In “Any Given Sunday,” Al Pacino gives a speech about “a game of inches.” Sometimes that rings quite literally true, such as a moment in the second period between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals.
Mikhail Grabovski was this close to scoring his first career postseason goal. Instead, it bounced harmlessly away, and Braden Holtby was able to freeze the puck shortly afterward:
Keep this moment in mind if Game 6 ends up being a one-goal game, especially if Washington manages to win. The contest remains 1-1 as the third period begins.
The second period also included an interesting moment, as Islanders defenseman Matt Donovan received a 10-minute misconduct during this exchange. Perhaps it was something he said?
“I feel good right now,” Grabovski said on Wednesday. “I’ve had a good three months of skating. I don’t know exactly what the decision is. Personally, I’m ready to go.”
Grabovski, who has missed 28 games, had nine goals and 10 assists in 51 games this season.
He had two assists in seven games of the Maple Leafs first round series with the Boston Bruins in 2013 – his only Stanley Cup playoff experience.
“There’s a real good chance,” Jack Capuano said of Grabovski playing in Game 5. “We’ve got some decisions to make. Does he play in the middle or does he play wing? Those are decisions that we have to sit down this afternoon and go over.
With their opening-round series against the Caps now a best of three, the Islanders look like they’ll get a key lineup piece back for Game 5.
Mikhail Grabovski, who’s missed the final 24 regular-season and all four playoff games with a concussion, declared himself fit to return on Wednesday, one day after the Caps won Game 4 2-1 in OT, evening up the series at two games apiece.
“I feel good right now,” Grabovski said, per NHL.com. “I’ve had a good three months of skating. I don’t know exactly what the decision is. Personally, I’m ready to go, but they need to talk to doctors and the coach, all together about me.”
Isles head coach Jack Capuano hinted that lineup changes will be coming after Tuesday’s loss, and it’s likely that Grabovski will be one of them. The 31-year-old had nine goals and 10 assists in 51 games this year and, the last time he appeared in the playoffs, averaged over 19 minutes a night for Toronto during its opening-round loss to the Bruins in ’13.
“There’s a real good chance,” Capuano said of Grabovski playing in Game 5. “We’ve got some decisions to make. Does he play in the middle or does he play wing? Those are decisions that we have to sit down this afternoon and go over.
Apparently the upper-body injury Mikhail Grabovski suffered thanks to a hit by Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom is fairly serious, as the New York Islanders placed him on IR today.
Here’s video of the hit from Thursday’s impressive Islanders win:
Grabovski, 31, has already dealt with injury issues during his first campaign with the Islanders, so this setback hurts that much more. He’s generated nine goals and 19 points in 51 games, and while that output is disappointing, Grabovski has shown flashes of the player the team was expecting when they handed him a $20 million deal.
The team recalled Kael Mouillierat on an emergency basis to make up for the loss.