Peter Laviolette was Peak Lavy ahead of Game One of the Capitals’ first-round series against the Boston Bruins.
After the morning skate, Lavy wouldn’t say who would start in net, he wouldn’t say which injured players were playing, and he wouldn’t answer questions about Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov. The two Russians remained on the NHL’s COVID-19 Unavailability List for a twelfth straight day and were not at practice.
“It’s playoffs,” Laviolette said. “I’m going to keep those things a little closer to the vest. It’s probably not okay, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
Specifically, in regard to Kuznetsov and Samsonov being away from the team, Laviolette said, “I think tomorrow we’ll answer questions in regard to the protocol and them. It’s game day so I think we’re just keeping it to game day. They are not out on the ice right now so I think we will answer those questions tomorrow.”
Kuznetsov and Samsonov were suspended by the team on May 3 for disciplinary issues, placed in COVID protocol the next day, and haven’t been seen or heard of since.
Here’s the entire timeline of events.
|5/1, 10:00 PM||Kuznetsov plays final game, at home vs Pittsburgh|
|5/3, 5:37 PM||Samsonov, Kuznetsov will not play. Team decision. Disciplinary. Late to a team meeting.|
|5/3, 5:39 PM||Samsonov to taxi squad – not announced by @CapitalsPR||@CapitalsPR had previously announced all taxi squad moves (to our best knowledge)|
|5/4, 12:33 PM||Kuznetsov and Samsonov may be suspended by the team for additional games. Lavy: “working through things inside the room.”||This is weird. Typically being late to a team meeting results in a player being benched for one game.|
|5/4, 5:00 PM||Kuznetsov added to NHL COVID-19 Protocol list||It’s Kuzy’s second stint in protocol. In January, he contracted the disease after hanging out maskless in a hotel room with 8, 9, and 30.|
|5/4 9:04 PM||Reports surface that the Capitals may look to move Evgeny Kuznetsov over the offseason|
|5/7 11:33 AM||Laviolette says Samsonov is in protocol too. It’s not reported on NHL media site because he’s on the taxi squad.||It’s Sammy’s second stint in protocol. In January, he contracted the disease after hanging out maskless in a hotel room with 8, 9, and 92.|
|5/7, 2:48 PM||Laviolette declined to put a timeframe on Kuznetsov return|
|5/14, 5:00 PM||Ilya Samsonov added to Capitals postseason roster|
|5/14, 5:00 PM||Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov remain in protocol for eleventh straight day. Samsonov shows up in NHL’s protocol list for first time.|
|5/15, 11:00 AM||Kuznetsov and Samsonov miss practice, Laviolette won’t talk about them|
Earlier in the season, Ovechkin and Orlov, who were in the same hotel room as Kuznetsov and Samsonov but did not contract COVID-19, quarantined for only 10 days. That *suggests* Kuznetsov and Samsonov are either quarantining longer, have had positive cases, contracted coronavirus again, or something else entirely is going on.
As for the Capitals during practice, Laviolette said, “There’s good juice out there. You can feel it.”
But if you want to know any game lineups or information, just call him Peter LavNYET because he’s not revealing anything in the playoffs.
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