The Islanders came into their Round 1 series against Washington without the services of defenseman Travis Hamonic, and have since lost Lubomir Visnovsky and Calvin de Haan to injuries.
Now, Michael Grabner could be on the shelf as well.
After appearing in the first two games of the series, Grabner was dropped from the lineup for Game 3 and reported as a healthy scratch — but, according to a report from Austrian news outlet Laola 1, Grabner suffered a groin injury, possibly a hernia, that may require offseason surgery.
The speedy winger has a history of these problems. He underwent sports hernia surgery at the beginning of this year, a procedure that sidelined him for all of October and November (it’s worth noting, however, that surgery was done on Grabner’s left side; the Laola 1 report says this latest injury is on the right.)
The 27-year-old returned to the Isles early December and went on to score eight goals and 13 points in 34 games, and had an assist in his first playoff appearance — a 4-1 Game 1 victory in which Grabner played nearly 13 minutes.
New York is back in action on Saturday at Nassau, trailing the Caps 3-2 in the series and facing elimination for the first time. It seems highly unlikely that Grabner will draw back into the lineup.
Out with the old, in with the new.
That’s the strategy Ottawa will employ this evening as it looks to win its second consecutive game against Montreal and keep the series (currently 3-1 in favor of the Habs) alive — veteran Chris Neil, who played in Games 3 and 4, will be dropped from the lineup in favor of Alex Chiasson, who hasn’t played since Game 2.
Neil, 35, was a non-factor in each of the last two outings, and only played 6:06 in Game 4.
Chiasson, 24, fits with the youth movement that head coach Dave Cameron implemented upon taking the gig from Paul MacLean, and continues to push today; only two Senators in the lineup tonight are over the age of 30 (winger Milan Michalek and goalie Craig Anderson).
Meanwhile, the likes of Curtis Lazar (19 years old), Cody Ceci (21), Mika Zibanejad (21), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (22) and Calder nominee Mark Stone (22) continue to see significant minutes.
Following Winnipeg’s sweep at the hands of Anaheim on Wednesday, head coach Paul Maurice said the club was dealing with as many as eight significant injuries during the playoffs.
Turns out Jacob Trouba had one of them.
Trouba broke his left hand in Game 2 of the opening-round series, per the Winnipeg Sun. The injury will require surgery and sideline the young d-man for approximately 6-8 weeks, ruling him out of potential participation with Team USA at the upcoming World Hockey Championships (May 1-17 in the Czech Republic.)
The 21-year-old struggled over the final three games of the series, so it’s not entirely surprising to hear he was hurt. That said, the nature of the injury is fairly significant — trying to play D with a broken hand? — and Trouba deserves plenty of credit for gutting it out and logging the minutes he did. He skated over 20 in Games 2 and 3 before seeing just 16:15 in the deciding Game 4.
This could partially explain why Trouba was danced around on Emerson Etem’s outrageous solo effort in Wednesday’s loss.
During today’s locker clear-out, captain Andrew Ladd also revealed he’s been playing with a sports hernia. Oh, and here are the rest of the injuries, per head coach Paul Maurice…