Maybe the fact that the New York Islanders have already been essentially eliminated from the playoffs is the silver lining for them at this point, because the string of injuries they’ve had to endure would be pretty devastating otherwise.
Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky missed Friday’s practice due to an upper-body injury and forward Kyle Okposo left the ice early with lower-body problems, according to Newsday.
There’s no timetable for Okposo’s recovery yet, but Islanders coach Jack Capuano conceded that they need to be particularly cautious with injuries now that they have nothing left to play for. Even still, Okposo was the last remaining member of the Islanders’ once great first line that also consisted of John Tavares (knee) and Thomas Vanek, who was dealt to Montreal.
For Visnovsky, this is the latest setback for him after he missed 46 games earlier this season with a concussion. He returned on Jan. 27 and has 11 points in 24 games this season.
Like Okposo, there’s no timetable for the 37-year-old blueliner’s return, but he’s doubtful for Sunday’s contest versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”