The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the past month. The team’s surge at the end of 2021 has them now in first place in the NHL’s Pacific Division and Western Conference. This has been in part due to the NHL’s schedule changes as a result of COVID-19. The Golden Knights have only seen four of their games get postponed and are only one of two teams in the league that has played 35 games.
But winning and schedule changes are not the only things that are propelling the Golden Knights up in the standings. Both the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers have been struggling as of late to keep pace with the Golden Knights. Also, former Golden Knights Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs have found themselves in COVID-19 protocols for the Buffalo Sabres.
Vegas: With Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty out of the lineup the Golden Knights are putting their faith in William Carrier on the first line. Is this a bandage repair or actually a reasonable proposal heading forwards?
Stone and Robin Lehner are not expected to play Tuesday against the Nashville Predators per Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer. Nicolas Hague is also out for precautionary reasons.
ICYMI: The Golden Knights will be needing to make a trade or two to free up cap space. Who could potentially be on the trade block to make room for Jack Eichel?
Edmonton: The Oilers have lost ten of their last twelve games and as a result have plummeted in the NHL’s Pacific Division Standings. Against the New York Rangers Monday night, Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen make what head coach Dave Tippett a “brutal mistake.”
Will the Oilers be forced to make a big move to keep their season alive. Both Carey Price and former Golden Knight Marc-Andre Fleury have been linked to the Oilers in some NHL trade rumors.
Minnesota: The Wild have also been in a bit of a slump recently having lost five straight games. They have recalled promising prospects Marco Rossi and Matthew Boldy who both are expected to make their NHL debut on Thursday.
Buffalo: Along with Andreas Bjork, former Golden Knights Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch have been placed in COVID-19 protocols for the Buffalo Sabres.
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Pittsburgh: The Penguins recieved a solid list of returning players on Tuesday morning with Tristan Jarry, Teddy Blueger, Brian Boyle, and Kasperi Kapanen all returning.
The Boyle family also welcomed in baby boy Callum Boyle on Saturday.
Boston: Despite the massive amount of rumors saying that he is returning to the team, there is “no deal in place,” for Tuukka Rask to return to the Boston Bruins.
San Jose: Evander Kane, who had already been busted by the NHL by faking a COVID-19 vaccination card, now is reportedly recovering from a “bad case” of COVID-19. He still remains with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.
Washington: John Carlson, who has played under coach Bruce Boudreau in the past, is “not suprised” with Boudreau’s success as the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
Vancouver: Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko on his Vezina Trophy possibilities this season- “It’s an honour to be in that discussion, but we haven’t even played half the games yet, so I think we can just cool it on that a little bit.”