When the National Hockey League released its updated list of players who are unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols as of March 11, Marc-Andre Fleury’s name was on it.
Fleury started last night’s game against the Minnesota Wild, a 4-3 loss; he stopped 25 of 29 shots in 48:21 before getting pulled, but he remained on the bench for the rest of the game.
It’s not yet known how long Fleury will be sidelined.
Needless to say, this is a major blow to the Golden Knights.
Though it doesn’t necessarily mean Fleury has tested positive for COVID-19, it’s very unfortunate timing as Vegas has a back-to-back set against the St. Louis Blues tomorrow and Saturday. Vegas holds a one-point edge over St. Louis in the standings.
Fleury has been the Knights’ MVP all year and is in the midst of a Vezina-caliber season. Through 17 starts, he has 12 wins, a 1.73 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Among goalies who have started at least five games, Fleury leads in goals-against average and save percentage; he is third in wins and first in shutouts (4).
Robin Lehner, who hasn’t started a game in more than a month, began a conditioning stint with the Henderson Silver Knights today. Logan Thompson made his NHL debut in the late stages of last night’s game against Minnesota, stopping two shots in 8:15 of action before getting pulled for the extra attacker.
Assuming Lehner is unable to go tomorrow, Vegas likely will be forced to use a tandem of Thompson and Oskar Dansk, who have a combined seven games of NHL experience. Dansk is currently with Henderson but could be recalled and join the Knights in St. Louis. Dansk got the nod in Vegas’ March 5 contest against San Jose, earning his first win since 2017.
The Knights also are without Alex Pietrangelo, who is out “for the foreseeable future” after suffering an apparent wrist injury against San Jose.
Fleury is the third member of the Golden Knights to enter COVID protocol this season, joining Pietrangelo and Tomas Nosek.