During his media availability today, Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer revealed that netminder Robin Lehner is medically cleared to play after he was activated from injured reserve on March 30th. While DeBoer defines Lehner as “capable of playing,” he said that Lehner needs more time and practice before returning as the team’s starter.
In the meantime, this means that Logan Thompson will retain the starting role in a stretch of games where every point matters. Thompson has been impressive in recent games, improving his save percentage on the year to .920 in 11 games played. With veteran Laurent Brossoit also injured, Thompson remains the team’s best option as they attempt to salvage a playoff spot out of a hectic, injury-marred season.
Vegas sits one point behind Dallas for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, but Dallas has three games in hand. A divisional spot may actually be more realistic for the Knights, as they sit three points behind Edmonton with the Oilers having just one game in hand, but Edmonton is surging with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games.
Whatever the outcome, Lehner is a large puzzle piece in this team beginning to return to full health for the first time all season.