When the word injuries and New York Islanders are used in the same sentence, which injury from this season comes to mind? Was it the Ryan Pulock lower-body injury that kept him away from the team and out of the lineup for 12 games? How about Brock Nelson missing nine games (upper body) or Kyle Palmieri (lower body) missing 10 games?
Well, add two more names to that list. Top-line centerman Mathew Barzal sustained an injury against the Los Angeles Kings (lower body) in the 5-2 loss, as did 44-year old defenseman Zdeno Chara (upper body).
Both left the game in the second period and did not return. It is expected that both will be unavailable for Sunday’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks.
As for the players that have missed time this season, Brock Nelson seems to be doing just fine, with 19 goals in 38 games and goals in four of his last five contests. After a slow return, Kyle Palmieri has looked more and more like himself, getting to the gritty areas as he has four goals in his last five games.
Ryan Pulock, who played in his 11th game since returning to the lineup, was asked following Saturday’s loss if he was back to 100-percent.
“Yeah, I’m mean, you know, it takes some time. But no, I feel good enough that I can contribute,” Ryan Pulock said. “I got to find a way to better in that area. And, you know, helped this team win.”
Pulock has struggled the most since returning, but his injury was also the most significant. He also plays, on average, over 20 minutes a night.
Although the Islanders have dealt with injuries this season to key pieces, the Islanders also came into the season with players fresh off off-season surgeries and/or rehabs. And although some of those players have produced, each one of them has not looked like themselves this season.