The New York Islanders have been dealing with injuries up front since the season began and that isn’t going to change any time soon. GM Lou Lamoriello spoke with the media this morning and The Athletic’s Arthur Staple relays the news that both Matt Martin and Tom Kuhnhackl will be out of the lineup with lower-body injuries for the next four to six weeks. The pair, who were both injured in the Islanders’ last game on Friday night, join Jordan Eberle, Leo Komarov, and Andrew Ladd on the shelf. The timeline would see Martin and Kuhnhackl return to action around when Ladd is also expected to be healthy, late November into early December.
Kuhnhackl was injured early in the first period on Friday against the Ottawa Senators when a crunching check left him favoring his right leg as he skated off the ice. There has been no specific designation of what his injury is, but it is certainly related to his left leg. Not long after that, Martin fell awkwardly into the Senators’ open bench door and appeared to injure his leg as well. With the Islanders already icing a lineup of eleven forwards and seven defensemen for the game, losing both Kuhnhackl and Martin would have left them with just nine forwards. Amazingly, given the recovery timeline of the injury he suffered, Martin returned to the game to avoid leaving New York with only three lines. Granted, he only managed 5:17 time on ice, but that was nearly double the lost Kuhnhackl. Perhaps even more impressive is that the Isles still came away with the 4-2 win over Ottawa despite the Senators outnumbering them by three healthy forwards.
Despite the prognosis for Martin and Kuhnhackl, Lamoriello stated that the team would not make a roster move right away. Staple provided updates that Komarov is considered day-to-day and Eberle has resumed skating, so the pair could return to action soon. While the Islanders wait for their now five-man group of veterans to recover, the team will lean on its younger forwards. New York scratched all three of Michael Dal Colle, Ross Johnston, and rookie Oliver Wahlstrom for their last game, but now the trio are all expected to join the starting roster for now. Fortunately, Casey Cizikas also just returned from the injured reserve and is able to help out. It will be entirely different looking bottom six when the Isles take the ice against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and it could be a group that remains in flux through the next month or longer.