TEMPE, AZ– After two off days, the New York Islanders held a practice at Mullet Arena, the new home of the Arizona Coyotes. Everyone was accounted for, besides defenseman Adam Pelech, who remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Ilya Sorokin was in the starters’ crease at practice and was the first goaltender off.
Here were the Islanders’ lines at practice:
Anders Lee-Mat Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Josh Bailey-Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck
Robin Salo-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
Following practice, New York Islanders Lane Lambert provided updates on his injured players.
To start, Adam Pelech did not make the trip to Arizona.
“When he’s here, you will see him on the ice.”
After practice, the Islanders announced that Pelech had been placed on IR retroactive to Dec. 6, the date of his injury. That creates a roster spot for Kyle Palmieri to be activated off IR.
Palmieri has missed the last 10 games, Lambert’s liked what he has seen from him over the last few days of practice.
“You know, he’s skating well. I thought he had a pretty good practice today, so that’s what I’ve seen from him.”
Both Palmieri and Anthony Beauvillier will be game-time decisions Friday night, the same status as the other night.
Given their participation in line rushes, which they did not partake in on Monday, it’s likely that both return to the lineup.
Netminder Ilya Sorokin left practice early but did return. The same also happened during Monday’s practice.
Sorokin told NYI Hockey Now that it was an equipment issue. Take that as you may. The flu is going around.
Islanders Share First Impressions of Mullet Arena
For the first time, the New York Islanders skated on Mullet Arena ice, the home of the Arizona Sun Devils, and now the Coyotes for the next few years. The arena holds 5,000 fans, as it will be a loud event when the puck drops Friday night.
All the players we spoke to shared that they were excited about the game and how loud and packed it will be. They also stated that the ice was pretty good for the most part, but it got snowy at the end.
Unlike at practice, the Zamboni will fix the ice between periods, which should eliminate that issue.
The Islanders have a handful of players who played college hockey, with others playing juniors. Mullet Arena brings back some memories.
“This arena is not too dissimilar from Compton,” Notre Dame alumni and current Islanders captain Anders Lee told NYI Hockey Now. “So they did a great job with it, and you know, I’m sure the amenities are phenomenal for the student-athletes.
“It’s always fun to come back and play in an environment like this.”
Brock Nelson, who played at the University of North Dakota, is excited about the opportunity to skate on a college surface again.
“I was just saying that we probably have a different view and stance on the rink and the facility and setup,” Nelson said. “It’s a great college. I think it looks like it’ll be an awesome place with a packed house and fans and students. I think it will be a pretty rockin’ place. So yeah, maybe not as good as the one Zach and I got to play at, but it’s nice.”
Zach Parise, as one could infer, also played at North Dakota.
For players that did not play college hockey, like Matt Martin, he shared that it felt like a junior’s rink. Martin played his junior career with the Sarnia Sting (OHL).
“It reminds me of some of the junior rinks we played in, and I imagine a pretty nice college, so it’s cool,” Martin told NYI Hockey Now. “We’ll have fun tomorrow. It’s gonna be obviously kind of a tight environment…probably pretty loud.”
Robin Salo felt that the rink reminded him of his hometown rinks.
“It feels like I’m back home again,” Salo told NYI Hockey Now. “It’s kind of similar to European rinks or rinks back home in Finland. So yeah, I mean, it brings back memories.”