Riding a seven-game win streak that admittedly masked a few uninspired performances, the New York Islanders have given themselves some interesting options now that wingers Matt Martin and Tom Kuhnhackl are on injured reserve.
The latest option is Otto Koivula, the big winger-turned-center who impressed all last season at AHL Bridgeport.
Koivula’s recall was announced this morning along with the official IR designations for Martin and Kuhnhackl, who are both initially expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.
Koivula joins Cole Bardreau as current recalls from Bridgeport. Both are capable of playing center or wing — some flexibility here — though they were reportedly alternating at center during this morning’s practice:
#Isles in warmups— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 30, 2019
(Dobson not practicing - out sick; No Leo Komarov yet, either, sick)
The Islanders have been without Jordan Eberle, whose injury prompted the recall of Oliver Wahlstrom. Wahlstrom has performed nicely but his ice time has dipped.
I still wonder if Wahlstrom gets sent down before tomorrow's game due to the ELC slide combined with his ice time. But perhaps the plan could be to play Koivula-Wahlstrom together, which would be pretty interesting.— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) October 30, 2019
The Isles don’t play again until Friday, when a visit by the Tampa Bay Lightning begins a traveling back-to-back and five games in nine days. The AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers, also dealing with injury issues, have three games in three nights this weekend.
If Koivula enters the NHL lineup, Dan has a suggestion for you: