Jordan Eberle, who was injured late in Saturday’s shootout win over the Florida Panthers, is not ready to go today, so the Islanders made a roster move to bring up another potential scoring winger: Casey Cizikas was placed on IR retroactive to Oct. 8, so the Islanders will continue without him (at least for today) and use his roster spot to give Oliver Wahlstrom his NHL debut.
Wahlstrom was officially recalled from AHL Bridgeport this morning.
Looks like he’ll be wearing #26, which was last worn by...
Wahlstrom is 1-2-3 in 4 games for BPT. Guessing this would have been Ho-Sang recalled if he'd not requested the trade and been told not to report to BPT. Cizikas IR retro to 10/8, so he's eligible to come off tomorrow.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) October 14, 2019
Oh yeah, that guy.
What This Means
I asked Trotz if Wahlstrom has chance to stick with #Isles if he performs.— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) October 14, 2019
“We’re going to play the best players.”
Despite the pledges to play the best players, you can just about bet this is only a short callup, an early reward for a prospect who the typically reserved Lou Lamoriello said is “close” to NHL ready toward the end of this year’s training camp.
It’s too early, and the Islanders are too conservative, to imagine a goal or productive game or two turning into something where the Islanders consider sitting average veterans for Wahlstrom as a longer-running answer to their need for offensive punch.
In short, the Islanders like to place players in specific roles: Wahlstrom is filling in for the offensive winger role normally held by Eberle.
But it will still be fun to see, for however long it lasts. And it continues a turnaround for Wahlstrom, who struggled some in the NCAA in part, it seems, because he just wanted to focus on hockey rather than all that other college stuff.
#Isles said he'll put today's lines in a bit of a "blender." So, at some point, expect Oliver Wahlstrom to get some shifts with Mathew Barzal.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 14, 2019
The Opponent: Hangover-ish?
The Blues are coming in to close a four-game road trip that actually finishes with a trip to the White House, where something awkward is certain to happen. Though their record is good (3-1-1), it masks a little shakiness. They opened the season with two at home, an OT loss and a regulation win. On this trip, they won in Toronto and Ottawa but lost Saturday in Montreal; each game on this road trip for the Blues has been leaky on the defensive end.
So we’ll see if the Islanders are an answer to the Blues’ early defensive hiccups, or if the Blues are the team to make the Islanders feel like they can score at will, at least for one afternoon where the frequency of the voices in the crowd will be a little bit higher.