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Islanders Gameday News: Bortuzzo to IR, Appleby recalled after Varlamov injury

The western swing continues, minus a couple of bodies from the Colorado loss.

New York Islanders v Arizona Coyotes
I’m going back to college, college, college...
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Islanders are in Arizona and there will be forced changes for tonight vs. the Coyotes.

As expected after seeing them leave Tuesday’s game in Colorado, Robert Bortuzzo is out — placed on IR — and Ken Appleby has been recalled to likely backup Ilya Sorokin after Semyon Varlamov left the game with an injury.

The injury is a real bummer for Bortuzzo, a 34-year-old pending UFA who welcomed the trade because he was toiling as a seldom-used seventh defenseman in St. Louis. Clearly his priority is to rebuild his value for another NHL contract, which a long layoff won’t help. Still, maybe he’s shown enough for someone to make him their Matt Carkner.

Anyway, it’s a 9:00 p.m. EST start in Arizona tonight. Leave your FIG Picks for tonight here.

Islanders News

  • Previewing tonight: “The Coyotes are competitive this year...” [Isles]
  • Aww yeah: Talkin’ Isles talks to Dave Scatchard, one of those lovable and effective PK types whose worth was not properly reflected in EA Sports games, but I’d force him into my line rotation anyway, out of appreciation for his real-world self. [Isles]
  • The reason the Isles are still in the hunt despite a porous defense and blown leads is their offense has been (surprisingly, some would argue) productive. [THN]
  • Colorado’s coach noticed the difference: Higher danger at both ends of the ice. [Post]
  • These Islanders must not repeat the swoon of January 2023. [THN]
  • Going to the game next Thursday? Bring three coats to donate and get two ticket vouchers to a future game. [Isles]


Last night’s scores include the Devils doubling up the Capitals in Max Pacioretty’s debut for Washington. Think he’ll out score Ovechkin this year? The other game was the Leafs squeaking by the Ducks in OT despite Anaheim’s goalie stopping 55 shots.

  • The Coyotes will be without Jason Zucker tonight; he’s suspended three games for this retaliatory check from behind. [NHL Player Safety video | ESPN]
  • Though Ilya Samsonov is officially assigned to the Leafs’ AHL affiliate, he’ll not be playing there; instead he’s taking time away for a “mental reset.” [NHL]
  • The Wild’s Jared Spurgeon, who should be an Islander, is back on IR. [TSN]
  • Connor McDavid’s fifth-fastest-ever sprint to 900 points is “mind-boggling.” [NHL]
  • On some different rules approaches in the PWHL, including a three-point standings system, and suggestions for changes on faceoffs. [Sportsnet]