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Golden Knights enter playoffs trying to figure out goalie position

Golden Knights enter playoffs trying to figure out goalie position

LAS VEGAS — Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said he is still trying to figure out how to handle the goalie situation, whether to play both or to hand the bulk of the work to one over the other.

And then which one over the other?

Logan Thompson and Adin Hill each have compelling cases to be in the net when Vegas begins its Stanley Cup title defense. There also are equally compelling reasons why each should step aside while the other takes over.

Cassidy has split the starts down the stretch, and Thompson has been the better goaltender of late, but Hill’s play in last year’s postseason was a major reason the Knights now have a championship banner hanging in T-Mobile Arena.

“I think [Thompson’s] mindset is good going into the playoffs,” Cassidy said. “He hasn’t played playoff hockey, so that’s another animal. So, to say, ‘OK, Logan, you’re going to be the guy,’ [but] he’s never played, is that fair to him, especially after what Hilly did last year?

“If we just give it to Hilly and say, ‘OK, have at it,’ well, Logan’s played pretty well recently and played more because he’s been healthier. So, is that the right way to go? You probably in some way, shape or form will see both guys. That’s not because of poor play, either. That just might be the best way to go for where they’re both at right now and how their seasons have gone.”

Cassidy added the opponent won’t factor much into which 27-year-old starts.

Thompson is used to fighting for everything he has accomplished in hockey, taking an unorthodox route to the NHL. In 2021, he became the first goalie from U Sports — Canada’s version of the NCAA — to play in the league since 1994.

Thompson made the All-Star Game in 2022-23, his official rookie season, but lower-body injuries forced him out of the lineup for most of the season’s second half. He entered this season as the backup, but with Hill’s health issues, Thompson has taken advantage to help lead the Knights to the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

Over his past 11 games, Thompson has a 2.14 goals-against average with a .926 save percentage. Take away two games in which he allowed a combined 10 goals, and his save percentage rises to .949.

“Last year, individually, was frustrating missing the second half of the year and not being able to put the jersey back on,” Thompson said. “So, I’m just happy to be in the room and put the jersey on every day and a be part of it.”

Cassidy said some of the credit has to go to…

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