Dec 27: Less than a week later, the Golden Knights have announced that Brett Howden and head coach Pete DeBoer are also now unavailable due to the COVID protocol. Vegas is supposed to play the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night.
Dec 21: The Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning are currently still scheduled to play this evening in the final game before the NHL’s holiday break, but not every player will be on the ice. Evgenii Dadonov and Alex Pietrangelo are both unavailable for the Golden Knights tonight due to the league’s COVID protocol.
Losing those two is obviously a huge blow, though the Golden Knights did have Nolan Patrick back at practice in a regular jersey today. Mark Stone also practiced in full. One of those two could potentially enter the lineup for Dadonov if they are ready, but it’s much more difficult to replace Pietrangelo given all that he does for the team.
The 31-year-old has logged almost 26 minutes a night this season for Vegas as the team tries to navigate through COVID absences and injuries, recording 22 points in 31 games in the process. That’s good enough for 10th among all league defenders, just ahead of teammate Shea Theodore who plays an equally important role.
Still, it’s obvious that the NHL wishes to get through as many games as possible before shutting things down for a few days. The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers were set to play each other despite several absences until a number of other positives were revealed today. Whether these two entering the protocol is enough for the league to postpone it remains to be seen. Regardless, Pietrangelo and Dadonov will miss several other contests if they have tested positive and are held out for a minimum of ten days. The Golden Knights are set to resume play on December 27 in the first half of a back-to-back.