Paul Stastny is done shopping for gifts for his wife and children. He even picked up some presents during the Golden Knights recent road trip to New York.
Now comes the tricky part.
“(I’m) not done with my Christmas wrapping,” said Stastny, who has four boxes left to wrap . “Which is the hard part. Very hard to do actually. That’s the part that stresses me out.”
The center wasn’t the only one thinking about last-minute holiday preparations as the Knights began a three-day break following Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Defenseman Nick Holden admitted his wrapping isn’t done either.
“That’s usually a Dec. 24 thing,” Holden said. “You panic and rush and wrap everything last-minute.”
The two better get a move on before Tuesday. Their children, and center William Karlsson, are expecting a visit from Santa Claus.
“He’s real,” Karlsson said. “Now we’ve established that.”
Pirri heads to Chicago
The Knights sent forward Brandon Pirri to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves after Sunday’s loss.
Pirri, the AHL’s top scorer, was called up Dec. 19 when the Knights placed winger Max Pacioretty on injured reserve. The 27-year-old played on the second line and second power-play unit during his three-game stint and scored four points (three goals, one assist).
Pirri has seven points in five career games with the Knights.
Schedule easing up
The Knights enter their three-day holiday break after playing 39 games, tied with the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks for the most in the NHL. Their 22 road games also lead the league.
That means the Knights post-holiday schedule is more home-heavy and spaced out. After playing 39 games in 81 days, the team closes the regular season with 43 games over 104 days.
“It was a grind. There’s no doubt about it,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’re through the worst part of it. We had a lot of injuries in that time because of the schedule. We’ll be fine. We’re getting healthy, and we’ve been playing pretty good hockey lately. I’m happy the worst part’s over.”
Stastny finding rhythm
Stastny believes that for every week you miss with an injury, it takes an equal amount of time to get up to speed.
So the 32-year-old isn’t all the way back since missing more than nine weeks with a lower-body injury, but he’s feeling better six games into his return.
“I’m almost there,” said Stastny, who has three points since rejoining the lineup. “Every game I feel better, my body feels better. Sometimes a little sore the next day but that’s to be expected. I’m just happy to be out there.”
Fans can buy an Anti-Resolution Ticket Bundle for the Knights game against the Kings on Jan. 1. The package includes a game ticket, hot dog and soda voucher and starts at $65 per ticket.
Fans who purchase at least four tickets through the promotion will receive a five-pack of Knights-branded cigars.
Odds and ends
■ Defenseman Colin Miller missed his third straight game with an undisclosed injury.
■ The Knights honored referee Wes McCauley, who officiated his 1,000 NHL game Sunday, before the national anthem. McCauley skated for the Las Vegas Thunder during his playing career.
What some Knights wish for this holiday season
— Pierre-Edouard Bellemare: Continued health for his family
— William Carrier: A new set of shoulderpads
— William Karlsson: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch
— Jonathan Marchessault: Time with his family
— Paul Stastny: Something to pick up his kids’ toys
— Alex Tuch: New charger