First, I must apologise. Je suis désolé. Es tut mir Leid. Olen pahoillani. I think I might have cursed the two young Czech RWs yesterday by being excited that they were back. Well, they’re back in Boston and they skated and then…
David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase are unfit to participate, per Bruce Cassidy. Both skated yesterday.
— Fluto Shinzawa (@FlutoShinzawa) July 16, 2020
Now, I know what you’re thinking: they tested positive for COVID. It could be that or it could many other things. Remember, right now, all anyone is allowed to say is that a player is “unfit to participate” without elaboration. So, let’s try to think of other things that could be the culprit:
- Either of the players could have failed the first and/ or second temperature check of the day. The minimum reading to trigger an absence is only 99.5 F (37.5 C) which is considered a low grade temperature. Many different things can cause a person to fluctuate in temperature including various illnesses, hormonal changes, and quite frankly, skin exposure to a heat source. Taking a temp too soon after a shower can cause it to bear a higher than normal reading as well. Another thing to bear in mind is that 98.6 F (37 C) is only an average temperature for humans; some tend to run higher and others lower than that number. For instance, I tend to run at 97.5 F (36.4 C) and feel feverish at 98.6. Everyone is different and temperatures can be misread, taken at the wrong time, and be affected by other factors.
- Either of the players could have had some other symptoms that caused to be held back. The symptoms of COVID-19 are so similar to other illness, some caused by other coronaviruses, and are actually downright common. Those are: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Almost all of these are common symptoms for colds, for overworking muscles, heck, even for allergies. So, we won’t know for sure right now.
- The players might be waiting for test results. Before they could even get on the ice, Kase and Pastrnak would both have had to pass physical examinations along with 2 COVID tests taken 24 hours apart. Sure, they completed their quarantine period, took the tests, but would also be subjected to more tests as all players are tested every other day. But, they may need to pass another test and sometimes those results take longer than 24 hours.
- The players may have tweaked something during practice. I know, I know, probably not likely, but after months of less conditioning than normal, maybe they might have had a physical problem. Tuukka left after 15 minutes of yesterday’s practice (more on that later), so an issue like that could arise.
I’m sure there are other possibilities. I guess we just have to remain positive right now.
Bruce Cassidy expects that they’ll be back in time for game play in the round robin. But he’s also preparing for a worst-case scenarios by using Anders Bjork and Jack Studnicka in place of Pasta and Kase.
As for Tuukka, it’s suspected that he got hit by a puck in a less-padded area and it might still be bothering him. Cassidy seemed to think it was a minor bump and bruise situation as no one came right away to talk to him.
Let’s hope that everything will be normal after the weekend.
Also, one more thing: severe storms have hit Edmonton. Rogers Place, the newish downtown arena where the Oilers play and the Western Conference bubble, is under water.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 17, 2020
So, I wonder how this will be handled?