With the Vegas Golden Knights only playing in three games over the course of 15 days, good things were bound to happen on the injury front. During Thursday’s morning skate both Alec Martinez and Max Pacioretty returned to the Golden Knights wearing full-contact jerseys.
Martinez has missed 26 games with a facial laceration. He reportedly had around 100 stitches after he took a skate to the face back against the Minnesota Wild in mid-November. Martinez is not expected to play tonight against the Canadiens but will travel with the Golden Knights on their upcoming four-game road trip.
Similarly, Pacioretty is expected to travel with the Golden Knights on their southeastern road trip which will finish out the team’s January schedule. On December 30th, Pacioretty underwent wrist surgery. He has missed the last seven games and also missed 17 games earlier on in the season with a broken foot.
Things were not all sunshine and rainbows for the Golden Knights Thursday morning though as head coach Peter DeBoer announced that captain Mark Stone has entered COVID-19 protocols. Stone has only played 23 of the Golden Knights 40 games this season due to injuries and COVID-19.
Nicolas Hague, who was already out for the Golden Knights with a wrist injury has also entered COVID-19 protocols.
Jake Leschyshyn and Daniil Miromanov have been spotted at Golden Knights practice, likely meaning they have been recalled from the Henderson Silver Knights.
It is important to remember that the NHL’s new decision on no longer testing asymptomatic players will not be enforced until after the NHL’s All-Star break.
On the bright side, Brayden McNabb and Jonathan Marchessault both returned to practice after having maintenance days on Wednesday. Assistant coach Ryan McGill has also been removed from COVID-19 protocols.
The Golden Knights injury list included all of the aforementioned names as well as Laurent Brossoit and Jack Eichel. Eichel is still skating after having his artificial disk replacement surgery. Brossoit’s injury is unknown.
Updated Golden Knights Injury Report: Jack Eichel (neck), Max Pacioretty (wrist), Alec Martinez (face), Nicolas Hague (wrist/COVID), Laurent Brossoit (unknown), Logan Thompson (COVID), Steve Spott (COVID), Mark Stone (COVID).