There were more healthy signs for the Golden Knights as they continued their playoff push on Monday.
Defenseman Deryk Engelland was on the ice during the morning skate at City National Arena after sitting out Saturday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Colorado for an unspecified reason. However he was not in the lineup for Monday night’s game against the Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena. He could return Wednesday when the Knights host Arizona.
Forward Oscar Lindberg also participated wearing a red noncontact jersey. It was Lindberg’s first appearance on the ice with the team since he suffered an upper-body injury Feb. 26 against Los Angeles when Kyle Clifford elbowed him to the head and may have triggered a concussion. The team did not reveal the nature or extent of Lindberg’s injury.
“I’ve been following the protocol, riding the bike, increasing the heart rate,” Lindberg said of his recovery routine the past few weeks. “But it’s been good. I hope I’ll be back soon. Whenever the doctors tell me I’m ready.”
Forward Reilly Smith and defenseman Luca Sbisa both skated on their own on Monday. Sbisa has been out since Feb. 27 and has a cast on his right hand while Smith has been sidelined since March 6 with an upper-body injury.
Merrill’s bragging rights
The Knights have seven former college players on their roster. Of the seven, only one has his alma mater in the NCAA Frozen Four which will be played April 5 and 7 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Defenseman Jon Merrill owns the bragging rights in the Knights’ locker room as Michigan has punched its ticket to Xcel Energy Center. Merrill played for the Wolverines from 2010 to 2013. Michigan will face Notre Dame in the semifinals with Ohio State meeting Minnesota-Duluth in the other game.
“It’s nice,” Merrill said of his bragging rights. “But it’s Michigan. It was never in doubt.”
With their schools out, Nate Schmidt and Erik Haula (both Minnesota), Brad Hunt and Zach Whitecloud (Bemidji State), Reilly Smith (Miami, Ohio) and Alex Tuch (Boston College) are all looking for a Frozen Four team to get behind.
Meanwhile, Merrill will also have a team to root for in the Final Four as Michigan’s basketball team is in San Antonio.
“It’s great,” he said. “I think hockey has the better chance, but I hope we get both.”
Station Casinos promotion
The Golden Knights and Station Casinos are teaming up for a monthlong promotion where loyalty card-holders can earn points and win team merchandise and tickets along with free Golden Knights wines every Thursday in April.
The Lucky Puck promotion begins April 2 and runs through April 29.