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Islanders Gameday News [UPDATED]: Penguins beckon, WJC begins, injury updates

Returning from the break, the Islanders finally meet the Penguins.

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New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins
Different directions...
Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

With Christmas on Sunday and the “observed” holiday for many on Monday, hopefully you had some kind of extended time off or will get some time as 2022 winds down.

The New York Islanders and the rest of the NHL had three days and boy, could the Isles use it with so many players nursing injuries.

Those on IR are technically eligible to be reinstated today, so we’re likely to see some news and Bridgeport recalls on that front as the team reconvenes with media and the news of the day breaks.

To recap: Adam Pelech (not close), Cal Clutterbuck, Kyle Palmieri, Casey Cizikas and Semyon Varlamov were all out last game. Ilya Sorokin handled both starts in the back-to-back (a loss to the Rangers, a win over the Panthers), and recent recalls Simon Holmstrom, Hudson Fasching, Aatu Raty and Parker Wotherspoon all performed well.

But to add to those concerns, Holmstrom (knee) and Brock Nelson (head) left Friday’s game with injuries.

UPDATE: At the morning skate, it’s as you might expect. Pelech, Varlamov and Holmstrom out for sure, Palmieri and Clutterbuck skating but still out, the others like Nelson and Cizikas sound good to go.

The Penguins running very hot as the Isles finally meet them for the first of four times (twice more in February, once in March) this season. They’re 8-1-1 in their last 10, and three points ahead of the Isles with two games in hand.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.

Islanders News

  • As noted, the Islanders’ depth is currently being tested. They’re not generally seen to have good organizational depth, but can they get by? [Athletic]
  • This season has had a bizarre up and down nature, and Mike and Dan feel like they’re on the X-Files. [Islanders Anxiety podcast]
  • With that, the Isles are overdue for stringing consecutive wins together. [Newsday]
  • So yes, they need more consistency. Can they attain it? [Newsday]
  • Also: an urgency to acquire a sense of urgency. [Post]
  • Oh yeah, the WJC has also begun. Isles prospects Calle Odelius and Aleksi Malinen are involved. Odelius scored in the opener, but it was Sweden’s 11-0 blowout of Austria, so does that really count? [Isles]
  • With the tournament underway, the official site asked Zach Parise and Oliver Wahlstrom to reflect on their WJC experiences, which were nearly a generation apart. [Isles]
  • Digging back into a story-filled era, Glenn Healy and Patrick Flatley discuss their time and tales from late ‘80s and early ‘90s with Ray Ferraro. [Ray & Dregs Podcast]
  • Recalling the infamous Islanders holiday album, which of course was an idea that originated with Clark Gillies. [Isles]
  • On the latest “Questions and Isles,” many players prefer lake to beach. Good Canadian boys. [Isles]


No NHL scores over the weekend. League-wide break.

  • The break is over, but postponements continue. The Sabres’ game in Columbus is postponed due to the team’s travel prevented by the deadly blizzard. [TSN]
  • At least Nelson didn’t end up in the hospital. That’s what happened to John Carlson after a slapshot to the head, but he’s out of the hospital now. [Sportsnet]
  • Nicklas Backstrom talks about riding shotgun in Alex Ovechkin’s long march to pass Gordie Howe on the all-time goals list. [NHL]
  • It’s been a fine story with Martin St. Louis and all that, but the Canadiens are piling up losses so he’s had to interrupt being Mr. Nice Guy. [Sportsnet]