When Anders Lee went down last night, we knew it could be bad. The New York Islanders captain got tangled up with Pavel Zacha and took an awkward fall to the ice. The play had to be blown dead and he was assisted off the ice and did not return.
Unfortunately, it looks like it’s not going to be a day-to-day injury, it’s more serious than that. The team announced this morning that Anders Lee is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury and doesn’t have any more information at this time.
There was no timetable given for his return but indefinitely certainly doesn’t sound promising.
The Islanders are going to be hard-pressed to find a replacement for Anders Lee. In 27 games, Lee had 12 goals and 19 points and looked like he was back to that 35+ goal scorer we were used to from earlier in his career.
Lee has not missed significant time since his injury in 2015-2016 that kept him out in the playoffs. He’s missed just one regular-season game since.
Now, the Isles will be tasked with trying to formulate a new-look lineup. Perhaps they can do something like this for the time being:
Beauvillier – Barzal – Wahlstrom
Bailey – Nelson – Eberle
Dal Colle – Pageau – Czarnik
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
They’re going to have to get creative, and someone from that bottom six is going to need a bigger role. It may be asking a lot, but with the offensive upside we’ve seen from Oliver Wahlstrom this year, I’m not sure the Islanders have a more deserving player.
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Unfortunately, there’s no replacing a guy like Anders Lee who is still one of the league’s best net-front presence. For now, the Isles just have to hope they can survive it. This sucks.