I have mostly good news to report on from the Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday practice at City National Arena. Robin Lehner, Alec Martinez, and Zach Whitecloud were all full participants. The team had four forward lines, eight defensemen, and both goaltenders available Wednesday.
Additionally, Nolan Patrick was seen skating but in a different rink and in a red no-contact jersey. Patrick, who has a long history of concussions is out as he took a high-hit from Nathan Mackinnon during the Golden Knights loss a week ago.
Whitecloud looks to be ready and according to head coach Peter DeBoer will return this weekend against the Arizona Coyotes or Colorado Avalanche.
“He has been at it longer and with him, we know exactly what it is. It is healed, it was a bone break, now fully-healed and he’s a full-participant and has been going hard for a while so I would say he will play this weekend,” said DeBoer on Whitecloud.
DeBoer also lists starting goaltender Robin Lehner as day-to-day. This is the third injury Lehner has had this season. Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson have carried the workload in Lehner’s absence.
“I would call him day-to-day so we’ll see. But at the same time, we will see how he is. He has missed a pretty significant amount of time and here and this was the first step today so we will see how quickly to back is an option for a game,” said DeBoer.
It has been over three months since Martinez has last played a game. He is currently skating in a full-contact jersey after he took a skate to the face in mid-November. DeBoer had no real updates on Martinez other than the fact that he is progressing.
“He feels optimistic out there with our group today so it is all how he responds and if he can build on that tomorrow and the next day. But we are still not in the arena where we are talking about him being available for a game,” said DeBoer.
The Golden Knights will end their current four-day break Friday when they play the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River arena starting at 6:30 pm PST.