It seems like each time the NY Islanders have a player return from injury - another goes down soon after. Scott Mayfield was activated off IR on New Year's Eve against Pittsburgh Penguins, and just one game later, two Islanders appear to have gone down to injury as Robert Bottuzzo was placed on IR and Ken Appleby was recalled after Semyon Varlamov exited last night's game early.
Varlamov was tasked with facing one of the highest-scoring teams in the league last night when the Isles traveled to the Mile High City to take on the Colorado Avalanche. Varly was pulled in the first period after 14:52 of action due to an undisclosed injury. He only recently returned to the Isles lineup, missing their 5-1 victory against the Washington Capitals.
Bortuzzo’s injury was much more unmistakable, getting his legs caught beneath him after a collision with Samuel Girard. He had trouble putting any pressure on his right leg as he had to be helped off the ice.
The Isles haven’t recalled a defenseman from Bridgeport as Adam Pelech, who’s been on LTIR since Nov. 25th, joined the team on their Western Conference road trip. However, with Appleby being recalled, the Isles need to make a roster move to activate Pelech, as they’re at the 23-man limit. If Pelech isn’t ready to suit up tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes, Sebastian Aho will in all likelihood slide back into the lineup, playing on his off side once again.
Missing Varlamov for any significant time would be detrimental to the Islanders without much depth in the organization outside him and Sorokin. Outside assistance would likely need to be brought in if he’s to remain out of the lineup.
As he’s done all season, Lou Lamoriello will have to do some roster juggling after being stung by the injury bug once again.