The New York Islanders have made an interesting roster move today, one that should not be taken lightly among the Islander faithful. They have called up goaltender Kevin Poulin on an emergency basis.
Poulin will serve as the backup to Chad Johnson tonight as the Isles take on the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens.
Earlier in the day coach Jack Capuano announced that Jaroslav Halak would not be playing tonight, deeming the decision to sit his number one goaltender as a ‘maintenance day’ for Halak. The second straight ‘maintenance day’ for the Slovakian, as he was held out of practice yesterday as well.
Halak has been carrying the load for the Islanders over the past month, starting nine of the Isles last ten games, including back-to-back games last weekend against the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, both of which were Islander victories.
The decision to call up Poulin means that there is at least something more pressing than Halak simply needing a day. If it was a case of Halak deserving a day off, the Isles could have let him serve as the back-up tonight, and regardless of the performance of Johnson allow the backup to play the entire game. Barring injury to Johnson, Halak would have recieved his maintenance day without the team needing to recall Poulin.
Poulin’s presence means that Halak is unable to play, at all, even in an emergency situation. This does not mean that fans of the Orange and Blue should panic, or assume the worst, but it does make you question the wisdom of playing Halak back-to-back this weekend (oh wait, I already did that).
Poulin has been solid between the pipes for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, posting a 9-6-1 record with a 2.54 goals against average and a .924 save percentage.