Immediate details from New York Islanders practice this morning after the 4-1 loss to the Rangers last night:
- Kyle Okposo didn't skate (sick), but Brett Cyrgalis of the Post says he is expected to be available tomorrow.
- In his spot on the Frans Nielsen line skated Josh Bailey, who has been activated off of suspension...
- ...for which space was created by putting Matt Carkner on IR (groin).
- Oh, and Lubomir Visnovsky, activated yesterday, got his first practice with the team.
Here's his scrum. Some text pulled from tweets below the video:
Visnovsky, via the Islanders:
"I'm very excited to be here. It's a new hockey team and new, young faces and I'm ready to help the Islanders. ... I've spoken with the GM, the coaches and met most of the team...all have been very good to me. I'm just excited."
"I think (people) who know me, who understand me and who got a family, everybody do the same of what I do. For me, it’s family first. ... I try to help my son, my family and I stay a little bit longer at home. Thank you for this organization, they understand. ... everybody excited to like me and everybody thinking I try to help this team. I was surprised."
Wait, wait, wait. You mean, like, hockey players welcomed one of their own because they think he will help the team?! Crazy, right?
Visnovsky is fully initiated to #Isles -- just accidentally drilled DiPietro in the mask with a shot. Rick's ok it seems.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 8, 2013
Kevin Schultz has more at Islanders Point Blank. And check the Post and Newsday for what's filed there, and likely video at the official site.
The Islanders also tweeted Mark Streit's excitement about adding Vis to the powerplay, having another big shot back there. The question is how the pairings will work, if he's in -- and how much time they have to go over integrating him into the powerplay (though based on the last three games, any change is welcome).
Cyrgalis reports that Visnovsky and Bailey are likely to play tomorrow -- he speculates instead of Boulton and Thomas Hickey -- but no doubt the Isles won't make it official until Saturday at the earliest.
Anyway, do the Isles keep Brian Strait with Mark Streit at even strength? Or let Vis work in next to Streit while Strait drops down to a third pair? Or even split up the Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic pairing?
And if Okposo can't go tomorrow -- or if the Isles give him a sit-down -- can we please see Casey Cizikas?
Finally, despite the looming storm, this game is happening: The Sabres altered plans and flew in this morning.
Related to yesterday's bombshell: What should the Bruins do with their new cap space?