The continuing trend in the Golden Knights crease has reached a point where it can no longer be ignored or cast aside.
Adin Hill’s injury in the 1st period on Sunday marks the eighth time in the last calendar year a Vegas goaltender has been injured during a game. To make matters worse, Hill’s injury is the second time in the last nine months a goalie has reinjured himself in his first game back in action and the fourth time a goalie has re-aggravated the same injury.
It’s clear there is a problem, and a pretty serious one. What’s unclear is the cause of it and thus the solution.
After the game on Sunday, Bruce Cassidy spoke about the process the Golden Knights use before they put a goalie back in the net to start a game.
It’s up to him and the medical staff. It’s their call, it’s not mine. It’s basically the player first has to feel comfortable getting in there and then it’s the medical team has to feel comfortable that he’s rehabbed and he’s communicated to them that he’s doing well. -Cassidy
In the latest case, Cassidy said Hill returned to practice and there were specific drills goalie coach Sean Burke wanted to see if he could get through, and recover after, to make sure he was healthy enough to play in a game. Hill completed those drills and it was determined he was ready to play.
He said he was cleared and ready to go. It’s unfortunate. I don’t have the news of exactly what’s going on but it’s difficult for Adin. He’s put the work in and he’s worked hard and everyone thought he was ready to go. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way, it happens. Hopefully, it’s not long-term again. -Cassidy
The challenge for the Golden Knights is that the current process has not been successful, but there’s not many other ways to go about it. In the end, it’s always going to be up to the player himself to determine if he’s ready to return.
What the Golden Knights must do now is figure out why their goalies have consistently found themselves back in the goal before they are ready. Or, if that’s even the case at all.
The solution to the problem might be even more challenging than the problem itself. For the Golden Knights though, they have to figure it out, because the problem has gone on long enough that it can no longer just be chalked up to bad luck.
VGK Goalie Injury Timeline in 2023
February 9th – Thompson left the game in the 3rd period in Minnesota. The Golden Knights announced two days later that he was out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
February 19th – After finishing the game the night before, Adin Hill missed practice with what was described as “a small bump.” He did not travel with the team for the next game.
February 24th – Hill returned to practice with the team.
February 25th – Hill served as the backup to Brossoit. Brossoit completed this game, but was injured along the way.
February 27th – The Golden Knights announced Brossoit would miss that night’s game and was out day-to-day with a lower body injury. Hill made his first start since his injury 19 days prior.
March 8th – After completing a game the night before, Hill missed practice the following day and was said to be dealing with a lower-body injury. Cassidy later confirmed he re-aggrivated the same injury from earlier in the season.
March 18th – Both Thompson and Brossoit participated in practice.
March 23rd – Thompson made his first start in 42 days. He was forced to leave in the 3rd period.
March 25th – Brossoit made his first start in 28 days.
April 7th – Hill made a start for the Henderson Silver Knights on a conditioning stint. He played two periods which was said to be pre-planned.
April 10th – Thompson and Hill participated in practice with the team.
April 12th – Cassidy said Thompson did not respond well to the workload and his status moving forward is unclear. He did not practice again with the team through the Stanley Cup run.
April 20th – Hill returned to action as the backup for Game 2 of the Winnipeg series.
May 6th – Brossoit was replaced by Hill in the 3rd period of Game 2 with the Golden Knights trailing 5-0. This was Hill’s first NHL action in 60 days. Brossoit would return as the starter in Game 3.
May 8th – Brossoit suffered in injury in Game 3 of the Edmonton series. He did not practice again with the team through the Stanley Cup run. Hill took over mid-game.
November 30th – Hill did not return for the 3rd period of a game for “precautionary reasons.”
December 14th – Hill returned to practice with the team.
December 17th – Hill left the game injured in the 1st period.