Wednesday’s lineup looked very different for SKA St.Petersburg.

SKA was missing five of their top eight scoring forwards and it turned out to be because of a large amount of the SKA organization contracting the COVID-19 virus. The coaching staff was not present for the game and that meant that family of the owner would be behind the bench.

This is a scary situation over in Russia as they still have an arena full of fans even though one of the teams is having a serious COVID outbreak.

Canucks top prospect Vasili Podkolzin was in the lineup and has not been ruled out of play due to COVID concerns at this point. It does beg the question if the KHL needs to make changes to protect the players’ safety. Up to this point in the season, they have decided to have fans in the arena and continue to travel from city to city for games.

It’s now showing that this decision was a horrible one.

Four teams have had COVID outbreaks just this week and the KHL needs to take the safety of their players more seriously.

The KHL is a big and powerful league and seems to believe that they are above this virus.

Clearly, they are not.

In Canucks fans’ eyes, it’s another big bump in the road for Podkolzin. Though it’s good to see him up in the lineup, this is not the way you wanted to see it happen. He’s a 19-year-old kid who is under complete team control. If this team is going to continue to ignore the virus, Podkolzin’s long term health should be at the forefront of his concerns instead of trying to help SKA win a KHL championship.

We don’t know the long term effects of this virus and I’m not a doctor so I won’t try to act like I know.

What I do know is that this is a scary situation and every time I’m watching KHL games and see an arena full of fans, my skin crawls. We are in a new world with COVID-19 and the KHL is not doing enough to secure the right safety precautions for their players.

It’s really a sad sight to see.