If "injuries are no excuse" for losing then they shouldn't be a reason for winning. But no sense turning down the gift when it presents itself.
After benefiting from the Logan Couture injury and an in-game injury to Paul Martin during last Saturday's win over the San Jose Sharks, the New York Islanders see two more physically hurting* opponents this weekend.
*And no, that's not a reference to innocent headshot artist Zac Rinaldo!
First up, on Friday the Isles host the Boston Bruins, who have reportedly had the flu bug -- or at least anxious fears of it -- going around after Joe Morrow was sideswiped by it to the tune of 10 lbs. Matt Beleskey has also missed games with an upper body injury, though he at least skated in line rushes at Friday's morning skate. (Whether he's in or was just temporarily filling the spot of Patrice Bergeron, who was with his newborn but will play tonight, is news for closer to game time.)
But really, it's not so much that the Bruins are wounded in health as they are in depth. They are relying on some young players that have the proverbial "good young player, bad young defender" tag attached to them. From the Globe:
The trouble is that Pastrnak has company when it comes to being unreliable. There are too many trick-or-treat players for Julien to hide. On every shift, there are players who could do good things or implode.
Ryan Spooner can work magic on the power play. Or he can hook Michael Del Zotto in overtime. Zac Rinaldo can create a scoring chance. Or he can light up former teammate Sean Couturier and put his team down a man for five minutes.
Amid the struggles have been poor numbers and bounces for "when you suck, you suck" Tuukka Rask, who appears to be the backup tonight in favor of Jonas Gustavsson.
The Isles will have the same lineup they've had for three of their four consecutive wins, with Jaroslav Halak in goal. (Coming back from injury, he was the only change during this run.)
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues, whom the Isles visit on Saturday night, have a growing list of injuries that have put a hiccup in an otherwise hot start:
- They've been without Kevin Shattenkirk (groin) the last four games.
- They lost their top center in Paul Stastny due to a broken foot three games ago.
- Promising rookie Robby Fabbri has been out with a concussion, but could return this weekend.
- The latest blow came Friday morning, when Jaden Schwartz was taken to the hospital after a crash into the net in the first drill of practice.
Bad fortune has found these next two opponents of the Islanders, who themselves have had -- KNOCK ON WOOD -- decent health so far. When fortune smiles upon you, make the most of it.