Two seasons ago, when the Arizona Coyotes needed him most, rookie goalie Louis Domingue stepped up. In Mike Smith’s absence fans saw the rise of Domingue as a strong, mostly consistent and, arguably, starting goalie. In a season where the team still struggled, Domingue had been a bright spot. King Louis, or “Louuuuu" had been born.
But when Smith came back from injury, he posted two shutouts and there, once again, was a battle for the Coyotes net.
This past season, Tippett said that the team would be going with more of the A/B goalie method where the net was up for grabs depending on who played, who won, who came up big or fell short. It was Domingue’s chance to prove himself, and Smith’s chance to defend his throne.
A Season Short of Expectations
While Domingue got his fair share of starts at the beginning of the season, a poor showing led to him seeing limited time in net.
When your goalie is shaky it’s hard for the team to have confidence in front of them, and this past season was one that the Coyotes needed confidence more than anything. Domingue's overall performance wasn't stellar, but his play at even strength during the season was impressive. Despite the Coyotes’ rebound control in front of him being horrible, Domingue still managed to post a .923 save percentage in 5 v 5 play. To put that in context, Devan Dubnyk faced 62 rebound shots in over 60 appearances. In the 31 appearances, Domingue had faced 51. Even facing so many rebound shots in so few games, he stopped 83 percent of his high-danger shots in even strength play.
Ultimately, it was special teams where Domingue, along with the rest of the team, died.
His huge weakness over the season was his inability to stop shots that were coming in close during the team’s PK. He only managed to stop 66% of his high danger shots down a man. Now, this also wasn't helped by the team in front of him allowing an average shot distance of 14 feet on the PK.
Overall, Domingue’s low and medium danger SV% were above average, as he faced very few easy shots and struggled so much with the higher danger ones that his numbers overall went down.
It’s no doubt that Domingue probably didn’t get as many starts as he personally wanted to see over the season in order to improve his play and numbers, but even though he had quite a rough start to the season, he finished well, as much as he was displeased with how his play was handled.
In a season with Smith being named the Coyotes All-Star representative, it was hard for Domingue to get much leeway on shaky or bad play and be given a chance to rebound.
Overall, a C+ seems like an accurate grade to give Domingue. He was far more consistent than Smith was at the end of the season, but it was clear he was upset with the way that his starts had been treated at the beginning. Hopefully, this was just a major issue of confidence since we have seen the impeccable goaltending that Domingue is capable off and he will be back to being a steady presence in the Coyotes net next year.
The grades of all the other Coyotes players can be found on our master post here.
What grade would you give Louis Domingue?
This poll is closed