Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper left Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, after taking a stick to the eye. The gnarly injury took place with roughly four-and-a-half minutes gone in the second. Trevor Lewis‘ stick found it’s way under Kuemper’s mask after he scored the Kings second goal. Kuemper’s helmet came off and he was clearly in a lot of pain. The stick seemed to hit Kuemper in his right eye.
Darcy Kuemper leaves the game after Trevor Lewis’ stick blade goes through his mask. The Coyotes can’t catch a break #OurPack pic.twitter.com/6jcwGCJzbv
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 3, 2019
As of right now, there is no word on the status of Kuemper. He will be undergoing more eye tests on Wednesday and the team will know more on Thursday. The 28-year-old goalie has started 53 games for Arizona this year. Tuesday night marked his 21 straight start, dating back to February 19.
Possible Darcy Kuemper Injury Could Be Big Blow
Kuemper has become the Coyotes clear-cut starter since the team lost Antti Raanta to a lower-body injury in early December. Since then, Kuemper has set a promising record of 22-14-6. He also has a 2.24 goals-against average and 0.927 save-percentage in that span. His 53 appearances this season are significantly more than any other season in his career.
The Coyotes acquired Kuemper in February of the 2017-18 season. In return, they dealt Tobias Rieder and Scott Wedgewood to the Kings. Immediately following the trade, Arizona signed Kuemper to a two-year contract, with an average salary of $3.7 million. In the remainder of the 2017-18 season, Kuemper set a record of 2-6-2 with the Coyotes.
His work this year, though, has clearly made up for the poor ending to last year’s season. Fans have begun arguing that Kuemper should be the team’s starter for the future, as the season comes to an end.
For now, the Coyotes are fighting for a playoff spot. This fight is made significantly more difficult now that both Kuemper and Raanta are unavailable. The Coyotes will now have to push towards the playoffs on the backs of Calvin Pickard and the recently called up Adin Hill. The two goalies will have to play their best hockey, as Arizona just about needs a miracle to make the postseason.
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