It’s the postseason which of course means injuries. And while players often try to play through their ailments come playoff time, it’s not always possible. This appears to be the case for young New York Islander forward Oliver Wahlstrom. The dynamic winger was injured in Game Five of the Isles’ first round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins and did not appear in Game Six. Per Newsday’s Andrew Gross, head coach Barry Trotz stated on Friday that Wahlstrom is trying to work his way back into the lineup, but remains “doubtful” for Game One against the Boston Bruins. Saturday’s morning skate did not bring any update and it appears as though Wahlstrom will miss at least one more outing. Whatever injury he has sustained, New York is clearly concerned that it many linger. They have yet to disclose any details about Wahlstrom’s condition, likely to protect him should he fight through the pain and return to the lineup.
- While the Montreal Canadiens hope to stay alive on Saturday night in order to see a Game Seven with the rival Toronto Maple Leafs, defenseman Jon Merrill will need much more than just one or even two wins if he is to see the ice again this postseason. The Canadiens have announced that Merrill will not play in Game Six, replaced in the lineup by Brett Kulak, and further comments by interim head coach Dominique Ducharme suggested that Merrill’s timeline for return is likely 7-to-14 days. If the Canadiens are to survive another week or two in the playoffs, they not only will need to complete an unlikely comeback against Toronto, but will also have to be the first team to defeat the Winnipeg Jets this postseason. It’s a tall task, especially without their solid deadline acquisition on the back end.
- The Boston Bruins announced the opposite news this morning, with head coach Bruce Cassidy welcoming defenseman Jeremy Lauzon back to the lineup, according to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa. Lauzon missed most of the team’s first round series with the Washington Capitals after taking a shot off the hand in Game One. With Kevan Miller also sidelined following a head injury in the series, Lauzon’s return will provide the Bruins with much-needed support on their bottom pair and adds a top penalty killer back to the lineup.
- Nick Foligno was a full participant in morning skate for the Toronto Maple Leafs and was wearing a regular practice jersey, but TSN’s Kristen Shilton warns not to read into that too much. Foligno has appeared to be ready for previous games in this series, but has nevertheless missed each of the past three match-ups with a lower-body injury. Shilton adds that he did not look comfortable at morning skate. Head coach Sheldon Keefe also noted that Foligno remains a game-time decision, so Shilton appears to be right to caution any expectation that the big deadline addition will suit up.
- Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves was the cause of an injury on Friday night, shoving Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter face-first into the post. The check earned him a two-minute penalty for interference, but there was plenty of speculation that it could result in a suspension, especially given Reaves’ spotty reputation. However, it appears the grinder will move forward with his postseason scot-free. Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now reports that Reaves will not have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety and as such will not receive any supplemental discipline. The stars of the Colorado Avalanche will have to watch for Reaves (and watch out for their faces) in Round Two.