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Isles Day to Day: Cizikas Returns to Practice

Casey Cizikas skates with Islanders for first time since Oct. 8, Kuhnhackl and Komarov miss practice

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / NewYorkIslanders.com

Casey Cizikas returned to practice on Tuesday afternoon, his first skate with the team since Oct. 8. 

Cizikas aggravated a lower-body injury on Oct. 8, took a maintenance day on Oct. 10 and was retroactively placed on IR ahead of the Isles' Oct. 14 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Isles center is still on IR and Head Coach Barry Trotz did not have a timetable set for his return.

"He skated pretty well," Trotz said. "I don't have any timeframe for him right now, but we'll see how he is tomorrow. That was a big load for him to handle. He's been doing some skating, but that was a big load and we'll see how he feels tomorrow."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Look who was back on the ice today!! 👋 @zeeker11! pic.twitter.com/IXlJ2E1GpH
KUHNHACKL, KOMAROV MISS PRACTICE: 

Tom Kuhnhackl and Leo Komarov missed their second straight practice. Kuhnhackl took another maintenance day, while Komarov is still recovering from an illness and is considered day to day.

Cole Bardreau, who was recalled on Saturday afternoon to fill in for Komarov, was still on the ice for Tuesday's practice and took rushes with Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas. 

ISLES ENTERING HERKY-JERKY PART OF SCHEDULE:

The Islanders are in the midst of an unusually-long break between games this week, getting a full four days off between Saturday's 3-2 OT win over Columbus and Thursday's contest vs Arizona. 

The schedule irregularities don't end there, either. After four days off, the Isles play three games in four nights, and then have another four-day break to end the month, giving the late-October schedule a herky-jerky feel to it. In total, the Isles will play three games in a 12-day span. 

"Personally for me, I like playing games and getting in the swing of things," Mathew Barzal said. "It gets a little slow with a few days off, but we'll have two good days of practice to tune in some things and be ready to go for Thursday."

Head Coach Barry Trotz will take the extra time to work on some of the finer points of the Isles game. Despite going 3-0 in overtime this season, the Isles practiced some three-on-three play on Tuesday, as well as some extra special teams work. 

"A lot of people make a big deal about it, but it's part of the NHL," Trotz said. "You don't see that a lot. When it does come up you just have to work on things. Today I thought our worth ethic was fine, but our details and minds weren't as sharp. That's more of what goes for me - the mind goes a bit and wanders and the hands go."

Trotz compared the lengthy layoffs to the Isles nine-day break between the first and second rounds of last year's playoffs, but said there are lessons to be gleaned from the previous experience. 

"We were sharp in the first two games in round two, but we didn't have our hands," Trotz said. "That was the one piece that was missing for us to get a win or two in the second round. We have a couple of days off, we just have to make sure we dial it in tomorrow and are ready to go."

Check back for more updates and for Isles TV's coverage of practice.

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