The New York Islanders are in Chicago as the NHL returns from a three-day no play/practice/travel Christmas break. One bit of news is that Andrew Ladd was returned to Bridgeport.
As for why, Barry Trotz says that’s a question for GM Lou Lamoriello.
In his gameday scrum with media, Trotz came out of the break voicing concern about how the Islanders had been playing heading into the break:
Trotz addresses the media ahead of tonight's game against the Blackhawks. pic.twitter.com/356zohQyAu— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 27, 2019
#Isles Barry Trotz: "I think we started the Christmas break a little early. We’re not playing well, especially at home. (The race), it’s tightened. Any room we had before has gone away. We’ll be in a dogfight until Game 82. That’s what I told the guys. That’s what I expect."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 27, 2019
Also, the Islanders will say hello to an old friend in Robin Lehner:
#Blackhawks G Robin Lehner on facing #Isles tonight: "There’s a few guys there that are not allowed to score."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 27, 2019
...but not to old friend Calvin de Haan who will be out the rest of the season after another shoulder surgery. For more on the Hawks, check out Second City Hockey.
This one is an 8:30 EST start, so look for any lineup specifics later, though with Ladd in Bridgeport we can expect two of Leo Komarov, Tom Kuhnhackl or Ross Johnston to be in. Scott Mayfield should be back in for Noah Dobson after missing Monday’s game with the flu.