Bits: Islanders Return Ty Wishart to Bridgeport, Wallace Waived; Atlantic Life Daunting

Your Islanders roster moves of the day are minor: Seldom-used winger Tim Wallace was placed on waivers and seldom deployed defenseman Ty Wishart was returned to Bridgeport.

(If I'm reading things right, Wishart's loan does not require waivers because his recall -- which wasn't on emergency basis -- was not long enough. But that's for later CBA-diving.)

This likely means one thing and possibly more: A now-caged Travis Hamonic is more likely to come off IR for Friday, which would mean the Islanders will still have extra defensemen at the NHL level. [Update: One of them, Newsday's Arthur Staple suggests the Islanders may call up a forward for Friday's game.]

Staple also reported Mike Mottau was close to ready the other day, while Aaron Ness' impressive audition continues for now. If there are feelers for any of the Islanders' veteran pending UFA defensemen like Mark Eaton or Milan Jurcina, the Isles will have coverage.

Wallace hadn't played since Feb. 12, with Marty Reasoner's return from IR bumping him. Wishart, well he logged 17:16 in St. Louis and that was that. The Isles don't appear compelled to use him, but given this paper move we'll see how things evolve if any vets are sold or hurt. [Update: Indeed, Michael Fornabaio reports signs of injury recovery progress for guys in Bridgeport, as well as a looming PTO likely to become an AHL deal.]

On to the bits:

With last night's goal, Frans Nielsen now has as many goals (13) as Kyle Okposo and just two fewer than Michael Grabner. That's a problem.

With last night's assist on Nielsen's goal, P.A. Parenteau now has 42 assists, one fewer than Pavel Datsyuk. That's not a problem ... for Parenteau. I get why his agent is tempting him to chase the summer money.

With last night's results, the Islanders' four Atlantic Division foes have the four top point totals in the Eastern Conference. Seriously, a familiar problem.

Of course, only two of those Atlantic teams have higher point totals than the Central's top four teams.

Still, with about a quarter of the season left to go, the Islanders have 10 of their final 22 games against Atlantic opponents. Even tossing schedule rhythm concerns aside -- the Isles have a five-game road trip, and four sets of Saturday/Sunday back-to-backs to go -- that's an imposing schedule that you would think demands a calculating look at their chances. Sell, sell, sell.

Other divisional notes: The Islanders have a winning record against every Southeast team except Florida (0-3). They have a winning record against no Northeastern team except Buffalo (2-1-1 after last night's regulation loss). Their only winning record in the Atlantic is against ... Philadelphia? (also 2-1-1). Carolina and Buffalo are the only Eastern teams with whom the season series are finished, however.

The lone Western Conference opponent still on the docket? The season finale in Columbus April 7. No doubt all NHL eyes will be on that riveting affair.

Islanders/NHL Reading

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