The pause button has been pressed on the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season due to the Coronavirus, although there could be a hidden benefit for the Vegas Golden Knights.
It was announced on Thursday that the NHL, along with a bevy of other professional sports leagues and events, were shutting down for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing concern caused by COVID-19, meaning that the Vegas Golden Knights were also pressing pause on their season.
Sports the world over have come to a temporary stop as we all continue to come to grip with a crisis that is far more serious than first thought.
However, we at Vegas Hockey Knight have vowed to continue to bring you the best Vegas Golden Knights coverage possible throughout this hiatus, no matter how long it lasts.
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And, if the regular season or the playoffs do indeed return or take place this year, then this current break could pay dividends for the Golden Knights.
After all, Vegas is somewhat banged up at the moment with a handful of big-hitters currently out of action.
Cody Glass is done for the year after undergoing surgery on his knee and, if that wasn’t a big enough of a blow, then the Golden Knights also lost both Chandler Stephens and Max Pacioretty to injury this week in what was another punch to the gut.
The Pacioretty injury, which was projected to be week-to-week, would have been an absolute wrecking ball to the Golden Knights’ hopes of finishing strong down the stretch.
However, with the NHL on a hiatus for the foreseeable, the Golden Knights could well benefit hugely given that they would get back some, if not all of their big hitters for either the return of the regular season or the postseason.
Let’s dive into exactly who will benefit from this pause on the 2019-20 regular season…
Currently week-to-week with a lower-body injury, Mark Stone has missed six games although there was hope this week that the elite forward could return before the end of the regular season.
With that in mind, if the NHL was to resume its regular season in a few weeks or jump straight into the playoffs, then Stone would almost certainly be ready to go.
Which is huge news.
After all, Stone was carving out another impressive year with 21 goals and 42 assists for 63 points through 65 games, in addition to 51 blocked shots, 56 hits and 78 takeaways.
So, if hockey does indeed return this year then the Golden Knights will be one of the teams to benefit the most from this break given that they will be getting one of the best two-way forwards in the game back at the most important time of the year.
The Vegas Golden Knights were dealt an almighty body blow at the start of the week when it was announced that forward Max Pacioretty was week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
Given just how good Pacioretty has been this year, and he has been stellar, this could have been disastrous for the Golden Knights, especially if it continued into the postseason.
Through 71 games, Pacioretty leads Vegas in points with 66 (32 goals, 34 assists), just two points away from setting a new career-high.
There is no doubt that the veteran was arguably playing some of the best hockey of his career this year, and his loss would have been crippling for the Knights especially with Mark Stone out too.
However, Pacioretty now has the chance to heal and get back to his best ready for when or if hockey returns this year.
Out with a wrist injury, Chandler Stephenson only missed one game and was expected to be available to play against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
As a result, Stephenson will now have at least a few weeks to focus on making sure the wrist is 100 percent so he’s ready and raring to go for when hockey does return, whenever that may be.
This has been a tough injury-ravaged year for Alex Tuch.
Having missed the start of the regular season due to injury, Tuch has been hindered by a slew of ailments thoughout the year.
And, having suffered a setback in his recovery from an injury that has kept him out since Feb. 13, the odds of returning for the remainder of the regular season looked bleak for the forward.
However, with the NHL now on pause, Tuch has the opportunity now to really recover and heal and start to get himself ready for the postseason should the playoffs still go ahead.
That would be a huge boost for the Golden Knights despite the fact that Tuch has endured a rough year, posting just 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 42 games.
But, with depth crucial for a long run in the postseason, Tuch being healthy and available would help the Vegas Golden Knights immensely.