After tallying points in 10 straight games, the New York Islanders have lost two games and their leading point scorer.
Arthur Staple of Newsday Sports has reported that Kyle Okposo will be out for at least the Islanders’ next two games:
The Islanders have made no indications as to what lower-body injury is “nagging” Okposo, so we may find out more later. Okposo has 26 points in 33 games for the Islanders and in his absence Anders Lee will slide up to the first line and Ryan Strome to the second.
As a short term loss, this isn’t the end of the world. The team’s next two games are out of conference (Arizona and Anaheim) and they have one of the deepest group of forwards in the entire NHL. By missing the next two games, Okposo will also get an extra-long break to heal. With these being the final two games before Christmas, Okposo gets a full nine days of rest before the next time he might suit up.
What remains unclear in Okposo’s absence is the team’s first power play unit.
It’s more than likely that Lee slides up to the first unit just like on the regular lines. He plays the same position on the second unit and won’t change the dynamic too much. However, it could be interesting to see if the coaches decide to give Strome a shot on the top power play.
Normally, Strome plays D on the second power play unit, but he has outperformed Lee overall in their time on the man advantage. Strome has the same amount of points as Lee (4) in less than half the minutes played at 5 on 4.
Whoever fills the hole, we hope it’s not for long.