Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore will not play Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks and is day-to-day, coach Pete DeBoer said.
While not confirmed, Theodore’s absence is likely due to the takedown from Ducks forward Nicolas Deslauriers on Tuesday.
Theodore did not play in the final 4:43 of the first period. He returned to play the entire second, but did not play the third. Turns out the lingering effects from that fall is the culprit, not COVID-19 protocol that unfortunately struck forward Tomas Nosek.
“The explanation I got from the referee was that he felt it was incidental contact,” DeBoer said. “I don’t know if we saw it exactly that way. I know Ryan Reaves didn’t. Had a response for that.”
— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) February 10, 2021
Theodore out means good timing for Alex Pietrangelo to return to the lineup. The defenseman last played Jan. 26 and entered COVID protocol two days later.
Pietrangelo was paired with Alec Martinez on the top pair. The remainder of the blue line is the same; Nicolas Hague with Zach Whitecloud, and Nick Holden with Dylan Coghlan.
“It’s great timing,” DeBoer said. “I think to have both of those guys out of the lineup is a big ask for our group. That’s essentially what we did in the third period [on Tuesday]. I just think the fact he can slide into Theo’s spot, 5-on-5, on the power play, just protects our young defensemen a little bit so that we’re not overwhelming them too early for some of the things we’re asking of them.”
Martinez and Theodore was the top pair while Pietrangelo and Brayden McNabb (lower body) were on the sidelines. It’s unclear if Theodore will be ready to go for this weekend’s back-to-back at the San Jose Sharks and home vs. the Colorado Avalanche.
Theodore’s absence doesn’t seem to be long term, which is good news for the Golden Knights. In the short term, they’ll miss his dynamic offense.
Theodore is one of four Golden Knights players (Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Cody Glass) to average a point per game. The 25-year-old Norris Trophy contender has 10 points (three goals, seven points), and just recorded his 100th assist in the NHL on Tuesday.
Danny Webster covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.