Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk did not practice with the Islanders on Friday and it could be a while before either are back with the team, according to head coach Jack Capuano.
“They’re not going to be playing here anytime soon,” Capuano said after practice at IceWorks. “We’ll just wait to see what the prognosis is hopefully after the weekend.”
Hamonic was placed on injured reserve after practice and Newsday's Arthur Staple is reporting that Ryan Pulock will be join the team on Saturday.
The Islanders had seven defenseman on the ice on Friday, including Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky was placed on the injured reserve list on Wednesday retroactively to November 28.
Griffin Reinhart, Nick Leddy, Matt Donovan, Brian Strait, Thomas Hickey and de Haan rounded out the other six defenseman on the ice at IceWorks.
It appears that, for now, the aforementioned group will make up the Islanders defensive corps while Boychuk and Hamonic are out. They played in Ottawa the previous night and performed well for the Islanders.
“I thought they did a pretty good job,” Capuano said of their performance in the 2-1 win. “I thought we did a great defending. I thought we did a real good job as far as that goes. I thought we could have had a little more poise with the puck… We had a couple of turnovers.
“Overall I give high marks to our [defense] right now.”
With two of the Islanders top defenseman out, the team will be relying on it’s depth to help keep the winning streak going. Brian Strait and Matt Donovan have played admirable in their absence – Strait played 20:52 on Thursday – and Thomas Hickey and Nick Leddy have seen added playing time.
“They’re two big parts of the team and they’re huge losses to us,” Leddy said about Boychuk and Hamonic. “But we’ve got guys that can step in and they’ve done a great job.”