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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders



JANUARY XX XXX XXX. - HAMONIC TO IR

Travis Hamonic’s was placed on injured reserve Monday. Hamonic’s lower-body injury is worse than was previously expected, as he was initially thought to be day-to-day after suffering an injury against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. That status has since been upgraded. 

Hamonic leads the Islanders with 23:47 TOI per game, over a minute more than Nick Leddy (22:37). With Hamonic out, the Islanders are missing two of their top three defensemen, as Johnny Boychuk is sidelined with an upper-body injury. The Islanders are 14-3-3 when Hamonic leads the team in TOI. 

“He’s still going to be day-to-day for a little bit,” Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “He tweaked something in his lower body. I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but with 55 [Boychuk] and 3 [Hamonic] out we have to find a way. Other guys are going to get another opportunity to step up.” 

Scott Mayfield played in Hamonic’s spot on Saturday and was paired Bridgeport Sound Tigers teammate and defensive partner Adam Pelech. Brian Strait played in Marek Zidlicky’s position Saturday. 

JANUARY 9 11:05 A.M. - HAMONIC DTD, MAYFIELD IN

Travis Hamonic (lower body) will not play on Saturday afternoon and is considered day-to-day. Scott Mayfield, who was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday, will make his season debut for the Islanders, playing with Adam Pelech. There’s some familiarity there, as Mayfield and Pelech played on the top pairing in Bridgeport. 

PREVIEW: ISLANDERS AT FLYERS

“Going through the last few games and especially losing Travis, another right-handed shot defenseman it just makes sense that we give those two guys an opportunity,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “I thought they played really well in training camp. Talking to Brent Thompson and Eric Boguniecki down in Bridgeport, they play well together. They are the top pairing D, so we’ll give them an opportunity.

Brian Strait also draws back into the lineup, taking out Marek Zidlicky. Jaroslav Halak will start in goal. 

PROJECTED D-PAIRS:

CALVIN DE HAAN NICK LEDDY
THOMAS HICKEY BRIAN STRAIT
ADAM PELECH SCOTT MAYFIELD




JANUARY 8 3:30 P.M. - MAYFIELD RECALLED, BOULTON TO IR

Defenseman Scott Mayfield was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday, as Eric Boulton was placed on the Islanders’ injured reserve list retroactive to Jan. 2. 

Mayfield has five points (3G, 2A) in 35 games for the Sound Tigers, but the defenseman plays more of a stay-at-home role for Bridgeport. At 6’4, 225 lbs. Mayfield essentially fills the size void left in the wake of Johnny Boychuk’s injury and plays with a physical edge/snarl in his game. The 23-year-old has some NHL experience, playing in Games 6 and 7 in last spring’s playoff series vs. Washington, as well as five games in the 2013-14 season. 

Boulton has played in one game for the Islanders this season. 

HAMONIC, OKPOSO MISS PRACTICE:

Travis Hamonic (maintenance day) and Kyle Okposo (sick) missed the Islanders’ practice on Friday. The team heads to Philadelphia for a Saturday matinee with the Flyers at 1 p.m.

JANUARY 7 10:51 A.M. - HALAK IN GOAL; SAME LINEUP FROM SUNDAY

Jaroslav Halak returns to the Islanders’ crease Thursday against the Capitals. Halak hasn’t played since Dec. 21 missing five games with an upper-body injury. 

“He looks pretty good,” Jack Capuano said. “We wouldn’t put anybody in that wasn’t ready. He skated in Pittsburgh, came back and skated with [Goaltending Coach Mike Dunham] for a couple days and felt really good yesterday. He went through the on ice and off-ice workouts. He’s 100 percent.”

Halak is the only change to the Islanders’ lineup, as Capuano is sticking with the same forwards and d corps. That means Adam Pelech stays in the lineup for a second straight game.   

GRUDGE MATCH: ISLANDERS VS. CAPITALS 

“We knew defensively he was solid,” Capuano said of Pelech. “He’s got a good stick and a good gap. I like the way he’s playing, he’s moving the puck, he’s jumping in the holes offensively when the opportunity presents itself. He played really well last game so it was hard for me to take him out. He’s going to get another opportunity tonight against a good hockey team.”

PROJECTED LINES: 

ANDERS LEE JOHN TAVARES JOSH BAILEY
NIKOLAY KULEMIN FRANS NIELSEN KYLE OKPOSO
BROCK NELSON MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI RYAN STROME
MATT MARTIN CASEY CIZIKAS CAL CLUTTERBUCK

GAME DAY ROUTINE: 

The Islanders switched up their gameday routine Thursday, taking an optional morning skate at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset. The switch is designed to give the players more time at home during the day. The Islanders are planning to adopt the new routine for Thursday and Tuesday’s home games (there’s no morning skate Sunday due to the 4 p.m. start) and will take it on a game-by-game basis going forward. 

QUOTE WORTHY

The Islanders stressed discipline against the Capitals’ potent power play, which is number two in the league. Travis Hamonic said prevention is the best method to killing penalties. Or as he put’s it…

“The best way to avoid a shark-bite is to stay out of the water.”

JANUARY 5 3:12 P.M. - HALAK ACTIVATED OFF IR; GIBSON LOANED TO BRIDGEPORT

Jaroslav Halak (upper body) was activated off the team's injured reserve list on Tuesday afternoon. Halak was placed on IR on Dec. 27, retroactive to Dec. 21, as he sustained his injury in the Islanders' 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Halak is 10-6-3 this season with a 2.09 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. 

To make room for Halak's activation, Christopher Gibson was returned on loan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday afternoon. Gibson was recalled on Dec. 27 after Halak was placed on injured reserve and made his NHL debut on Jan. 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, stopping 16-of-17 shots in relief of Thomas Greiss. 

JANUARY 4 - 3:11 P.M. – BOYCHUK OUT 4-6 WEEKS WITH UPPER-BODY INJURY

Johnny Boychuk will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with an upper-body injury, according to a team-issued report. He will not require surgery.

Boychuk suffered the injury on Dec. 31 against the Buffalo Sabres, when he crashed into the end boards. 

JANUARY 1 - 11:07 A.M. – BOYCHUK PLACED ON IR, ADAM PELECH RECALLED

Johnny Boychuk (upper body) was placed on the Islanders’ injured reserve list on Friday morning. Boychuk crashed into the end boards in the third period of Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres and did not return. A timetable will be established next week when Boychuk sees team doctors. 

Adam Pelech was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday morning. Pelech has two goals and four assists in 26 games for Bridgeport this season. Pelech played two games for the Islanders earlier this eason, making his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 13.

ISLANDERS DAY-TO-DAY: DECEMBER

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