On Dec. 23, New York Islanders rookie Simon Holmstrom appeared to suffer a significant knee injury against the Florida Panthers. Helped off the ice after a questionable hit by Sam Bennett, there was concern that the injury could keep the 21-year-old out of the lineup for a good while–possibly the season.
Holmstrom’s injury pic.twitter.com/GOg4SZs8sq
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) December 24, 2022
Seven days later, the Islanders announced that Simon Holmstrom was day-to-day with a lower-body injury and that he was on Injured Reserve retroactively to the 23rd. He was not skating but did return to the ice while the Islanders were on their road trip, which began on New Year’s Day in Seattle.
So, in less than a week and a half, Holmstrom was on the ice preparing for his return, and a little over two weeks later, he was back in the lineup.
After a six-game absence, Holmstrom made his return against the Dallas Stars Tuesday night in a 2-1 shootout loss. He played 12:55 TOI, with one shot on goal on two attempts with a hit and a block alongside Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee.
“I was trying to keep it simple and just to work hard and all that. All the stick handling, all that comes later.”
In his return, Islanders head coach Lane Lambert had this to say about Holmstrom: “I liked his positioning. “He has the ability to make little plays, and we’ve said that right from day one, and I think he’ll continue to grow in that area. I liked his game last night.”
NYI Hockey Now caught up with Holmstrom following Wednesday’s practice to discuss his injury.
The moment Holmstrom hit the ice, and the longer he stayed down, the higher the concern level got. Holmstrom had been a strong addition to the Islanders after being recalled to fill Kyle Palmieri’s spot in the lineup, and another injury to a key player was not what the doctor ordered.
But the Islanders and Holmstrom got very lucky that the injury looked way worse than it actually was.
“Yeah, I mean, I got very lucky with that, and I’m just very thankful that it wasn’t worse,” Holmstrom said.
“When it happened, I didn’t really know what happened, to be honest. I just felt something against my knee, and that was kind of it, but I looked back…it looked like a pretty bad knee hit.”
Holmstrom did not watch the replay immediately or even the next day, as it wasn’t a pretty sequence to watch.
“I saw the replay a couple of days later. I didn’t want to really look at it because it doesn’t matter,” Holmstrom said. “Right when I got off the ice, I just started to do treatment on it.”
“I was on the ice…I don’t know exactly when, but it was a couple of days before they got back, and has been skating since then,” Holmstrom said.
Simon Holmstrom said he does feel good, and with him back in the lineup and Palmieri getting close, the New York Islanders are getting key players back at the right time. The question is, when everyone is healthy, who comes out?
That’s a topic for another day.