The Washington Capitals are just a win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup as they will face the Vegas Golden Knights in a crucial Game 5 in Sin City on Thursday night. While the Caps might smile at this, the Vegas crowd will not be pleased to read the concerning news coming out of practice on Wednesday from the Golden Knights' camp.
You've been warned, Knights fans.
According to many NHL insiders and reporters who are currently attending the Golden Knights' practice In Vegas, one of the team's best players is missing from the club's skate on Wednesday afternoon.
As the practice started, no one could spot talented forward William Karlsson, who has recorded seven goals and 15 points in 19 playoff contests already. Karlsson ended on top of the Knights' leader board in the regular season, after he tallied an impressive 43 goals and 78 points in 82 games.
The Vegas fan base, and the rest of the team, are surely hoping that Karlsson is only taking a maintenance day ahead of tomorrow's Game 5, where it will be do or die for the Golden Knights.
It has to be noted that during Game 4 in Washington, Karlsson was the victim of an arkward hit by Capitals defenseman John Carlson. Vegas had its second man-advantage of the night during Monday's Game 4 after a sliding Carlson tripped Karlsson 5:21 into the second period... Who knows, maybe Karlsson is still be shaken up by the collision.
It would be a great loss for the Golden Knights if Karlsson cannot suit up on Thursday night for the fifth game of the Stanley Cup final. The top line of Karlsson, Ryan Reaves and Jonathan Marchessault has seemed to struggle lately, mustering less and less shots between them. However, not having Karlsson in the lineup to create more changes would be quite the important blow for Vegas.
While reporters are expected to ask head coach Gerard Gallant about Karlsson's absence during today's practice, it has become clear that both coaches are keeping their game lineups and potential injuries totally secret. The media members will do their jobs and ask, however, no one is expecting a clear answer on what is going on with Karlsson at this point in time.