short end of stick with nothing LATER.

    • Daryl

      I agree with getting rid of a goalie, and nobody wanted Lehner, so MAF had to go. But they got rid of him to free up cap space then did literally nothing with that money

      • THE hockey GOD

        you don’t know “nobody wanted him”, maybe they didn’t make a fair offer??

        everyone in this league has a price. They obviously didn’t make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

        AS I stated elsewhere, the goalie market was very weak, very weak.

        • Daryl

          Or it be that VGK over paid him and nobody wanted that cap space for atgat goalie???

      • Woolkins

        I actually like Dadonov but I also believe this comment reigns true. They rushed to fill a gap. If they were truly pushing to win, and Ken pounded the table on this, they should have pushed to win. Spend a higher pick or prospect and and a winger or center that would’ve brought more wow factor. With that said Dadonov probably will score 30 this year and shut me up lol

  6. Richard Santomauro

    Is it possible? Yes.

    Is it going to happen. Not very likely.

    Lehner isn’t as mobile, does not have as high a hockey IQ outside of the paint and more importantly is a disaster off ice.

    So, no. I have already said that Lehner will no longer be the starter by January 2022.

  7. Scott Yardley

    Dream on! Lehner is mediocre at best.

  8. Jason – please share with everyone what you are smoking. If you truly believe what you posted you have arrived iin never nerver land everyone could use a laugh or two. The chance of the two listed particularly the walrus of winning anything is slim to none. It could turn out to be a field day for the opponents. Vegas chances of winning have been reduced 50 plus percent. Poetic justice is right around the corner.

    • THE hockey GOD

      never never land, isn’t that where michael jackson , of the gloved hand clan, “beat it” too ?

      “”Don’t you ever come around here”
      “Don’t wanna see your face, you better disappear”
      fire’s in their eyes and their words are really clear
      So beat it, just beat it
      You better run, you better do what you can
      Don’t wanna see no blood, don’t be a macho man
      You wanna be tough, better do what you can
      So beat it, but you wanna be bad
      Just beat it (beat it), beat it (beat it)

  9. Blitz

    The Jennings Trophy? GTFO

    If Lehner even finishes the season as the starter i would be shocked.

  10. vgk21

    hey Pothier, keeping goals against down to a minimum depends a lot on the team defense in front of the goalies. Vgk has a good system, and good team defensive structure, so they will be competitive. BUT, with the addition of several new defensively minus players from last season with other teams, I suspect that the team defense will be a little less tight this year.

    and a prediction….

    Jack Eichel will be traded to the NY Rangers very soon

  11. Daryl

    Anything is possible but the likely hood of it happening is anything but. The goal of every team is obviously to win the Cup. With that said, I’m not sure what VGK’s actually believable goal is. The Division is probably a little better than last year but it’s still a joke so just making the playoffs isn’t a huge deal. Maybe getting passed the 2nd round is their actual goal

  12. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    “Making the playoffs isn’t a huge deal”?

    How does that make any sense? You can’t pursue or win the cup if you aren’t in the playoffs!!!!

    And tell all those teams & fans that haven’t made the playoffs in years, that it isn’t a huge deal!

    And this guy keeps saying Lehner won’t be the starter come January, as though it is fact. I’m sure what he means that it is his OPINION!

    • Daryl

      Yes Doc, making the playoffs for a team that is preficted to go far j in the playoffs, it isn’t a huge deal. You take a team like Buffalo and they make the playoffs, yeah that’s a huge deal. See the difference? Probably not!

      Your passive aggressive responses on here are pretty cowardly. You attack other posts by not directly responding is a bitch move but I’m not surprised by it. You still enjoying all those emails with your made up friends? You should really let your doctor know about these imaginary friend, he can probably get you some needs for that.

      • DOC (Go Knights Go)

        Same old name calling, huh bubba!

        My imaginary friends are as real as covid! Neither of which you seem to believe in.

        You continue to be an internet punk. No one cares .

        • Daryl

          You gotta love old ppl… Counting the days!!!!

        • Blitz

          I agree, bitch move! Enjoy you imaginary friends and your covid. I said Lenher won’t be the starter at the end of the season, not January. So if your passive aggressive bitch move is talking about me then get your facts straight.

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