Calvin de Haan made his season debut against the San Jose Sharks after missing the first three games of the season with an upper body injury. Now, it appears that Lubomir Visnovsky could be close to returning as well. The Islander defenseman has been dealing with back spasms and the team put him on injured reserve on October 7.
Visnovsky skated Thursday during the morning skate.
"Yeah, it's going really well for him," Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano said about Visnovsky's recovery. "I think the game plan is -- just talking to Garth [Snow] and the medical people -- that he'll travel to Pittsburgh with us and continue to skate. Hopefully, he'll enjoy his day off on Sunday. And maybe have a full team practice on Monday.
"If things work out there he'll be real close. Things are progressing real good for him," Capuano said.
When Visnovsky returns it will be the first time in the young season that Capuano has had all his defenseman healthy. It will also force the coaching staff to make another tough decision about the roster. The Islanders have already sent Griffin Reinhart back to AHL Bridgeport after de Haan was taken off IR.
"Guys have been playing real well," Capuano said. "You try to find that chemistry on the back end just like you try to find with your forwards, but they're tough decisions to make. Again it's good that we have the depth. When you have decisions and tough decisions to make for a coaching staff that's a good sign."
Mikhail Grabovski left Thursday's game after sustaining an upper body injury during the first period. After the game Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano did not have an update on the forward, but Newsday's Arthur Staple did report that he did not have a concussion and will be evaluated on Friday.
Calvin de Haan made his 2014-15 debut playing 18:38 in the win. Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano said it did not seem like he missed a beat in his first start.
"I thought he came back and played extremely well for us," the Islander Coach said. "He's really poised back there. He's a great skater, he's got a good stick, I thought his gap was real good against their top six forwards there tonight. He's a guy that keeps himself in great condition and we knew that wasn't going to be an issue going in... He showed a lot of poise with the puck tonight."