One of the many keys to the Islanders success early on this season is that they have stayed relatively healthy, but now it appears that the injury bug has hit the team and in particular their defensive corps. Johnny Boychuk missed last night’s game in Washington with an upper body injury and was replaced by Brian Strait. Both Lubomir Visnovsky and Travis Hamonic also left mid way through the game with injuries.
It was announced today that Johnny Boychuk and Lubomir Visnovsky will both be out of the lineup tonight with upper body injuries and will be replaced by Matt Donovan and Brian Strait. However, Hamonic will play tonight for the Islanders despite injuring his lower leg when blocking a shot last night. Islanders head coach Jack Capuano also said that Donovan will receive some powerplay minutes tonight, with two of the Isles point-men being out.
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Donovan stepped into the lineup quite admirably when both Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan were out on Monday night, as he played in just his first game of the season. It seemed as if he wasn’t rusty at all and didn’t make any of the mistakes that he was prone to making last season. I’m definitely interested to see what he can do when given another shot. Brian Strait, however has not been very good this season. In 13 games this season, Strait is a -4 and has posted just one point. He seems to always be on the ice for goals and always get caught behind the play when he is out there.
Safe to say the Islanders regular defensemen will have their work cut out for them tonight against New Jersey and will have to step up in a big way. It was announced this morning that both Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique will be out tonight for the Devils, which will surely take some stress off of the Isles banged up defensive corps. The Isles take on the New Jersey Devils at the Nassau Coliseum tonight at 7:00 P.M. Coverage of the game can be found on both MSG and MSG+ starting at 6:30.