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Mathew Barzal Attends Islanders Practice, Watches From Stands



New York Islanders Mathew Barzal (Photo courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)
New York Islanders Mathew Barzal (Photo courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

Since New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal went down with a lower-body injury against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 18, there’s been little to no news regarding his status.

Initially listed as out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, it quickly became a week-to-week diagnostic. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Tuesday night in Minnesota that there was no update on Barzal’s status.

Here’s a replay of Craig Smith’s hit on Barzal:

Could Barzal return to the lineup in a few weeks? Would he be able to return during the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Islanders qualify?

Would Barzal be ready for next year’s training camp?

There was a lot of uncertainty, and there still is.

But for the first time since the injury, Mathew Barzal took in an Islanders practice from the stands at Northwell Ice Center Thursday.

There’s no picture or video proof, as trying that would have been severely frowned upon, so you will have to take my word on it.

Dressed up in baggy sweatpants with a beanie, there was no way to know if he was wearing a brace on his right leg or not if a brace was even needed in the first place.

He wandered around a bit with no signs of crutches or a limp, something that Newsday’s Andrew Gross said he saw a week ago.

Since Mathew Barzal went down, the Islanders have gone 3-1-1. His teammates have stepped up in his absence, putting together consistent sixty-minute efforts.

“We’re just continuing to coach on a daily basis. We’ve made a couple of adjustments, which, whether he was in the lineup or not in the lineup, we would have made,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “It’s evolving every day in terms of some of the adjustments you can make.”

“So, guys have done a real good job of taking those in and responding to them and putting them into play.”

In Barzal’s absence, there’s been a rotating of players in his spot alongside Bo Horvat, the latest being newcomer Pierre Engvall.

The New York Islanders currently sit in the top wild-card spot in the East with 70 points but have played the most games in the NHL, with 64, so it will be a dogfight until the end with a handful of teams in the race.

New York is not better with Mathew Barzal out of the lineup and will need him back as soon as he is ready if they are going to get to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and do some damage.


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