The San Jose Sharks will have to wait a little bit longer before facing their newest and shiniest rivals, as their upcoming two-game series has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols on the Vegas Golden Knights. Per the NHL, three coaches and one player on the team are currently in isolation.
On Wednesday, a positive test among the coaching staff caused the Golden Knights to close their practice facility, City National Arena, and isolate the entire coaching staff. General manager Kelly McCrimmon served as an acting head coach, along with support staff from their new AHL affiliate, the Henderson Silver Knights, while the Golden Knights faced the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
The second game of that series was set to take place on Thursday, but defender Alex Pietrangelo was added to the COVID-19 protocol list that morning, along with two additional coaches (one of whom had a positive test). That doesn’t necessarily mean Pietrangelo had a positive test — players and staff can land on the protocol list through contact tracing and it’s possible to have a false positive — but it does mean he is not allowed to travel, play or practice with the team.
As a safety measure, the rematch against the Blues was postponed, and it was likely that because of the compressed schedule, their series against the Sharks would be in question. That series was schedule for February 1 and 3, and would take place at the Arizona Coyotes’ Gila River Arena, due to public health restrictions in Santa Clara County. A limited number of Glendale-local Sharks fans would have been permitted to purchase tickets to the games.
Now, the Sharks will get a few days off and those games will be rescheduled to take place in San Jose — albeit likely without fans in attendance.
The team is probably welcoming the break, having played every other night since the season began on Jan 14, on the road the entire time. The result has been just one regulation win, a 3-5-0 record and last place in the new West Division.
As for when the Sharks will return, they face off against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 5 and 6. They’ll now start February with six-straight games of California teams.