Never a dull moment in this day and age of the National Hockey League. Tuesday pushed home that point further.
The story should’ve been about the Vegas Golden Knights surviving by the skin of their teeth against the Anaheim Ducks; how Vegas allowed three goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period, and needed a late goal from Zach Whitecloud to win the game.
That was to be the theme of the night, and we were going to spend an ample amount of time on this space talking about it. Unfortunately, COVID-19 may be rearing its ugly head through the Golden Knights’ organization yet again.
The Golden Knights canceled their postgame media availability “due to COVID-19 protocols,” per the communications staff. “We will provide additional updates when appropriate.”
That aforementioned update came shortly after 11 p.m. that the Golden Knights were canceling practice and not holding media availability.
The Golden Knights returned to action Friday after an eight-day hiatus due to COVID protocols. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and three coaches — including head coach Pete DeBoer — entered protocol on Jan. 28.
Things were looking up at morning skate Tuesday with Pietrangelo skating with his teammates for the first time. The plan was for Pietrangelo to take Tuesday off and be ready for Thursday’s rematch with Anaheim.
Given the current state of the unknown, who knows if we’ll even see a game Thursday at all?
Right now, we can’t confirm if any Golden Knights tested positive. The NHL releases its COVID-related absences list at 2 p.m., so we’ll know then.
What we also don’t know is if this potential new issue regarding COVID has anything to do with defenseman Shea Theodore or forward Tomas Nosek.
Theodore left for the locker room with 4:43 remaining in the first period after being taken down by Ducks forward Nicolas Deslauriers. He returned for the entirety of the second period, but did not play for all of the third.
Whether that had something to do with said injury is unknown right now. With no availability today, we won’t know about Theodore’s status until hopefully Thursday.
As for Nosek, that is the concerning part. Nosek finished out the second period but, like Theodore, did not play in the third. Looking back at the game film, there was no indication of injury to the Golden Knights’ fourth-line center. There is also no indication that Nosek was pulled due to COVID-related issues.
If you’re a fan of speculation, though, that’s the clubhouse leader.
Right now, all we can do is wait until 2 p.m. to find out what’s the verdict on everything. The Golden Knights had three games postponed the last time they were in protocol because they did not have a coaching staff. Replacing Pietrangelo has not been the problem as evident of these past three games. Let’s hope that the situation isn’t serious and no one is affected health-wise.
For now, we wait.
Danny Webster covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.