In Lane Lambert’s recently intensified effort to get the Islanders to adhere to the desired defensive structure, it has emerged that Pierre Engvall is to be a healthy scratch for tonight’s meeting with the Bruins in Boston.
It’s one of those, “Hey, that guy’s scratchable” statement moves after Engvall had a costly turnover and sat a bit in their loss to the Wild. It’s also probably convenient — Lambert might feel a bit of grit is more important than speed against the Bruins, who are led by one of the league’s most persistently dirty players.
Bo Horvat was a gameday injury question mark, having missed the last game, so Engvall’s scratch plus Horvat staying out would mean Julien Gauthier would slot in.
This will be a stiff challenge for the Islanders and it’s likely to end in more disappointment and hand-wringing from a fanbase that is losing its patience. The Bruins are 10-1-1 and, despite losing key centers to retirement, it seems nothing can stop them except the first round of the playoffs.
Enjoy the game, if you can.