While we aren’t dealing with long quarantine lists or vast schedule changes, every once in a while hockey fans are reminded of how the last two seasons played out. Today, Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette has been placed in the COVID protocol, meaning he will not be behind the bench tonight or Sunday. In his place, assistant coach Kevin McCarthy will serve as interim head coach.
Laviolette passed Alain Vigneault for eighth on the all-time wins list earlier this season and is currently tied with him in total games coached at 1,363. Should he make it through this full season with Washington, the veteran coach will climb the all-time board, passing names like Mike Keenan, Pat Quinn, and Ron Wilson.
McCarthy, meanwhile, will finally get a chance – short as it is – to be a head coach in the league. The former NHL defenseman has been an assistant in the league for decades, going back to the Hartford Whalers in 1992. He’s been Laviolette’s right-hand man for a long (long) time, and certainly won’t be overwhelmed by the moment.
The Capitals take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in both games of a home-and-home.