An in-game update no one wants to see: The New York Islanders blueline situation heading into the playoffs went from concerning to worse when Travis Hamonic left Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with what looked like a knee injury.
Rushing the puck along the right wing boards, Hamonic took a hip check from Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi. Hamonic was wincing during the hit, and immediately hit the ice. Though he got up under his own power, he left the play and headed straight to the dressing room.
The Isles announced during the game that he would not return, but of course did not disclose the nature of the injury.
With the Islanders playoff spot clinched, the Isles would likely be conservative with the injury anyway, but Hamonic is historically a guy who tries to play through injuries even when he shouldn't. Now, barring an unlikely official prognosis, Isles fans will just have to hope for "day to day" and pray that the five-day gap between Friday and the start of the playoffs is enough time for him to recover.
Hamonic is already part of a defensive pairing that has alarmed Isles fans, since his frequent partner Calvin de Haan has been scratched in favor of Brian Strait. If Hamonic's injury carries into the playoffs, it's quite possible Strait's role will only increase. (On the other hand, it's quite possible de Haan would better carry Strait than Hamonic does, so...)