Not only do we know that the New York Islanders are out of their COVID hold (finally and thankfully imposed by the NHL) but on top of that good news we get additional good news: a number of their key players are also out of their COVID hold.
At today's post-practice presser Barry Trotz indicated that four regulars (and an extra) have come out of COVID protocol. Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Adam Pelech, Andy Greene as well as Ross Johnston are all out of their COVID hold.
New York Islanders get four+ players back from COVID protocol
Who plays on Thursday isn't too clear yet but according to Barry Trotz four to five could play. That's all of them it seems. Getting these NHL regulars back will be a massive boost for the Islanders who are looking to, you know, turn their season around.
Think of that lineup with Lee, Bailey. Pelech, Greene coming back:
That's a much-improved roster from what was seen over the last few games before the NHL put the Isles on pause. Of course, it's not four full lines, but with Brock Nelson (injury) and Casey Cizikas (illness) out, I opted for 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
What Barry Trotz actually does on Thursday remains to be seen. But what is clear is that this lineup is a much better lineup than the Isles were forced to ice in the last few outings. Can it power them to a win?
It certainly gives them a better chance at doing so, but we have to remember that there might be a recovery period for some of these guys. Remember when Noah Dobson missed time after being COVID positive last year? It took Dobson a bit of time to get back to full-strength. It might be the same situation for some of these guys too.
But, again, it's good news for the Islanders.