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Carp: Don’t Overthink It, Continue The Rotation

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s returns to SinBin.vegas for the 2021 season. His weekly column publishes every Sunday during the Golden Knights season and is brought to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm.**

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are expected to start next weekend and it’s time for Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer to make what will be the biggest decision of his tenure with Vegas.

Who starts in goal for Game 1?

DeBoer has three options. One, he can go with Marc-Andre Fleury, who has three championship rings. Two, he can play Robin Lehner, who has played well in the past during the postseason but whose name doesn’t appear on the Cup. Option Three is to keep the status quo and maintain the $12 million experiment and rotate Fleury and Lehner.

If he keeps the rotation going, DeBoer breaks with conventional wisdom which is you play one guy and you ride him as far as you can. But this year has been anything but conventional and should DeBoer continue to rotate his goalies in the playoffs, would it shock you if it worked?

Both have done the job and are capable of getting hot. Lehner has played well since returning from a concussion he suffered in February. At times, he has been spectacular, as was the case in overtime in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Blues. He even assisted on Jonathan Marchessault’s game-winner. But from an overall perspective, he is certainly worthy of consideration should DeBoer opt for one goalie.

Fleury has had an outstanding season. He has been dialed in since training camp and he came prepared to win the starter’s job. When Lehner went down with a concussion and missed 18 games, Fleury took on the added workload and delivered. He last lost back on April 7 and is riding an eight-game win streak.

To both goalies’ credit, they handled the rotation plan well. They appear to be supportive of each other and they are looking at winning the Jennings Trophy, which goes to the top goaltending tandem that allows the fewest goals.

Their styles are different. They have their strengths and weaknesses like any player. Both are extremely competitive, which is what you want from those who play the position.

So what should DeBoer do? Or more important, what will he likely do?

A lot may depend on who the Knights play in the first round. St. Louis appears to be the opponent and DeBoer may opt to play one goalie in the series and perhaps go back to the other should the Knights advance and depending on whether the opponent is Colorado or Minnesota.

The numbers vs. the Blues are fairly even. Lehner is 3-0-1 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. Fleury is 3-1 with a 2.65 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

Fleury has played all seven games against the Avalanche so far and is 4-3, one of the losses coming in the outdoor game at Lake Tahoe. But if the rotation holds, it will be Lehner’s turn Monday. It is looming as a showdown for first place so it might be looked at as a dress rehearsal for the playoffs for Lehner as it pertains to the Avs.

Things are a bit more problematic against Minnesota. The team has not played well overall vs. the Wild, going 3-4-1. Fleury went 3-3 against Minnesota but who’s to say Lehner might not be the better fit? That’s something DeBoer will have to consider if and when the Knights face the Wild.

I’d like to see the $12 million experiment continue into the playoffs, at least until someone proves they are not worthy of playing. It has been working for the most part and I think the defensemen and forwards are going to play hard regardless of who is between the pipes. Fleury is the far more experienced playoff goaltender and he has done nothing with his play to discourage DeBoer from using him. But Lehner has gotten better since his return to the lineup and he has made his case to stay on the ice.

There’s also the intangible of harmony to consider. Do we want a repeat episode of last summer where agents are tweeting disparaging images and creating firestorms? Right now, everyone appears comfortable with the rotation of Fleury and Lehner as Alec Martinez, Brayden McNabb and the rest of the D continue to block shots, no matter who is in net.

Hockey players, like other pro athletes, are creatures of habit. They get into their routine and they don’t like disruptions. If the coach is rotating the goaltenders and the team is winning as a result, you’d be hard-pressed to justify suddenly changing the system just because tradition says you’re supposed to.

For all we know, DeBoer is still wrestling with his plan. We’re at the point however where his “All bets are off” comment from training camp has come due and it’s time to make a decision, one way or the other.

**Steve Carp is the author of “Vegas Born — The remarkable story of the Golden Knights.” Follow him on Twitter @stevecarp56. All of Steve Carp’s work here on SinBin.vegas is presented to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm. For over twenty-five years, the Jimmerson Law Firm has been widely recognized as one of Las Vegas’s preeminent full-service law firms. Specializing in high stakes business, civil and family litigation, the Jimmerson Law Firm has an unparalleled track record of winning when it matters most. To reach the Jimmerson Law Firm, call (702) 388-7171 and tell them SinBin.vegas sent you.**

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110 Comments

  1. George L.

    Why no comment about Lehner’s leaky goals? That’s why he had to play lights out in the third and overtime. I like Lehner and think he’s a capable backup, but I’m not okay with him starting. At All.

  2. Mark

    Any word on Krebs ??? That kid can.play hockey !!

    • THE hockey GOD

      “ny word on Krebs ??? That kid can.play hockey !!” KREBS is in way over his head right now. He is a boy playing among men. He should be playing in AHL. He was getting bounced around pretty good in these games. And there is no excuse for him getting out of position and getting hit in head with flying puck.

      HE has played four games, has one shot on goal. He has slightly above average speed, he is not strong on puck, he flops around a lot, his passes are about 50% , his back checks are slightly above average, his timing is off on his shots making it hard to grade his shots on net. HE needs to develop all aspects of his game and bring them all to a higher level.

      • Howard

        Funny, I see same thing with Stephenson and other guys on any given night. Krebs just needs experience. He’s a very good skater unlike Glass. He’s got a great passing extinct. very good vision. You are right about him not being so strong on the puck, YET.

        Your comment about him getting hit in the face and the reason why is comically wrong.

        • Krebs is very talented and imo is holding his own up here. I’d rather see him get his experience here than on the HSK. Gary Lawless who I see as hockey scout knowledgable thinks Krebs is rookie of the year material when he gets his first full season and now that I’ve had a chance to watch him these first four games I see where Lawless is coming from.

          • THE hockey GOD

            How many rookies has Gary Lawless coached ??….none. I have coached more than he has.

        • THE hockey GOD

          “Funny, I see same thing with Stephenson and other guys on any given night.” Really, the got hit if face with puck ? I don’t recall that.

          At least they average more than one shot every four games, and not getting shots on goal that bounce off their heads.

          Krebs is a boy. He needs to grow up. Management rushed him too early, and that could cost them a star player.

          • THE hockey GOD

            “Really, the got hit if face with puck ? I don’t recall that.” Really these guys got hit in face with puck, I don’t recall that.??

      • Mark

        I completely disagree, he’s a good skater and a above average passer. He’s 20 and his days in the AHL are over, he won’t learn a damn thing playing against guys who will never make it the NHL. IMOP his time is now, not in 2 years. You keep a guy in the minors too long,, it fcuk’s up his confidence, if McPhee and McCrimmon show him the organization believes in him, he could grow wings and become a tremendous player. Glass has to know they don’t think he’s going to make it, don’t do the same to Krebs !

        • THE hockey GOD

          “You keep a guy in the minors too long,, it fcuk’s up his confidence,” and if you bring them up too early you can do the same thing or worse. Especially if they get hit in face with puck due to being bounced around and inexperienced; you have just wasted another no. 1

          No excuse for this stupidity. I would have kept in AHL, he showed very little excellence to me. One shot on goal in four games, multiple slips, multiple muscled off the puck, maybe two good passes. HE can skate , but so can speed skaters in Olympic track meet. He needs to grow and not get injured. Wait a minute he just got injured.

          • Mark

            How bad is he injured ??

          • Mark

            Disagree again, send him down it could hurt the guy, the decision has been made, he stays !!

    • Daryl

      He can definitely play, but he isn’t ready for the NHL just yet. The game is just to fast for him. He made some nice passes and plays when in the open but when the game speeds up he’s a little lost.

  3. THE hockey GOD

    spot on Mr. Carp.

  4. Tim

    Steve I’ll have to disagree with you. Last night we were at the game and we received a nice keep sake of Fleury. They weren’t passing out any Lehner keep sakes as far as I know. Back to business Fleury has been our leader for 4 years and unquestionable our most valuable player. Last year between his father passing in fairness hurt his game and bringing in Lehner was fine but the way Fleury was treated after that was very unprofessional at best and vindictive at worse. We’ve had other big games in our 4 year existence but Monday is a statement game that Fleury has worked for all year after last years treatment. It’s his game to win or lose we owe him that much.

    • THE hockey GOD

      “the way Fleury was treated after that was very unprofessional at best and vindictive at worse.” AS usual a clueless statement. Y ou have no idea what Fleury was going through last year, you realize he last his father?????! !! ! ??!?!!!

      The program is working. If it is not broken, don’t fix it.

      • THE hockey GOD

        lost.

      • Tim

        I’m not going to get in a pissing contest with you but your actually saying Fleury was treated fairly last year. There’s really nothing to say after that comment.

        • THE hockey GOD

          I repeat you have no idea what Fleury was going through last year. He lost his dad.

          You are clueless and jumping to conclusions as usual.

          The current program is working, it is not broken why fix it.

          As usual you ignore reason and common sense.

      • You may think you are god but you are so far removed from that status it’s actually comical how you see yourself. Do you have any idea how foolish you sound? I guess maybe if your objective, if you have one, is making an a– of yourself you are succeeding

        • Tim

          Hdbiker one thing about this Hockey God character he doesn’t read well. He answers peoples post not actually filtering what they say. Earlier he questioned a word I used Kremlin so that tells me he’s very young and had no clue it was the Russian White House. So to take that further I’ll bet he lives in mommies basement and live a sheltered life. Hence to get attention in his small little world he lashes out probably on different sites to make himself feel important. This guy and how he puts people down is a joke and it starts with his stupid handle Hockey God.

          • THE hockey GOD

            Tim , you put words in my post that aren’t there. I didn’t put you down in my post. I call them like I see them. Unlike yourself I disengage my head from butt before posting idiotic bull chit on the internet.

            I never questioned the meaning of Kremlin. I question the whole screwed up concept of using the word in first place.

            I repeat are you on payroll for the wild, avs, or blues ?? You don’t get it. I find your posts childish and immature , lacking in any common sense or any hockey knowledge whatsoever.

            “let’s play krebs” “lets play krebs” “play krebs.” You are like a little kid in candy store. Krebs gets injured and again you are clueless on why he got injured in first place.

            clueless
            clueless
            clueless

        • THE hockey GOD

          “You may think you are god” I rarely have a beef with your posts. And if I do I will let you know. But you are clearly out in left field on ^^^^ post.

          THE hockey GOD.

          • I frankly don’t care whether you have a beef with my posts or not that is your issue not mine. Accept the fact you are an a– in the first order. Your hockey knowledge, if any, is as remote and disillusioned as you are. I would suggest you look in the mirror, you will be shocked to determine you are not god – hockey or otherwise. I guess Tim knows you better than most on this site and sees thru you like an open book.

  5. Howard

    Ever seen the movie “Billy Madison?” Well, I award Carp NO POINTS, and feel dumber for what he said. NHL is a hugely mental game, and confidence is a big factor. VGK plays better with MAF in there for one. 2, Lehner gave up many softies in the bubble last year. Finally, the idea of rotating goalies in the short season was to keep them fresh, postseason is way different type of hockey – u go with the best goalie, u don’t treat postseason like regular season – MAF is plenty fresh to handle starting nearly every postseason game.

    This guy Carp knows nothing about The NHL, and his posts are kind of silly.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @Howard, my two favorites are the one that went off his head and the one that went in when he was holding his stick upside down.

      I like the WALRUS, he plays best when he just stands there and doesn’t move. Well except for those outstanding kick saves. And that time…….

    • Daryl

      I completely agree with everything you said. Carp talks about how great Lehner played in OT, but he leaves out why they went to OT

  6. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Again, nothing said here will determine who starts in goal. Monday or any other game.

    I guess I just prefer focusing on the GAME and rooting on the boys!

    I like Flurey, I like Panda. Either one can beat Colorado or any other team in any given game!

    PDB knows what he is doing and will play who he feels gives us the best chance!

    We win Monday night ….. we WIN the division!

    • Howard

      Any goalie can get hot , so what you said is correct in a general sense – staying hot is an entirely different prospect. Lehner is inconsistent and has always been that way his entire NHL career. As I’ve stated before, he’s another version of Pekka Rinne – great for periods of time, horrible for periods of time, never consistent throughout. So, while he’s capable of great goaltending, his history in the net is Jekyll and Hyde.

      MAF is consistent and like all goalies, will have periods of mediocre play, but unlike Lehner, MAF is far more consistent in his good play, and with the exception of 2019 against SJS, he’s been consistent in the net in the playoffs (Caps in 2018 beating him was far more on The D and game approach than him being bad).

      • Mike StG

        Howard, facts. Before the two STL games they both had identical save % at .926. So you need to stop mischaracterizing Lehner’s career and record. Lehner’s career save % is higher than Fleury .918 vs .913. Facts on this season below. And FTR I’m a big Fleury fan and went to yesterday’s game expressly hoping to be there to cheer him on for #491 in his first home win since taking #3 in NHL career wins.

        Lehner – 2.30 GAA , Sv% .913, 13-3-2
        Fleury – 2.04 GAA, Sv% .927, 25-10-0

        I agree 100% with Carp. Keep the rotation unless one of them starts falling off.

        • Mike StG

          I will say this, though… no one can steal a game like Marc-Andre. And his save on Schenn’s breakaway shot was sheer thievery.

          • Julie

            You are right about the save last night. Fleury is amazing to watch. The stats are helpful, however, I recall Fleury stepped up tremendously while Lehner was out. Fleury also has held better numbers over more games played than Lehner this season.

          • Daryl

            I’ll make it easy for you… Lehner is 0-2 against trams with a winning record. He gave up 2 goals to MIN in the first outing and 4 in the second. You post stats for the entire year and claim how close they are to one another but leave out key facts, like Lehner only playing two games against winning teams

        • Daryl

          Facts? What is Lehner record against the only 2 other winning teams in the Division

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, no one reports stats to that level of detail. Figure it out if you like, but your response is sort of ridiculous. I’m quoting the actual statistical facts compiled by the NHL. How many of Vasilevsky’s saves were against DET & CBJ? Give me a break. 🙂

            BTW, as I said: I favor Fleury over Lehner, but crapping all over Lehner calling him an overpaid backup is just nonsense, which was Howard’s claim that I was refuting with… yes… FACTS.

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, okay so you exclude STL and ARI who were both competing for the 4th playoff position. That’s one way to frame it, but not one I agree with. I consider both STL and ARI good teams. And the NHL lists STL win% at .538, not a losing record as you frame it. If you include them (STL/ARI) then Lehner won 5 games against playoff contenders in the West. Against the 4 playoff contenders Lehner is 5-3, Fleury is 14-6. Be fair.

            And for the 4th time I have always supported Fleury as starter. But I’m okay with the rotation and think it’s been working out great. Like Carp I think it should remain that way until one of the goalies demonstrates in their play that they should be relegated to a backup role.

      • Julie

        Howard, I can’t disagree with anything you posted here or on the last article.

    • Mike StG

      We also won the President’s Cup, meaning home ice for all of the playoffs.

      • Daryl

        I said teams with a winning record… STL is 24-29 overall. ARI is 24-32 overall. An OTL is still a loss. So I stand by my Comment that he is 0-2 against trams with a winning recird

        • Mike StG

          Daryl, If you actually read my response you would realize I didn’t disagree with your statement as technically correct. I just disagreed with your dismissing legitimate playoff contenders in the division in your calculations. You present everything in the worst possible light to denigrate VGK or players you don’t like. That’s okay for you, but I don’t subscribe to that approach.

          • Mike StG

            And by the way, the NHL does NOT count OT losses as losses in points percentage – thus STL is listed as .538 and not .453 (24-29 as you present it).

          • Daryl

            I didn’t present it as a .453 win percentage. I simply said against teams with a winning record. I don’t consider ARI or STL as legit Cup contenders. A loss in OT Is the same as losing in regulation as it is in SO. If you want to claim a SO is different I could go along with it.

        • Mike StG

          And by the way, the NHL does NOT count OT losses as losses in points percentage – thus STL is listed as .538 and not .453 (24-29 as you present it).

      • Howard

        We won Presidents Cup? Huh? Did you look a few hours into the future? If we win tonight, then yes. but lose and AVS win out, we lose both division and Presidents Cup.

        • Mike StG

          Yeah yeah. A typo. Was responding yesterday to Doc who said if we win tomorrow we win the division. My response was ‘and we win the Prez…’. Didn’t see the past tense misspelling until it was posted. Who cares anyway? Let’s just cheer the team on. Who knows? Maybe I am a seer and just never realized it! Ha!! 🙂

  7. Blitz

    Not a good write up. Not a single mention about Lehner letting softies in and not playing well as of late. Lehner even talked about how bad he is playing in his last press conference. So WTF? If you want to write a honest piece about the goalie situation then write an honest piece. Its clear in this piece that you have a Lehner bias or are not actually watching the games.

    • Julie

      Blitz, my take is no one who writes articles is going to look at Lehner’s performance and write an objective piece. This is because they don’t want the wrath of people who will accuse them of not being sensitive to Lehner’s mental health issues. They all say, even when calling a game’s plays, how great Lehner’s been this season. No mention of anything detrimental to the game performance. It’s safer to criticize Fleury because he doesn’t have those issues. When Fleury had trouble last season, especially when his father died, the article/opinion writers had no trouble writing Fleury off then tried to wiggle out of it talking about the cap. They will never do that to Lehner. One, because it means admitting they were wrong last year, and two, because they are afraid of what objective analysis might do to Lehner’s mental health. They don’t want to be perceived responsible.

      • THE hockey GOD

        @Julie

        Writers are wusses and dog faced pony soldiers always looking to write a story , whether real or imagined.

        Author
        THE hockey GOD
        PS writer.

      • Howard

        Julie; as I stated before, I’m BiPolar and PTSD and I’ll criticize bad play all day long. The NHL isn’t a codling league. I certainly understand Lehner’s issues, and those issues clearly are translating on the ice. He loses concentration quite often – clear tale sign of the issues he faces and again, I ought to know!

        Bad signing, period. Good signing if an NHL is more concerned about virtue signaling than winning.

  8. THE hockey GOD

    @Mark

    How bad is he injured ??

    He got hit in the FACE with a deflected slap shot. He went down like a lump of coal. There was blood all over the ice. He grabbed his face with his glove. Got up, skated off mostly on his own (which is a good thing). On the bench blood was flowing out of what looked like his nose and mouth, possibly his eye area. Hard to tell, lots of blood. They tried to work on him for about five seconds but immediately ushered him to the training room. He never returned.

    It looked really bad to me. HE could have concussion. Lost teeth, broken nose, bruised or busted eye socket. It could be anywhere from a few teeth lost to end of this brief playing career. I hope it’s not serious , but it did not look good at all. But nothing does when there is a lot of blood.

    This isn’t the first time I have seen a young player rushed to play into NHL and get injured. AS posted previously I feel he should have gone to AHL. Pretty stupid for coaches to put a 170 pound frame boy in front of net, who had been bounced around a lot. Thinking he’s the second coming of DEMOLITION MAN. Needs to learn to position head and body properly to avoid puck getting under face shield. Probably will return with full face shield next outing, if ever

    I doubt we will see him again this year. I hope I am wrong. But the decision making process with VGK has been little to be desired the past year.

    It looked pretty bad to me. Like a baseball player being beaned by baseball. Some never recover from that.

  9. Mike StG

    Julie, I agree Fleury’s numbers are now slightly better than Lehner’s this season. But as my response to Howard pointed out, prior to the 2 STL game their save% was exactly identical at .926 (which was pretty uncanny), and their GAA was also within like .01 apart. Lehner had a bad game against STL which skewed the number slightly to Fleury.

    Howard was saying Lehner is just a backup quality goalie. I was pointing out the facts that Lehner has been consistently in the upper echelon of NHL goalies statistically over his career.

    Vegas mgmt isn’t stupid. They wouldn’t give $5m/yr to a backup quality goalie. If they’re that stupid how did they end up in the playoffs 4 straight years from expansion?? They evidently see him as the future of Vegas in goal after Fleury is gone – thus the 5 year deal.

    • Julie

      I understand what you are saying. It doesn’t seem logical that we say they were practically the same when Fleury played more games, not to mention extremely well, and carried the team a bit when they were struggling this season. I get that MGMT pushed Lehner as a starter after they said Fleury wouldn’t lose his spot as starting goalie. Fleury played all season, and they tossed him after lying about it. This year, Fleury comes back stronger, covers for Lehner, and somehow the same conversation is up again about who should start. I check Rotowire daily and Fleury’s numbers have always been better.
      So, are they stupid? Well, they are human. Mistakes are possible. How did they get to the playoffs 4 years straight? Well, I believe Fleury is the constant factor there. Even in his slump year last year, he was a major contributor.

      • Mike StG

        Julie, you can spin it however you like. 🙂

        First, Lehner has played 17 games, Fleury 34. It’s more than a sample size, plus Lehner suffered a concussion as a reason he played less. So, comparing their S% & GAA is reasonable. People don’t say Jalak isn’t a good goalie because he plays a third of the games Rask does if their numbers are the same. They say, wow Boston has 2 good goalies! People here are crapping all over Lehner, and I’m just saying the statistics don’t back that up. He’s a very good goalie and that’s why Vegas signed him to be the post-Fleury goalie.

        Also, saying Fleury is the reason they made playoffs 4 years and not crediting the team structure and player additions is a stretch. Let’s see, so if they resigned Neal, Perron and still had Eakin they would’ve been in the same position? If they hadn’t gotten Stone, Patch, Martinez, Chandler and Petro they’d be in the same position plus on the verge of winning the Presidents trophy this year? Okay, as you wish. 🙂

        • Julie

          I said Fleury was a constant factor. That’s not giving him all of the credit. Talk about spinning, you should have your own needle. I know you are a fan of Fleury. I know calling Lehner a backup upsets you. I think we can call this horse beaten.

          • Mike StG

            Julie, have a nice evening. And I’m not upset about Lehner’s treatment. Just trying to address hypercritics with facts.

        • Howard

          VGK is on the verge of possibly winning President’s Cup because MAF saved their bacon. Several games VGK was annihilated in the stat line, but MAF standing on his head saved those games for him. VGK is a good team, but they’re in the position they are in now for 2 reasons;

          1. MAF’s standing on his head, adding at least 10 points to their point total. Even a decent goalie here, VGK is in 3rd place.
          2. VGK played this year in an absurdly weak division because of Covid.

          VGK isn’t as GREAT as most think. They’re a good team (great defensively) and any good team has a shot at The Cup, that’s what makes The NHL the best sport there is in my opinion – anyone in playoffs has a shot, only major sport like this.

          On Paper? AVS are better, Minn equal, top 4 teams in East equal or better.

          VGK lacks 4 things that stops them from being an elite team;

          1. Lacking top quality centering
          2. Lacking depth (FO and injuries put them in that position.
          3. Organizational ego and impatience – chance they decide to go with Lehner or rotate goalies in playoffs – doom.
          4, Erratic 3rd and 4th line forcing coach to ‘double shift.’ Tuch is either great, or nothing albeit his checking has become much better this year.

          Speed = above average

          VGK has 5 things that give them a chance at Cup;
          1. Mark Stone’s all-around stellar stick and game.
          2. MAF ability to steal games, standing on his head (like stealing Jets series, 2018 WCF)
          3. Tight checking, good defensive forwards
          4. Size, ability to cycle puck, O-zone possession.
          5. Can go over cap adding back Reeves and others.

          • Mike StG

            Howard, believe it or not I agree with nearly everything you said there. 🙂

      • Howard

        Julie, you can argue with them all day long – they ignore key stats like danger saves, softie goals, opponent O-Zone and others. Lehner is not an elite goalie and really never has been. He’s had period of elite play but is grossly inconsistent again, like Pekka Rinne.

        Lehner is not the goalie you want in there if your goal is to win a cup. If against Dallas last year he stopped 4 of those softie goals, might have made the difference in such a tight series in terms of each game.

        Hot goalies can win you A cup, inconsistent goalies never will. At best, Lehner is an above average goalie when factoring in all the metrics.

        • Mike StG

          Howard, I guess you wanna keep beating this dead horse. When you can find a way to sign Vasilveskiy, or Gibson, or Merzlikins, or some other goalie you believe is elite, then please let GMKM know. I’m sure they’ll go out of their way to make it happen. Problem is the elite goalies won’t get traded or make it to UFA because their teams want to keep them. Fleury’s contract is up at the end of next year and Subban was obviously not the successor so it made sense to sign Lehner as at least a bridge until they found or developed a better alternative. I’m not saying the team’s entire future should rest on Lehner, but he’s a sound goalie and can get us through the immediate post-Fleury period.

          Enjoy the game! 🙂

          • Daryl

            I’m ok with signing Lehner, I just don’t think they should have done it for as long as they did or for the amount the paid. Obviously other teams weren’t going to sign him to that type of deal either so why not try it at a lower rate and shorter contract?

            Most of us aren’t against Lehner, it has nothing to do with him personally, it’s about the cap space he takes up and was it worth it or not. I don’t think it was.

    • Howard

      “Vegas mgmt isn’t stupid. They wouldn’t give $5m/yr to a backup quality goalie.”

      Nor would they give 8.8M per term to an aging DMAN, thus hamstringing themselves for years to come. Nah, not at all!

      Let me ask you a question – Lehner been in NHL for 7 years, how come no other team would sign him to term? Also, how come no other player mentioned a word about “NHL lying to them” concerning Covid?

      • Mike StG

        Howard, how many other goalies have a .918 career save %. Here are some reasons:

        1) isles didn’t give either Lehner OR Greiss a long term contract in 2019 when they won the Jennings trophy. How does that reflect badly on Lehner?
        2) In 2020 teams were looking at their goalie situation and determine how to manage goalie contracts in light of fact they can only protect 1 in Kraken expansion draft.
        3) Last year, Crawford (finally able to play after over a season of concussion issues) was able to play again and doing well. Not surprising the Hawks decided to keep him, given he won 2 cups with them.
        4) Lehner only dealt with and was able to cope with his mental issues in 2016-17 before signing for a year with NYI. It’s understandable that Isles mgmt didn’t feel they could make a long term commitment to him.
        5) There was no doubt some bias against Lehner due to his history of his mental issues that made them unwilling to consider him for a long term contract. Apparently VGK mgmt felt his situation is not an issue, and it seems likely there is something written into his contract that addresses that possibility.

        As far as Covid – listen to Lehner’s complaints and read the NHL’s list of relaxed protocols that they denied even existed. They are exactly the same. So his complaints were legit and real, evidenced by the fact the NHL is now officially removing those restraints.

        Last, on Petro your calling him an aging Dman, that’s silly. He was 30, signed for 7 years. Rated top 5 Dman in the league, cup champion and team captain. If you don’t understand that Foley wants to win now and it was a move to help make that happen then you’re out of step with VGK. With Shea & Petro they have a core of defense that will keep them competitive for the next 4 or 5 years. Who cares what happens in Year 6 or 7 of Petro’s contract if they win a cup (or two)? They can always buy him out if they feel it necessary. Meanwhile the cap will go up substantially after the freeze is lifted, due to the lucrative TV revenue deals the NHL recently signed. And Petro’s 8.8 is not excessive considering the 11m that Doughty and EK65 are being paid.

        • Daryl

          5) That is pure assumption. If there were no other issues and Lehner performed great, he would of gotten a long term contract.

          As for COVID comments, why was he the only player to say anything? It seems to me his mental health was becoming an issue in the bubble.

          Petra is aging, that doesn’t mean he is old. He will be a 38y/o Dman making $8.8m which is ridiculous. So far he has turned out to be a waste of money

          • Mike StG

            Whatever Daryl. Vegas is doomed. Why bother watching??

            BTW – on (5) would you sign a guy to a long term deal who within the last 1 or 2 years had just gone through rehab? A guy who the entire success of your organization would depend on? Get real.

            And start watching the actual games to see how Petro is doing. I was there yesterday and watched him live, where you see more than just the camera views. He’s totally worth it. If you can’t understand the adjustment a veteran player needs to make when changing teams after a decade then I can’t help you.

          • Howard

            Lehner is still clearly dealing with ‘issues.’ And again, I ought to know what they look like as I deal with them as well.

            If VGK is afraid of sitting Lehner due to his fragility, then they should have not signed him at all.

            We are here to win a Cup, not a virtue signaling contest.

        • Daryl

          Watching live doesn’t give you better angles than seeing it in TV. I’m not saying Petra is horrible but so far he hasn’t lived up to his $8.8m. And many experts have said the same.

          Why bother watching? That is one of the dumbest comments you have made. Why does Buffalo watch their team? Why do SJS fans watch them play. You are just upset b/c you tried to compare 2 players using stats that irrelevant and I called you out on it.

          • Mike StG

            I’m not upset. 🙂 If you’re really a Vegas fan then you’re the most depressing and pessimistic one I’ve met so far. I can understand Sabres fans being cynical, after decades of disappoint and losing seasons. But Vegas has broken one record after another with it’s success, including 4 straight playoffs beginning their history. All your doom & gloom seems out of place to me.

            And yes live view does give you a lot more info, as you can see play that is not shown in camera views. I always get a better sense of a player’s activity live. I watch EVERY game, and even watch the TV recordings after I attend a game. It’s why hockey broadcasters can give a lot better narration of a game when they’re live and not limited to watching remotely as they’ve had to do for much of this season.

        • Daryl

          I’m not negative, just a realists. Listening to some of you why does VGK even need to play the game, they’ve ready won the Cup. I’ve said a lot of positive comments on this board but when it comes to certain things I call it like I see it. Just curious, but how am I negative when I say MAF is better and you can’t compare stats b/c Lehner has only played against two teas with a winning record? That’s being negative? By saying Petra hasn’t shown he is worth $8.8m is being negative. I think VGK has a very good team but not a team that will win the Cup. Again, you can take that as being negative if you want

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, I’ve never said VGK will win the cup or is even likely to win the cup. You say they’re not good enough and won’t, quote “they’re not a team that will win the cup.” I say they’re a good team and could win it.

            I’ve also never said Lehner was better than Fleury. I only responded to those who claim Lehner is just an overpaid backup, which isn’t what the facts show. As I’ve said numerous times, if it were my decision I’d go with Fleury in a Game 7 all day long, and I’d support him being the #1 goalie going into playoffs. But I’m also okay with them keeping a rotation unless and until a change is warranted. Like Carp, I say if it’s working don’t change it.

        • Daryl

          Then why sat I’m negative? What actor did I say that was nefative? The other say tge Pens beat BUF 8-4. I made the connect that it SAS a good win but wasn’t happy about the 4 goals given up. If I said something like that on here I get crucified for being negative. When VGK beat COL I said it was a good win but wasn’t a preview of the playoffs b/c COL was missing 4 starters and people in here jumped down my throat. It’s as if you have to pretend everything is awesome or you shouldn’t even be on here.

          As for the goalie situation I’m OK with rotating until playoff time starts but that’s it. MAF even said himself he doesn’t like it. He said you don’t get a chance to get into a roll.

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, I quoted YOUR WORDS about Vegas: “they’re not a team that will win the cup.” If you don’t consider that negative then we have different definitions of the word. I look at it as glass half full, not half empty or broken and hopeless. As I said, Vegas is a very good team, although not the most talented or complete of the contenders. But they could win the cup if things go well for them. That’s the difference – you say they won’t, I say they could.

            As far as examples you gave, I wouldn’t call those negative comments per se. Although is it really necessary to undercut an 8 goal game by complaining about the 4 they gave up? You remind me of a parent who says “my kid got the highest SAT scores in the school, but the students in the school are all a bunch of idiots and morons.” Kinda ruins the compliment. And I’m sure your kid wouldn’t feel like it was a positive comment either.

        • Howard

          How many cups have those DMEN you mention won once they got paid?

          Lehner was only person to speak out. Lehner still shows me he is dealing with same mental issues off the ice, and he’s bringing it on the ice. Coincidence his play went to crap immediately after he opened his mouth?

          Again, being a person who suffers from what Robin does, I think I ought to know how to recognize said issues when they come on the ice.

        • Daryl

          VGK is a good team and yes they could win the Cup I just don’t think it’s highly likely. Again I dunny see that as negative, I see it as being a realist. Is it negative for a fan of either ARI or STL (which ever makes it) to say it’s uikely for them to win the Cup? If not then why should it be different for a VGK fan?

          As for your other comparison, I didn’t harp on giving up 4 goals I simply stated it. It’s a concern not a negative

    • Howard

      “Howard was saying Lehner is just a backup quality goalie. I was pointing out the facts that Lehner has been consistently in the upper echelon of NHL goalies statistically over his career.”

      How many Cups has Lehner won?
      How many term contracts has he signed in his career?
      How many players came out against NHL during Covid, claiming they were lied to about Covid?

      DId Lehner suggest BlackHawks lied to him last year?
      What’s Pekka Rinne’s career save %?
      How many high danger chances has Lehner stopped compared to MAF, and what is their respective save % against the same number of shots on goal?

      I’ll help you out. Pekka’s career save % is 917, which would indicate he’s ‘an elite goalie” by your standards.

      How many times was Pekka lifted during his postseason career? Pekka is an inconsistent goalie as is Lehner. Lehner’s career save %? = 918, same as Pekka.

      Save % is a horse poop stat as it doesn’t show you how many SOFT GOALS goalies give up, doesn’t show you how many shots they’ve faced, and doesn’t show high or low danger chances.

      Maf is lights out superior when it comes to consistency and HIGH DANGER SAVES + less softie goals allowed.

      MAF career Save % 913 – lower than both those goalies marginally, and better than both the goalies above because he’s more consistent against high danger and soft chances.

      Pekka is known for his in-game mental lapses, and anyone who knows The NHL knows this. Lehner is known for his mental issues period and those clearly translate on the ice, and into the locker room as evident about his imaginary slight he claims the NHL did to him – yet no other player claimed anything remotely similar – and on the ice, where he consistently gives up softie goals (see last year playoffs as well) just like Pekka.

      I’m BiPolar and PTSD as well, and I would not give me a term contract. Almost always, we will bring our issues into our jobs as Robin clearly has, but I’m an independent entrepreneur (it effects me there as well, but I do well regardless).

      Other teams didn’t give Lehner term because they knew he’s a high risk goalie, at any time he can mentally break down. Giving up soft goals is about losing concentration and mentally breaking down.

      One doesn’t have to be bipolar or PTSD to experience this, but we experience it a ton more than a ‘normal person.’

      Yes, Lehner is a bad long term signing as the odds say his personal issues will translate into the game, and with his NHL rant about Covid, he’s clearly showing it has.

      • Mike StG

        Howard, answered most of your comments in my last post. Suffice it to say that you disagree with me (and VGK management) on it. I don’t know how you’re so much smarter than they are. Maybe you missed your calling. 🙂

        Just FYI, the only current NHL veteran starting goalies who have higher CAREER save % than Lehner are:
        1) Rask
        2) Vasilevsky
        3) Varlamov

        Also, NHL analysts typically put Lehner in the Top 5 of current goalies. But, if I had to choose between Fleury & Lehner in a Game 7 I’d go with Marc-Andre all day long. 🙂

        So, until Lehner proves otherwise I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. And I’ll be happy that it’s him and not Dansk or Subban in goal.

        • Daryl

          Which analysts have out Lehner in top 5? I ask because of all the comments I’ve heard he’s around 10th or worse

          • Howard

            None Daryl. As per usual, most VGK are new to NHL, so they kind of wing it 🙂

            Save % would matter more in Lehner’s case if he “was the guy” during his NHL career – he hasn’t been. They are also missing the Pekka Rinne comparison.

            As far as being smarter than an NHL front office? a manager at McDonalds is smarter than most of them. NHL front offices are known to be the worst in all of the major sports.

            Again, how many cups have those big paid DMEN won after they got paid? ZERO.

          • Mike StG

            Howard, don’t classify me as a newbie. My favorite player growing up was Gordie Howe. I was a huge Isles fan and lived in Brooklyn in my early 20’s when they won 4 cups in the early 80s. You don’t know me, and just because our views differ doesn’t mean yours are superior to mine, other than in your own mind. Your comments about GMs and elevating your opinions (based on your limited knowledge of the factors around decisions and trades) over their judgments belie your own lack of understanding and arrogance. McDonalds managers… what a stupid comment. Nobody cares about a one-off comparison of Rinne. It doesn’t apply to Lehner or anyone else. And winning a cup isn’t the measure of a goalie’s worth. By that measure there’d be only a half dozen goalies in the last 15 years who are worth a shit. And in that case VGK should go all out to trade for Niemi or Murray or Quick, right???? Last I checked there are 31 teams in the NHL, so good luck getting Vasilevskiy or another cup winner as your future starting goalie. Same with Ds. And if winning a cup is so important there maybe Petro was a good decision, huh? All I said was Petro may not have come cheap, but at least Vegas didn’t pay 11m. You and Daryl seem to think you’re so much smarter than GMKM. Maybe you should step back and think about Foley. He’s 75 years old, recently lost his middle aged son to cancer, and wants to win a cup. He doesn’t have 5 or 10 years to wait. He wants to win now. I’m sure GMKM would rather develop the team more slowly, but with their early success Foley wants to add and augment the team to try and win now. Should they tell Foley to cool his jets and just wait 6 or 6 years for success to develop? Why do you have a problem with the concept of win now? It’s HIS team, not yours or even the city’s. If he wants to go for it now and deal with the consequences later, when he might be dead and buried, then what’s it to you? I just support the team and hope for the best, and so far they’ve done pretty well. I don’t get how you guys can’t accept that.22

          • Mike StG

            NHLN in playoffs had Lehner at #3 among playoff teams. Hockeywriters.com put Lehner at beginning of this season at #4. Lehner only played 18 games this season due to concussion, so more recent ratings by Athletic & NHL.com have him at #8. Those ratings put him in top 25% of goalies in a league of 31 teams. Bottom line – Lehner is not a backup quality goalie. And $5m is about average for a good #1 G.

  10. THE hockey GOD

    Two things I know with certainty, today is Mother’s day and Biden didn’t win the election

    PS happy Mother’s Day to all !

    PS don’t be surprised if VGK makes a decision on Krebs soon !

  11. THE hockey GOD

    @hdpiker- the crazy out of touch trolling poster.

    You started insulting me today, I didn’t say a word to you.

    Your posts here today have no added value. TROLL !!!

    You wrote:

    “. I guess Tim knows you better than most on this site and sees thru you like an open book.”
    Tim knows nothing.
    His posts are mainly made up garbage.
    Tim puts words in my posts that aren’t there.
    He only sees things because he makes things up.
    So that means by reference, since you are commenting on my posts about Tim, that means your posts are garbage too.

    Here comes the garbage truck , time to throw out the garbage To the garbage dump . Trash talking piker GONE !

    And the only a$$ here is you, grow up troll piker. When you post something of value here about hockey or VGK wake up all up. It may even be something worthwhile or insightful to read. Otherwise I see nothing of value in anything you have contributed today. You have NOTHING. Therefore you a complete waste. An empty suit. And the best you can do is call me an A$$ ??

    WELL I NEVER !!

    Get a life, troll.

    I forgive you, not lay off the sauce, It’s mother’s day !

    • Tim

      This Hockey God is scary fucked up need I say more read his posts and draw your own conclusions.

      • Daryl

        He does say some crazy shit at times but when he sticks to just hockey he is mostly accurate with his comments

        • THE hockey GOD

          ty Daryl,

          I never compare VGK management to kremlin like Tim does. That is real scarey “sh*t”. And completely unpatriotic insult, I think Tim is one of dem dere democratic loony toon wiggy biscuits seeing Russian conspiracies behind every rook and cranny with spittle running down face mumbling “I hate Trump, I hate Trump, I hate Trump. 24/7.

          THE hockey GOD is real, not scary
          dun
          dun dun dun
          dun dun dun dun (Jaws scary music in background)

      • THE hockey GOD

        “This Hockey God is scary fucked up need I say more read his posts and draw your own conclusions.”

        Says the guy who makes outlandish disparaging comments about VGK management comparing them to evil “kremlin”, taking a page out of playbook of DEM party and their Russian collusion hoax- paid for by Hillary Clinton, Steele dossier. What will you say next ? “Third Reich” and “hitler” tactics employed by VGK?

        Then backs it up with more stupid comments insulting comments about Fluery AFTER management, including Foley, cleared up the whole mess mainly created by media frenzy.

        Constantly snooping for confidential data from VGK on players’ statuses knowing fully well that VGK considers it inside information.

        Then he implores management to play a prospect who is clearly not ready, and when the player gets hurt shakes it off not knowing what really is going on.

        He’s not a real “fan”. His comments proves it and insults anyone reading them who calls out the posts. I believe he’s a spy and won’t admit he’s on pay roll for the Wild, AVS, or Blues.

        Then his buddy HD piker, my nosybuddy sticks his two cents in without reading his posts. Totally clueless.

        The clueless pals, dumb and dumber

        • Tim

          You a piece of work enough time spent on responding to silly comments.

          • THE hockey GOD

            @Tim

            You a piece of work enough time spent on responding to silly comments.

            >> I am not one making crazy comments comparing VGK management to evil Kremlin. And all the other BS you post that is comparable to that.

  12. DOC (magic # 3 pts)

    WOW!

    Anyway, GO KNIGHTS GO!

  13. Tony

    Are you kidding me?! you got the 3rd best goalie in wins in the history of the league who is playing out of his head. This is a no brainer. You dont keep your Ferrari in the garage. Fluery should start Monday and in round one. You ride it out with the flower. He can steal games. If he should falter or start to look bad then you can turn to Lehner but MAF is the man! and he can lead us to the cup.

  14. Howard

    None Daryl. As per usual, most VGK are new to NHL, so they kind of wing it 🙂

    Save % would matter more in Lehner’s case if he “was the guy” during his NHL career – he hasn’t been. They are also missing the Pekka Rinne comparison.

    As far as being smarter than an NHL front office? a manager at McDonalds is smarter than most of them. NHL front offices are known to be the worst in all of the major sports.

    Again, how many cups have those big paid DMEN won after they got paid? ZERO,,,,

  15. Miri

    Just want to say thank you to Steve Carp for his analysis in favor of keeping the rotation as the team heads into the playoffs. Hoping that PDB is of the same mind. You know the old saying, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. I think this can be applied to the VGK goaltending situation: keep the rotation!

    PS Personally I am a long-time MAF fan. But even so, inasmuch as the team has been getting great results with the rotation, I think the best decision is to keep it going.

  16. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Tonight!

    The biggest regular season game in Knights history?

    • THE hockey GOD

      :The biggest regular season game in Knights history?”

      No, I say opening night after the shootings was bigger.

      • Mike StG

        Hg, Good point. That will always be the biggest game. RIP to the 58.

        BTW, thanks for explaining the dun dun was a reference to Jaws. I’ve been trying to figure them out with different pauses and cadences, to no avail. You see, I actually read your posts. 🙂 🙂

        I think we win tonight. Maybe in OT?

        • THE hockey GOD

          ty Mike STG

          you see I am really not that scary as all these people are trying to make it out to be.

          I hope we will, I am looking for to more games from the walrus, sleepy time? (in reference to walrus TV commercial). Maybe 29 will start, who knows. Shortly we shall see who is first off the ice today practice.

          dun
          dun dun
          dun dun dun

          • Mike StG

            Hg- Haha! 10-4. I think they should play Lehner. He hasn’t played the Avs all year, so they need to know how well he can hold up against that offense, assuming we meet in Rd 2. Ummmm, perhaps they don’t. 🙂

          • Blitz

            Isn’t it more of a dun-dun? Or maybe a dun-dund Is there ever a single dun? So wouldn’t it be:

            dun-dun
            dun-dun dun-dun
            etc

        • Howard

          Mike StG – Where did I mention you by name as a “Newbie?”

          I don’t play that, If I want to talk to someone specifically, I’ll mention them by name, like right now.

          If Foley wants to win now, then he’s messing into FO BIZ. He should then be The GM.

          VGK needed and still needs centering, not another Pekka Rinne.

  17. DOC (Am so excited for tonight)

    OK, The game after shooting, was the most important in regards to how it solidified the new team with the fans. I agree.

    Tonights game is the most important regarding what can be accomplished with one WIN!

    And yes, no matter what is said now, a number of people here have said the Knights CAN’T win the cup. I have never said they will win the cup … but … they CAN win the cup.

    It would be great to have Patch back tonight? Maybe even REVO!

    I just hope they find a way to have the full amount of skaters tonight.

    I believe in these boys and have seen them having to play short one or two skaters for a few games now. They compete harder than anyone else in the league, IMO!

    • Mike StG

      Doc, positive thoughts! 🙂 Well, if Max and Reavo don’t play – then if we lose we can say they beat us without our top goal scorer and heavy hitter! Plus our backup LW1 to Max (Krebs- 🙂 ). And if we win, no one can say it was because the Avs roster was decimated with injuries (like last time). Seems like a no-lose situation to me! Haha!!

      Let’s go boys!! Time to man up and show your mettle! Win or lose tonight, this is damn fun!

      • Daryl

        It’s funny…. just like our last game we lost how many people were on here talking about VGK lost because we were short players? How many made excuses for the loss when we didn’t field a full team. Funny how VGK can use that excuse for losing but when I and others make the comment about other teams being short we are being negative. COL is still short several starters, we are short one, very important, starter. Reaves is a nobody. Krebs is a nobody (at this point).

        Again, a win against COL is always a big win but it’s not a playoff preview. It’s more like a preseason game preview. I’m one of those guys who wants to beat the best, meaning I want to beat a team when they are full and at their best so there is no question who the better team is. I’ll take the win either way, but it’s more satisfying to beat a full team

        • Mike StG

          Daryl, dude you need to lighten up. I was joking, a little fun sarcasm there.

          I never make excuses because players are out, either for Vegas or our opponents. That’s the game, next man up. Of course Reaves and Krebs are non-factors. The team plays better without Reaves and Krebs hasn’t made an impact (and definitely won’t now). If they’re really short handed maybe they bring Glass back but I think he’s still with HSK.

          Jesus…

          • Daryl

            It’s all good…. wasn’t getting upset over it. And it’s not just who has said something to me. Others have chimed in and they are the ones who mostly bring up VGK being short when they lose.

            I could see Glass coming back but he is a prime example of a player who looks good in the AHL but not quite ready for the NHL. I put Krebs in that same boat. I think Krebs will be great, but he isn’t ready yet. But, like you said, that doesn’t really matter now

      • Howard

        Lol, Reeves isn’t hurt – he’s being deliberately held out so team can stay under the cap and try some different things.

        • Daryl

          And it’s working…. they are showing that they can play well and win without Reaves. Proving his new contract was a waste of money and space.

          Again, to bring up old stories, some of the same players who thought Engo was a waste of money last year and especially this year, at the league minimum, actually think Reaves is worth it over doubling what Engo made. I just don’t get it.

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, I think the decision on Engo was more about making room for young defensemen who were ready to play in the NHL. Whitecloud, Hague, Coghlan. They added Petro and carried over Marty so their 1st & 2nd pairings were set. That left only 2’open spots on D. They didn’t just let Engo go, they let Merrill go too. And they let Brad Hunt go just before that in late season. You have 12F and 6D, and they’ve needed more depth on the front end. There was almost no one at forward ready on HSK to play with VGK, so it made sense to spend what cap they had available there.

        • Daryl

          @Mike,
          I agree with everything you said…. my confusion was resigning Holden. PDB made several excuses for his play before they offered him an extension and now he is money wasted. I think the smarter move to was get rid of Holden and Merrill and sign Engo for one more year at base salary. Use him as a spot defender, similar to the way Holden ended up. I think he could be useful, just like Reaves, as a spot player. Put them in when you need big bodies or tough players. I wouldn’t use either as an every day player.

          But really, it’s a moot point isn’t it? lol

          • Mike StG

            Man I forgot all about Holden!! Guess that shows how much impact he’s had, right? 🙂 Good point. Maybe Engo didn’t want to sit up in the box most nights? Holden IS a better skater and can play left or right side, so that might’ve been a factor. Well, at least for now I’m loving Derek’s commercials. 🙂

  18. Daryl

    @Mike…. I agree. His commercials got a lot better. Still miss him on the ice though. Just waiting for his next chance to coach…. he’s 1-0 I believe

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