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Islanders Notebook: Injury Updates, The Duo, Varlamov’s Play & The Return of Greiss

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Casey Cizikas

If you did not think the New York Islanders were busy on Trade Deadline Day this past Monday, buckle up because the New York Islanders had news of their own on Thursday. Defenseman Scott Mayfield will be out four-to-six weeks, likely the rest of the season. Forward Cal Clutterbuck will miss the remainder of the season as he will undergo shoulder surgery.

Forwards Mathew Barzal and Oliver Wahlstrom have played six games together and their chemistry is growing. Despite the lack of goals, they have been a dangerous duo, and the “defensive issues” that many thought they would have, have been non-existent.

The New York Islanders get to see an old friend on Thursday night as Thomas Greiss gets the start for the Detroit Red Wings. This will be Greiss’s first game back on Long Island since signing with Detroit following the 2019-20 season. Greiss had a major impact on the Islanders franchise.

Here’s the latest stories in Thursday’s Islanders Notebook.

Injury Report

The New York Islanders were hit with some awful news as not only will Scott Mayfield miss the next four to six weeks with a lower-body injury after blocking a shot Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, but also that Cal Clutterbuck is out for the remainder of the season as he will undergo shoulder surgery.

Cal Clutterbuck was given a two-year extension on Monday, but had been banged up and has missed the last two contests.

These are two players that had played strong hockey for the Islanders this season and it’s yet another tough break for the Islanders in 2021-22.

“Well, they’re very important.  I mean, you know, this is the National Hockey League. Guys are gonna go down and just, you know it’s got to be the next man up mentality, which is opportunities for other guys,” New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said.” But they’re both big pieces in our room, both big pieces, especially on the penalty kill and late-game situations, defensive situations. Those (two) are as good as we have.”

Quotes from Jean-Gabriel Pageau as well along with what the plan will be going forward: Mayfield Out 4-6 Weeks, Clutterbuck to Miss Rest of Season

Newest Duo Learning Eachother’s Game

Mathew Barzal and Oliver Wahlstrom are two offensively gifted players. And over the last six games, since Barzal returned from a lower-body injury, the two players have skated alongside one another. Despite only one goal to their name, which was scored by Zach Parise, the line has been ultra dangerous.

The Wahlstrom and Barzal duo is one that could be wreaking havoc on the NHL for years to come but right the two are learning each other’s game. Barzal is not an easy player to play with and Wahlstrom is still figuring out what it takes to be an everyday NHLer.

With 21 games remaining, it will be interesting to see how much success the duo has and if it’s a duo that starts next season together.

Quotes from Barry Trotz and Mathew Barzal about the duo: Barzal & Wahlstrom: Defensively Sound, Learning One Another’s Offensive Game

Varlamov’s Game is Back, Deadline Decision

On Tuesday night, New York Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov notched his first shutout of the season in the 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. He turned aside all 24 shots that came his way and his teammates could not be happier for him. This has been a strange year for Semyon Varlamov but despite what’s gone on, general manger Lou Lamoriello elected to hold onto the 33-year old veteran.

Varlamov’s elevated his game over the last little stretch here and if he can continue to play well and continue to mentor Ilya Sorokin and help him grow, the decision to keep him rather than trade him at the deadline would seem like the right choice.

The question is, do the Islanders move him in the offseason?

Quotes from general manager Lou Lamoriello, forward Casey Cizikas, and head coach Barry Trotz on Semyon Varlamov: Is Varlamov Validating Lamoriello’s Deadline Decision?

Greiss Back on the Island, Will Start for Red Wings

When the New York Islanders take the ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, former teammate Thomas Greiss will be in between the pipes for the opposition. Greiss was a member of the New York Islanders from 2015-2020 and won a Jennings Trophy alongside goaltending partner Robin Lehner following the 2018-19 season. That season, Thomas Greiss was 23-14-2, with a .927 SV%, 2.28 GAA and five shutouts.

Greiss has plenty of highlights with the New York Islanders, his biggest save against Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov on a penalty shot, in overtime of Game 5 with the first-round series knotted at two games apiece. That save allowed the Islanders to win in the second overtime, eventually taking the series and advancing to the second round for the first time since 1993.

Here’s quotes from head coach Barry Trotz and former teammate Mat Barzal on what Thomas Greiss meant to the team: Greiss Makes Returns to Long Island, His Best Moments, Franchise Impact

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