It took a while, but the New York Islanders finally got the NHL to postpone some of their games in order to - potentially- stop the spread of COVID-19. The hope, for the Isles at least, is that this pause will not only stop the virus from spreading but that they'll get some players back off the COVID protocol list when they have to return to the ice.
So what does that mean for some of the guys that were brought up? For most of them, it probably means a return to the Bridgeport Islanders as soon as regulars come back off the list. But what about defenseman Robin Salo? Will he join his B-Isles teammates in crossing the Long Island sound when the NHL squad returns to the ice?
New York Islanders: Has Robin Salo done enough?
I personally can't see Robin Salo returning to Bridgeport when the rest of them return off the COVID protocol list. Has he done enough to outplay Chara and Greene? Probably not in the eyes of Barry Trotz. But he's done very well since making the jump to the NHL.
In his four games with the Islanders he's played a total of 85:45 (all situations). That's the most for any skater. Mayfield is second with 85:34 of total ice time. On that alone it's clear Barry Trotz likes the young Finn.
Obviously, the production isn't there. But his 49.29CF (7th on the team), 50.25 xGF% (5th on the team), and 54.0 HDCF% (6th on the team) are excellent underlying numbers that show he is making contributions to the club. [Thanks to NaturalStatTrick for the all-strength data.]
We can't forget that it took Devon Toews five games to get his first point in the NHL when he was called up as the next man up in 2018-19. But then again, Toews was two years older than Salo is and he didn't have a number of the team's regulars out of the lineup either.
So has Salo done enough to stay up? It's hard to say. It's only been four games. I think he's done enough. He fills a direct need that the Islanders currently have in their lineup. He can carry the puck forward, create offense, and run a power play. But I don't make the roster. That's up to Barry and Lou.
And I don't think he's done enough in the eyes of Barry Trotz. But we have to remember that Ryan Pulock is out for 4-6 weeks. Even if Pelech, Chara, and Greene come off the COVID protocol list, Pulock won't. That's a big gap in the lineup, specifically on the power play, that Pelech, Chara, or Greene can't fill.
That means Salo will certainly still have some time to prove he can make it stick.