Do you have any goaltending experience? Yes. You. You, the person reading this right now.
If you do, the Vegas Golden Knights might be calling you soon as all of their goalies keep suffering all sorts of calamities that are knocking them out of the lineup one by one.
After Maxime Lagace had to leave Tuesday’s 8-2 loss in Edmonton after giving up seven goals and appearing to be injured the team had to turn to 19-year-old Dylan Ferguson to finish the game.
In doing so, Ferguson became the fifth different goalie to appear in a game for the Golden Knights this season.
They have only played 17 games.
Now there remains a chance that he might have to start Thursday’s game in Vancouver, as noted by Sportsnet’s John Shannon on Wednesday.
If you want to include Calvin Pickard, whom the Golden Knights selected in the expansion draft but traded before he ever had a chance to play in a game for the team, they are sort on their sixth goalie of the season.
This, of course, is absurd.
A big part — perhaps the biggest part — of Vegas’ early season success was the fact they were getting exceptional goaltending. Given that Marc-Andre Fleury was the top player they acquired in the expansion draft and was expected to be one of the initial building blocks of the franchise that was probably the plan all along.
Get a good goalie, give what will almost certainly be an undermanned team at least a chance to win on most nights, then go from there.
For a while, things were going according to plan.
Then Fleury suffered a concussion in his fourth game and has not played since.
From there the team turned to its new backup, Malcolm Subban. After getting absolutely lit up in his only two NHL appearances prior to this season Subban stepped into the lineup and was exceptional until he, too, ended up getting injured with a lower-body injury.
That opened the door for Oscar Dansk, and he too exceeded all expectations until he too ended up getting injured in a loss to the New York Islanders. He has not played since, either.
Between the three of them, Fleury, Subban and Dansk had posted an 8-1-0 record with a combined .934 save percentage before they were all knocked out of the lineup.
At some point when a team — in this case an expansion team — gets this far down its goaltending depth chart it is going to start to become a problem. The Golden Knights are just 2-5-1 with Lagace in net while his .860 save percentage has been by far the worst in the NHL among goalies that have appeared in at least eight games.
With decent goaltending Vegas could probably continue to be an interesting team, especially as a lot of their top forwards continue to score at a pretty respectable rate. There is only so much they can do, however, when the team is literally running out of goalies and turning to their fifth and sixth string goalies.