The New York Islanders received some good news today. Both Casey Cizkas and Brock Nelson were on the ice skating at practice this morning before the Islanders take on the Nashville Predators later tonight.
Casey Cizikas has been out with COVID, as he was the final straw that shutdown the Islanders for a couple of days at the end of November. With him hitting the ice, all signs indicate that he's close.
The same goes for Brock Nelson, who was on the shelf two to four weeks for a lower body injury. The last time he played was against Toronto on November 21, when he got injured, 18 days ago.
The Islanders desperately need both of these guys back as they're playing a mix of bottom-six forwards and moving JG Pageau out of position onto the second line to make their lineup work. Plus, Brock Nelson was arguably the Isles best forward before going down.
He hasn't played in over two weeks and he still leads the team in goals and is second in the points behind only Mathew Barzal who has come on strong over the last four games or so.
Neither Nelson nor Cizikas are expected to be in the lineup tonight, but the thought is that they are just a couple of days away from making their return to the lineup according to Barry Trotz.
The Islanders have a game on Saturday against New Jersey and then travel back to Detroit on Tuesday night. I'd imagine one of those two games is going to be the next time we see Cizikas and Nelson.
The offense has looked like it's turned a corner with 10 goals in their last three games. Getting Cizikas and Nelson back is going to be a big plus too when it comes to completing the deep lineup everyone thought the Islanders would have.