A couple of disappointing losses can erase the we-almost-won-four-in-a-row! feeling really quick, and send people turning to the future or the past (or the FanPosts, of which there are plenty). We'll have a fun history episode from Mark later today -- and he dug into the future with yesterday's prospect report -- but for moment there are pressing injury updates.
In reporting on Bridgeport's win yesterday -- they did manage a fourth consecutive win, though Kevin Poulin's shutout streak is over -- Michael Fornabaio of CTPost.com described how Calvin De Haan was lost for the game and possibly more: "dove to try to break up a play at the Providence blue line and slid all the way behind the goal, pointing to his shoulder."
All we know is CDH will be evaluated today, but if he has another shoulder issue then it adds yet another to the collection of worry dolls, de Haan having had his share of shoulder issues already at this early stage.
So the Islanders are 15th in the East (albeit with games in hand), 26th overall by points percentage, and the only bright spots are John Tavares and the fifth-ranked powerplay, which has a lot to do with Tavares. Two games short of the half-way mark, there's not much that will change much without reinforcements that require ... dealing what they can't afford to deal or a magical prospect call-up whose identity by no means clear.
On the injury front though, Arthur Staple reports in Newsday that concussion brothers Al Montoya and David Ullstrom are scheduled to resume practice today. Alas, neither is a defenseman (Montoya just occasionally bails them out).
Weekend Links: What of Wishart?
- Our recaps of the losses: in Anaheim (blown lead, so sad) and in Phoenix (ugly, but hey Shane Doan).
- Also: Anton Klementyev was suspended for declining an assignment to Idaho of the ECHL. No further updates there. Wonder IF de Haan is hurt for an extended period IF the Isles will reconsider Klementev's assignment. (Times like this are when I remember the misfortune of Mark Katic getting hurt again.)
- FanPost: Joe Conte brings up the if, when and why of potentially cashing Mark Streit in for rebuild chips.
- FanPost: Ozzy's gone here before, but here is his argument for Frans Nielsen, qualified 2nd-line center status. I think people get caught up in 2C/3C way too much, but I stand by: If the Islanders had one Tavares and three Nielsens, they'd be just fine down the middle.
- FanPost: Aaand back on the topic of trades to build for next year and beyond, kcNYI with your first Bobby Ryan package of 2012.
Like I said, when the losses return, people look for new topics to fix this thing. Speaking of:
Ty Wishart gets a lot of focus around here as fans wonder why he wasn't able to win a job in camp and build off last year's 20 games. This may have slipped through the cracks last week, but Fornabaio had a good update on the anniversary of the trade, with interesting insights throughout, including:
"I'm not getting in fights," Wishart said, "but I am using my body a little more. Being harder to play against, that's a big thing for me."
The biggest is skating.
"If he gets another step," Thompson said, "he becomes a true NHLer."
Add that and the other Thompson observations in that article to your Wishart file.
Around the League: Penguin Pain, Arniel Fired
UPDATE: The Blue Jackets have ((finally) fired Scott Arniel.
Oh, and speaking of rebuild talk: Copper & Blue's roundtable on surprises and disappointments from the Oilers' first half.
Penguin Pain: As much as you surely hate the Penguins, is there even the slightest bit of sympathy in your heart for a team losing Jordan Staal and James Neal in addition to Sidney Crosby? That's unreal. Then again, no one cries for the Isles when goalies knees go out and prospects wrench a shoulder (again) or break a pelvis. And of course the Islanders don't face the Penguins again until the end of March.