The New York Islanders currently cling onto the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference, but their hope in continuing to do so took a major blow on Monday morning.
Related: Patrick Kane Denies Rumors Of Interest in Trade to Maple Leafs
As per a team release hours ago, Mat Barzal will be out of the lineup indefinitely with a lower-body injury. The 25-year-old star is believed to have suffered the injury during a game on Sunday versus the Boston Bruins, one in which saw him get tangled up awkwardly along the boards after taking a hit from Craig Smith.
The good news in all of this is that, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Barzal is considered week-to-week, meaning this doesn’t necessarily spell the end of his season. In fact, LeBrun stated that the Islanders are planning to have him back before the regular season commences.
Barzal has been one of few bright spots in terms of offensive production with the Isles this season, as through 58 games he has scored 14 goals and 51 points. It had been a nice bounce back year after a disappointing 2021-22 campaign in which he had 59 points in 73 outings.
As mentioned, the Islanders are just barely clinging on to a playoff spot, as their 63 points are good enough for the final wild card position in the East. Several teams are within striking distance, as both the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers trail them by a single point, while the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings are just three back.
The good news for the Islanders is that just weeks ago, Lou Lamoriello went out and acquired Bo Horvat, who should be able to help pick up the slack for the injured Barzal. Since joining the Isles, Horvat has three goals in seven games, giving him 34 total on the year. His team will be relying on both him and Brock Nelson to carry the load offensively until Barzal is able to return to the lineup.
Next: Oilers Continue to Blow Early Leads, Fail to Win In OT & Shootouts
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