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It’s Time For DeBoer To Announce His Decision

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On February 24th, 2020, the Golden Knights front office made a decision to address their goaltender of the future. That was reiterated last summer, when coach Pete DeBoer “announced” (via actions) Robin Lehner as the postseason starter. A move that shocked fans, media, and the Golden Knights players as well. It was a choice that put the organization in a bit of a conundrum.

DeBoer’s decision to go with Lehner created an unexpected firestorm. Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent and loyal supporter Allan Walsh went to social media and loudly voiced his anger. We all remember what happened from there so we won’t rehash. Looking back, the controversy was avoidable if communication had been more clear.

Based on how this season played out, DeBoer will have to make another tough choice. Let’s face it, he’s in a tough spot. No matter who he names as Game 1 starter some faction of Golden Knights universe will be disappointed. This is why it’s time for the Golden Knights head coach to announce his postseason starting goaltender.

If there’s any concern DeBoer’s net decision will cause another controversy then let it out of the bag now. Once the announcement is made, no matter how it’s taken, it will need time to settle. Doing it now would allow the players to get over their preferences, and solely focus on the postseason, not to mention instilling a level of public confidence for the eventual #1 goalie. But the real reason why now is the right time for DeBoer to publicly announce his starting goaltender is Fleury’s agent.

Say Lehner is named the starting goaltender, we can only assume Walsh will make noise. To combat that, the Golden Knights can get it out of the way now. Let the power agent and other Fleury supporters in the locker room sulk for a few days. It will happen, it’s human nature. Why risk tension in playoffs like last season?

It’s highly unlikely but it’s possible DeBoer hasn’t made up his mind yet. Maybe he needs the final three games to sway his decision. Vegas’ coach might also be planning on continuing with the goalie rotation. If that’s the case, it could be beneficial to announce that to the public. There’s nothing wrong with being more transparent.

Opening up doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a competitive disadvantage,in fact, in this case, it would probably mean a competitive advantage for the Golden Knights.

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21 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    too early

    btw JAson where is your praise for DOC this week ??

    • DOC (Go Knights Go)

      I must again thank you for the shout out to me, hg.

      Certainly you must love me more than even Jason!

  2. THE hockey GOD

    too early to make a decision, and if playoffs start tomorrow

    then it’s obvious, a brain dead person could see it’s MAF.

    They should also give the AHL goalie Logan a game before play offs start if schedule allows it.

  3. DOC (magic # 5 pts)!

    Ken, what would be the purpose to announce ANYTHING, now?

    As far as the goalies: (my humble opinion):

    ** I continue to say we will need both goalies, to go far **

    ** I like them both, and will root for whichever PDB puts in net any given game **

    ** But in honesty, I am a little nervous when Panda is in there, recently **

    At any rate I will support both of them, as we WILL need them both **

    Lets go get the sweep tonight!!!! Flurey’s turn, wish him well!

  4. Pauly

    His “decision” should be to resign immediately – his tinkering blows and we will never win it all with him

  5. DOC (magic # 5 pts)!

    Sorry to Ken, I didn’t notice this was written by my uncle Jason!

  6. Tim

    My take on this is easy. On one hand you have a guy with 3 rings going to the Hall of Fame who has been the leader of the Knights for 4 years. On the other hand you have someone with mental issues previous drug problems and since back from his so called concussion has scared the hell out of me. I’ll take the solid citizen it’s a no contest.

    • Scott

      That’s a little unfair. Lehner has been nothing but a great team player since he’s been here. And even with the Minnesota game, his GAA has been stellar since he’s been back. Everyone has a bad game once in awhile. The rotation has been working great, and it’s reasonable to continue with it they the playoffs. Although the biggest game of the season is Monday with Lehner’s turn up. It will be pretty telling if he goes with Fleury out of order for that game.

      • Daryl

        Lehner has been pretty good this year, but remember, he hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record this season

      • Joe Dirt

        Well stated.

  7. Cindy Harrison

    From your pen to PDB’s ears! Thanks for having your finger on the pulse!

  8. Howard

    Lehner is pretty much the 2nd coming of Pekka Rinne; Very solid if not great for a periods of time during a game, then suddenly give up very soft goals while making mind-boggling great saves. Pekka never won a cup in there, and Lehner won’t either.

    MAF is MAF, 3 time Cup winner, once as only starter, another time he started half The Pens playoff run, and as backup the other. MAF is in obvious HOF goaltender.

    There’s a reason no other team would sign Lehner to term and it was not discrimination because he suffers from mental issues, but because those mental issues CLEARLY TRANSLATE ON TO THE ICE as evident in his play.

    I’m understanding of his mental issues, but He had absolutely no biz running his mouth about NHL Covid stuff because no one else did, and no one else backed him up as being ‘truthful.’ To me, this indicates that Lehner is bringing his personal issues into the game and on to the ice.

    The fact is that Lehner has the talent, but has issues that very clearly pop up DURING GAMES which makes him basically a mediocre goalie, like Pekka. It’s clear Lehner has periods of time where he loses focus.

    Take a close hard look at Dallas WCF last year. While VGK was hard-pressed to score, half the goals Dallas scored were softies – what if those shots were stopped?

    Disagree with the writer here as the overwhelming majority of VGK fans want MAF to be named started in the playoffs – most of us who know The NHL see the issues Lehner is having on the ice.

    IMO = If Lehner didn’t have those concentration lapses he has during games, he’d be an elite goalie, but this has been Lehner his entire career – periods of greatness, periods of horrid goaltending (this is main issue why no other team would sign him to term) again, just like Pekka Rinne.

    Not trying to be rude or insensitive to Lehner’s Bipolar issues (I know, I suffer from it as well), but his in-game play is also BiPolar and that’s what matters and what teams play for, and for what players get paid for – they don’t get paid to be an on-ice mental health advocate.

    Basically, if I had no idea about his off-ice issues, I’d be saying that Lehner’s goaltending is BIPOLAR and saying exactly the same thing – that he should be a pure back up, not a starter right now.

    Talent wise, assuming Lehner was able to keep his concentration, he would be a better goalie than MAF IMO.

    Name MAF as starter, VGK has a shot at The Cup. Name Lehner or rotate goalies = no shot at The Cup.

  9. DOC (magic # 5 pts)!

    I am SO happy that none of us are running this team or making decisions about goalie play.

    One things for sure, we’ll all ACCEPT who PDB puts in net each night. What ya gonna do. March down the strip and protest in front of T-Mobile? ha ha

    Thankfully the hate demonstrated here, is not part of the decision making of our coach.

    Go get em’ tonight boys !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Herby

    Start the POs with Flower and keep him in until he loses a game.
    Than switch to Robin and keep him in until he loses.
    And so on.

    Fair and square and we take advantage of the fact that we have two
    elite goaltenders.

    Benching one in the POs is a very very bad return on investment.

    • Howard

      Lehner is not an elite goalie and really never has been. Anyone who says that hasn’t followed his career. The other guy is right and here’s what I hate – TO LOSE, love to win. It isn’t hating on Lehner, it’s loving on the team chances to win The Cup, to think otherwise is modern day wankshaftery.

  11. Daryl

    I like how people say MAF should start and point out how bad Lehner has been as of late and we are somehow we are showing hate towards Lehner. Sometimes brutal honesty is just that, brutal. I don’t have a personal problem with Lehner, just like I don’t have one against Reaves. Saying a different player should start over another isn’t showing hate. How many times did I say #5 should be playing for others to disagree? I didn’t take that as hatinf on me or him, I took it as others giving their opinion

  12. Tim

    I think most people on this site love the Knights but at times may have a different opinion and if you do have a different opinion doesn’t make you a Knight hater. There are a lot of good things this management team has does to put us in this position so if we disagree with a move doesn’t make us a hater. I think certain signings you may or may not like which are hot topics for instance the Lehner signing, the Petro signing, there are legitimate arguments on each side but it doesn’t make you a hater. There’s one we didn’t resign is still haunting me and that’s David Perron who once again has 51 points in a shortened season which would still look good in a Knights sweater. I’m going to the game tonight so I hope it’s half as exciting as last night. Go Knights

    • Daryl

      Completely agree… I’m a little jealous of those of you who get to go to games. The Lens are my favorite but I no longer live near there. VGK is the only other team I root for and I don’t live close to there at all. I love hockey so I go watch CAR all the time but it’s just not the same.

      I was supposed to take part in Chuck Norris’ 80 bday party last year at his UFAF seminar in Vegas but it was canceled. Was hoping to take part this year and watch a couple games but I just couldn’t make it

  13. Frank

    It’s obvious to any casual observer. Fleury should be #1… Lehner a close #2. If Fleury stinks it up, put in Lehner. Judging on this season, no doubt flower is the #1. Let the chips fall where they may. VGK has another excellent shot at a cup this year.

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