The NY Islanders returned to the ice today after having the day off following their 1-0 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. After an eventful weekend, there were some familiar faces missing today and new ones getting acclimated with the team.
After being celebrated for his 1,000th NHL game on Satrday night, Cal Clutterbuck was absent from practice today due to sickness. Also missing was Simon Holmstrom, who's also sick. In their places, Hudson Fasching skated alongside Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat - while Julien Gauthier slotted next to Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin, who returned to the ice for the first time since being injured on Nov. 15 against the Vancouver Canucks.
"He practiced today and we'll see how he feels from there," said Lane Lambert regarding Martin.
Joining the team for the first time was defenseman Mike Reilly, who the Isles claimed off waivers on Saturday from the Florida Panthers. Upon arriving at the Isles practice facility at Northwell Health Ice Center, Reilly walked into the facility yesterday with the number two already on his jersey and helmet. Close with former Islander Nick Leddy (who wore number two for seven years in blue and orange), Reilly immediately sent his pal a text message.
Aside from Leddy, Reilly is familiar with some of the roster, particularly guys from the mid-west like Brock Nelson, Hudson Fasching, and Anders Lee. Reilly believes having some familiarity with his new teammates will make his transition into the team much easier.
"Even if you have a couple guys, it's awesome," said Reilly. "You kind of feel more comfortable coming in right away and, you know... Obviously, a little bit nervous coming in, but it feels like you don't have to walk on eggshells a little bit just based off kind of knowing a couple guys and being familiar with them."
Reilly skated alongside Samuel Bolduc and Grant Hutton while being integrated into the team's second power play unit, previously occupied by Sebastian Aho, who was placed on IR earlier today.