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Game Update: Bailey Scratched, Aho Off IR & In, Salo to Bridgeport

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New York Islanders, Josh Bailey
UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 18: New York Islanders Center Josh Bailey (12) warms up prior to the start of the National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders on January 18, 2021, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

On Friday morning, On Friday morning, New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert shared that there could be lineup changes ahead of their contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The first-year bench boss was unhappy about his team’s effort in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, calling the loss “extremely embarrassing.”.

On Saturday, before the New York Islanders faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders activated defenseman Sebastian Aho off of Injury Reserve. Aho was placed on IR back on Oct. 15 prior to their matchp against the Anaheim Ducks to create a roster spot for Cal Clutterbuck, who started the season on IR.

To make room for Aho’s return, 23-year-old defenseman Robin Salo, who played in the first four contests alongside Scott Mayfield, was sent to Bridgeport (AHL).

Salo is waiver-exempt, and the likelihood he physically leaves the New York Islanders is slim.

This is what we call a good ol’ paper transaction.

In Thursday’s loss to New Jersey, the defensive pairing of Robin Salo and Scott Mayfield was not particularly strong. They played 9:01 as a pair, and while on the ice, the Islanders were outshot 8-1, out-chanced 12-2, and the Devils had 7 high-danger chances.

Salo had two giveaways.

On the season, Salo had two goals in four games and played, on average, 13:56 minutes per night.

Sebastian Aho will make his season debut alongside Mayfield. The 26-year-old defenseman has played 61 career games with New York over the course of three seasons.

That was not the only roster move that Lambert made, as he took out an NHL veteran as well.

Lambert scratched 15-year veteran Josh Bailey, something that former head coach Barry Trotz did twice during the 2021-22 season. Bailey has been held pointless through the team’s first four games and sits three games shy of reaching the 1,000-game milestone.

28-year-old European Nikita Soshnikov, who made the New York Islanders out of training camp and played in the first game of the season on the fourth line, was back in the lineup and skated alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom.

Lambert’s willingness to change his roster and lineups this early in the season proves that he is not messing around. The New York Islanders found themselves in a deep hole early last season, one that they could not get out of. He is doing what he can to make sure that does not happen again in 2022-23.

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