GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - All Adin Hill wanted was an opportunity.
All the Coyotes wanted was to stay competitive through a rash of injuries to their top goaltenders.
Safe to say they both have gotten more than they bargained for.
Tuesday night Hill helped the Coyotes to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. It marked the Coyotes fourth straight win – all in part because of the play of the 22-year-old Hill, who’s made five appearances since being called up from Tucson.
“Hilly was good again,” said head coach Rick Tocchet after Tuesday night’s win at Staples Center. “He’s unflappable right now. He’s feeling it and it’s a nice story. He’s come in and he’s put the plugin for us. We have some guys hurt and he’s holding the fort.”
Tocchet, sensing a potential logjam and controversy in the net on the horizon, is choosing his words carefully because Hill has done a lot more than “hold down the fort” – he’s has been sensational.
Consider this: Hill now has a 0.56 GAA in his five appearances this season. That's the lowest GAA by any NHL goalie over his first five games of a season in the past 25 years; the next best is 0.60 by Boston's Tim Thomas in 2010-11.
His play earned him the NHL’s second Star of the Week and during his remarkable four-start run, Hill’s save percentage is a sizzling .977.
Hill, of course, credits his teammates.
“It’s a team effort,” said Hill after Tuesday’s win in Los Angeles. “The team has been playing a fast game. We’ve been doing an unbelievable job of capitalizing on our chances and executing our game plan. It’s been great.”
Move aside the modesty for some more “Hill toppers.”
This past week Hill:
- Led all @NHL goalies for the week with a .983 save percentage and 0.43 GAA.
- Became the youngest goalie in #Coyotes history to earn a shutout.
- Set the franchise record for the longest shutout streak by a goaltender to begin a season.
Hill was drafted 76th overall by the Coyotes in 2015. He’s imposing - standing 6 foot 6 and probably closer to 6'9" on skates. He’ll be put to the test again Thursday night when the world champion Washington Capitals pay a visit to Gila River Arena.