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Islanders Playoff Updates: Wahlstrom ‘doubtful’ for Game 1, Coliseum close to capacity

Expect veteran Travis Zajac to dress for Game 1 in Boston.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Six
Zajac’s a happy dude.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Islanders winger Oliver Wahlstrom is still “probably doubtful” — which I’m going to say means no chance he plays — for Saturday’s Game 1 of their second-round NHL playoff series with the Boston Bruins.

That and other updates came from various media availabilities Friday, including Barry Trotz (who re-affirmed that Anders Lee has no chance of returning for the postseason).

Wahlstrom is “probably doubtful for tomorrow. But he’s day to day. Still doing some rehab,” Trotz said. That of course means Travis Zajac will likely play after replacing Wahlstrom in Game 6. That’s probably serendipitous for Trotz, who will appreciate having the veteran in the lineup in loud enemy territory.

Coliseum: Ever Closer to Capacity

Also, capacity will continue to grow at Nassau Coliseum, where Games 3 and 4 will take place sometime next week. More sections open up for vaccinated spectators (and their masked unvaccinated children), though the areas behind the benches will remain tarped in accordance with league protocol during the pandemic.

That should bring capacity to close to 12,000, according to an official team announcement.

Barzal and Mayfield

Here are the media availabilities with Mathew Barzal (pretty standard “of course I’m excited” stuff) and Scott Mayfield (answering a question about defending the Bruins with Taylor Hall in the mix). Both were asked about the feeling of playing a series-clincher at the Coliseum.

Mayfield compared the Hall addition to the Bruins with the Penguins adding Jeff Carter. Regarding big games at the Coliseum, he also reflected on his first playoff game, when he was thrown into the Game 6 mix against the Capitals as a rookie way back when:

Mayfield also reflected the conventional wisdom heading into this series: Two similar teams with similar approaches.

On the Bruins’ top line: “Top lines are always set up differently, whether you have a playmaker with a shooter, or all three shooters ... but that line can do a little bit of everything. The big thing for me is they’re never out of a play, so you can never be out of a play. If you’re on the ice, you have to make sure you’re watching them the whole time.”

And finally, on the Isles’ dynasty history that still surrounds the team: “Their banners are everywhere, the practice rink, the locker room...we see all of that stuff, we’re constantly reminded of it. The biggest thing is the fans are so passionate for that time period, we want to try to replicate that for them.”