Five Reasons the Islanders Could Miss the Playoffs

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Jan 29, 2014; New York City, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (11) skates with the puck against New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) during the Stadium Series hockey game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

1.Lubomir Visnovsky’s Concussion Problems Return 

Lubomir Vsnovsky is a huge part of the Islanders defense, and that was quite apparent last year when he got hurt. Last season,when Visnovsky went down with a concussion on October 19th, the effect was immediately felt. Without Viz, Andrew Macdonald was left to run the powerplay and did this just about as well as he did everything else on the ice last season (not well). The Isles powerplay quarterback missed 58 games last year and this, coupled with the Isles laughable goaltending kept them out of the playoffs.

At this point, you have to take a look at Visnovsky and just call it like it is: you can’t count on him for much. He’s 38 years old and has had many concussions in his career, including two last season. If Visnovsky plays a majority of the season that would be great, but you can’t expect that. I also do not see a legitimate replacement for him at the point on the powerplay, which could cause trouble for the Islanders if Viz is out for any extended period of time. I do not think the likes of T.J. Brenan and Calvin de Haan will cut it on the point.  If Lubo goes down and no one steps up, it could cause trouble for New York.

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