Rejoice! After just one game as a healthy scratch, New York Islanders head coach, Barry Trotz confirmed that Oliver Wahlstrom will be making his return to the lineup tonight in their game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The healthy scratch was unfortunately something we all saw coming when he played just 8:08 against the Arizona Coyotes and sat for the third period. We know Barry Trotz pretty well by year four and that points to a benching.
The ironic part was in the one game he didn't play, the Islanders couldn't score any goals. They scored just one goal against Toronto who was running their backup goalie out there and it was a crazy Zach Parise backhand.
Oliver Wahlstrom is third on the team in goals with eight playing in 31 games for New York. His ice time, in bulk, has gone up as he's sitting at 13:14 but still the production in terms of per 60 is through the roof. His 1.17 goals per 60 is fourth on the team and eight goals in 31 games is a pace of 21 over a full season.
The Islanders don't have very many guys pacing to a 20 goal season so I'm not sure sitting them is the best call. It almost reminds me of Anders Lee sitting in the Washington Capitals series back in 2015. Obviously, Barry Trotz is a miles better coach than Jack Capuano but I just can't put my finger on this one, why he's playing to a different set of rules.
Regardless, Islanders fans should rejoice. They're getting one of the better goal scorers on the team back into the lineup today and that is a good thing.
For context, the Flyers have dropped 12 in a row and as everyone knows, the Islanders need some more wins under their belt. Here's to hoping for a big night from Wahlstrom and maybe, just maybe, him getting a shot in the top-six.