Islanders C Casey Cizikas may have to sit out awhile after suffering an "upper-body injury" against the Rangers on Saturday.
Cizikas went down hard in the second period, and immediately left the game never to return. After the game, head coach Doug Weight couldn't believe another one of his players could be out of the equation for a significant amount of time.
"It's getting worse, that's all I can tell you," Weight told The Post's Brett Cyrgalis. "It's upper body and it's not great. You've got to get some good looks at it, but he won't be playing the next little while, at least."
Now, Cizikas joins the list of Islanders key players who are out with injuries. All-Star Josh Bailey (lower body) and Andrew Ladd (undisclosed) both missed the past two games after getting hurt during the Jan. 5 matchup against the Penguins. Johnny Boychuk has also been out for 10 straight games, while Nikolay Kulemin and Calvin de Haan are out for the rest of the season.
Injuries have forced the Islanders to call up players like Anthony Beauvillier, Sebastian Aho, and Michael Dal Colle -- who made his NHL debut in the 7-2 win over the Rangers. Weight may not be able to comprehend how many key players he has out of the lineup, but he is looking to see what his depth players can contribute like they did on Saturday.
"Six or seven really big names and key pieces of our team [are out]," Weight said. "That's why you have depth, and we've talked about that throughout the year."
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
Islanders head coach Doug Weight sounded very pessimistic yesterday when discussing the status of his top-checking center following his team's solid, 7-2 drubbing of the rival New York Rangers in Manhattan.
Weight even seemed to sigh when telling the media scrum that Cizikas, "doesn't look good, will certainly miss the trip (to Montreal on Monday). It's a great opportunity for other guys to step up, some of who had their best games today. Princey (Shane Prince), Michael (Dal Colle), Quiner (Alan Quine), even Brock (Nelson) all played terrific games today and will get their shot.", Weight said.
This is a big blow to a team already missing Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan, Nikolay Kulemin, Andrew Ladd and all-star Josh Bailey. Boychuk and Bailey hope to return later this week, while Ladd seems to be still a week or two out. Kulemin and de Haan are done for the season.
Cizikas is, not even arguably, their best checking forward, and anchor of the fourth unit. After getting tangled up with Pavel Buchnevich yesterday, he seemed to skate angrily to the dressing room, holding his hand. After suffering a broken finger last year that cost him over 20 games, the news postgame lead us to believe that something similar might have happened here, although no further confirmation will be available until he is evaluated, likely tomorrow.