The New York Islanders have recalled forwards Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows from their taxi squad prior to tonight’s clash with the Washington Capitals, according to Arthur Staple of The Athletic.
Staple originally noted in a now-deleted tweet around 5:20 p.m. EST that the Islanders had called up Bellows only to the NHL roster after a brief stint on the the taxi squad in between Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Capitals. However, he has since corrected that tweet, noting Wahlstrom’s presence on the NHL roster, as well as Ilya Sorokin being placed on the taxi squad.
The transactions come following a two-game stretch which saw the Islanders shutout by New Jersey Devils third, or fourth-string goalie Scott Wedgewood, and score only twice against Washington in a much better, but still ultimately disappointing effort in the nation’s capital on Tuesday.
Islanders lines getting a shake-up
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz is never particularly animated towards the media, maintaining a more reserved, cool approach to handling press conferences than some of his peers. But in his Tuesday post-game presser, Trotz let everyone know he was “pissed off” by his team’s play, and particularly by the lack of intensity on display.
Trotz said then (Tuesday) that we may see a few changes to the Islanders lines. He repeated that in today’s pre-game media availabilities, stating “There’ll be a change or two. We’re limited a bit with the roster, but we’ll make some changes.”
Those changes appear to be coming in the way of Wahlstrom, who will dress for his first NHL game of the 2020-21 season, and Bellows, who has played sheltered minutes in five of six Islanders games this season.
The “limited” part of Trotz’s quote from earlier today seemed kind of open-ended, and had several folks on Islanders Twitter wondering about what exactly the sentiment behind that statement was.
In the end, it seems like Trotz was merely referring to the roster gymnastics the Islanders would have to enact to simply get a member of their taxi squad onto their NHL roster. The transaction in question was Ilya Sorokin’s move to the taxi squad. With Cory Schneider already on the NHL roster, and making less money than Sorokin, he will back up Semyon Varlamov tonight.
Both Wahlstrom and Bellows will flank Jean-Gabriel Pageau on the third line and Leo Komarov will play in the right side of Nelson on line two.