The Vegas Golden Knights have had a ridiculous number of injuries early into the 2021-22 season, and the bad luck continued last Thursday when defenceman Alec Martinez had his face cut by a skate.
In all actuality, this situation was somewhat of a lucky one for Martinez as the outcome could have been much worse. Still, he was forced to miss the remainder of the game and has been unable to return since. As a result, the Golden Knights chose to put Alec Martinez on injured reserve on Wednesday night.
There has not been an update from the team on the status of Martinez, so when he is able to return remains unknown. The sooner they can get the 33-year-old back the better, as he is a key part of their back end and had managed 3 assists in 11 games along while averaging just under 20 minutes of ice time per game.
To make matters even worse, the Golden Knights are also missing both Zach Whitecloud and Shea Theodore from the back end, while upfront they are without Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, Evgenii Dadonov, William Karlsson, William Carrier, Nolan Patrick, and Mike Amadio. These injuries have done a number on this team, one which many believed would run away with the Pacific Division this season.
While the loss of Alec Martinez to injured reserve may not be talked about as much as a few other guys out right now, he has arguably as much if not more of an impact on the team. Since being acquired in a trade from the L.A. Kings midway through the 2019-20 season, he has become a very underrated piece in their top four. The 2020-21 season was arguably the best of his 13 seasons thus far, as he recorded 9 goals and 32 points in just 53 games, a truly incredible feat given that he has never recorded 40 points in a season before.
The Golden Knights deserve a ton of credit for how they have battled during these injury troubles. Through 16 games, they have a 9-7-0 record which has them tied with both the Kings and the St. Louis Blues for a wild card position. If they are able to stay alive like this for awhile longer, they should have no problem making the playoffs once they start getting bodies back in the lineup.
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