Hill Getting Close to the Top of the Playoff Mountain

Photo: JennThulhu Photography

When it comes to goaltending and this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, there has been no stranger story than the one that the Vegas Golden Knights are currently writing.

After defeating the Dallas Stars 6-0 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, May 29th, the Golden Knights are off to their second Stanley Cup Final in six seasons, where they will take on the Florida Panthers. The last time they were in it, they were led by their starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Things are much different this time around for the Golden Knights. The team got into the Cup Final thanks to the strong and consistent play of their fourth-string goaltender Adin Hill. Yes, you read that right.

Related Story: 3 Standouts During Golden Knights Playoff Run

After third-string goaltender Laurent Brossoit got hurt during Game 3 of the team’s second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers, Hill, 27, was put in goal, and the team never looked back. According to NHL.com, Hill became the fifth goalie on record to earn his first playoff win in relief while playing at least 45 minutes and allowing zero goals.

Hill has shown a lot since taking over for Brossoit. For starters, Hill has put up outstanding numbers.

He is currently (as of Tuesday, May 30th) 7-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage, and two shutouts. According to NHL.com, when Hill posted a 6-0 shutout in Game 6 to eliminate the Stars, he became the eighth different goaltender in 20 years to earn a series-clinching shutout in the round before the Stanley Cup Final.

The numbers that Hill currently has are Conn Smythe Trophy-like numbers. It would be a wonderful story if he ends up winning the award should the Golden Knights end up winning the Cup.

Secondly, Hill has shown the ability to come up with big saves when his team needs them the most. Even when his team lost Game 5 at home against the Stars, Hill made several huge saves and gave his team every chance to win a hockey game.

In looking at the numbers below, it is easy to see how Hill has it in him to come up with a lot of saves:

  • May 23rd against the Stars: 34-save shutout
  • May 25th against the Stars: Stopped 39 of 42 shots
  • May 27th against the Stars: Stopped 30 of 34 shots
  • May 29th against the Stars: 23-save shutout

Lastly, Hill is playing like a playoff veteran. He is making big saves, controlling his rebounds, challenging shooters, and winning hockey games at the most important time of the year.

Yes, Hill has been in the league for six seasons, but this is really his first time experiencing playoff hockey. For Hill to be playing the way he is playing right now is remarkable.

Hill has come in and given the Golden Knights everything and more. If he does it four more times, he might just end up being the main reason why the team captures their first Cup in franchise history.

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We chat about the hot start for the Golden Knights, UNLV football's success and the upcoming Rebel basketball season, among other Vegas things. Thanks for checking us out! Be sure to subscribe after you listen! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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