Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is on the league’s COVID-19 Protocol Related Absences list, the league released Thursday afternoon.
Fleury started for the Golden Knights in their 4-3 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. The 36-year-old goaltender has started 13 of the past 14 games, going 8-5-0 in that stretch.
Fleury becomes the third Golden Knights player placed in protocol this season, joining Alex Pietrangelo and Tomas Nosek. Pietrangelo and Nosek both had to clear the full two weeks before returning to game action.
To be clear, being on the COVID absences list doesn’t specifically mean Fleury tested positive. The league has a guideline of situations that result in a player going on the list. Nosek tested positive, while Pietrangelo’s reasoning was never disclosed.
A member of the Vegas coaching staff and player on the taxi squad also tested positive at one point this season.
The Golden Knights are en route to St. Louis to play a back-to-back against the Blues starting Friday, and the goaltending situation just got interesting. Logan Thompson, who made his NHL debut on Wednesday, could just as much see his first NHL start. Oscar Dansk is also on the taxi squad and could see a start at some point.
There’s also the matter of Robin Lehner practicing with the Henderson Silver Knights and nearing his return with the big club. That could come as soon as Monday when Vegas hosts the San Jose Sharks.
But it’s a lot to ask for any goalie to mimic what Fleury has done this season. Fleury has pushed himself into the Vezina conversation with a league-leading 1.73 goals-against average and .938 save percentage among goalies who have made at least 10 starts.
The Golden Knights (16-6-1) lead the Blues by one point for first place in the West Division with three games in hand. Their .717 points percentage is fourth-best in the NHL.