After almost a month of winning with an assorted cast of players, including the likes of Cole Bardreau and Ross Johnston among others, the New York Islanders will finally be able to do so at full strength.
Despite having names like Jordan Eberle, Andrew Ladd, and Leo Komarov out of the lineup due to injury, the New York Islanders managed to go 11-0-1 in the past month dating back to Jordan Eberle’s injury on October 12th, one in which he just came back from on Saturday.
Now the Islanders are expecting to have Komarov and Ladd back in the lineup, with the former being out with an illness for almost a month and the latter being out of the lineup for the entire season with a torn ACL that he suffered last season.
This all comes at the expense of Cole Bardreau and Oliver Wahlstrom, who had been doing a fine job at the NHL level but were sent down to the AHL because of the lack of space on the NHL roster with the New York Islanders regaining these three players from injury.
Cole Bardreau, in particular, was a player the Islanders rallied around, as the 26-year-old rookie has been a huge story this season, establishing himself as a solid, gritty depth guy who fits Barry Trotz’s defense-first mold that has done so well for the Islanders in his first two seasons.
Now with Bardreau back in the AHL, the Islanders will have to slip Leo Komarov in his third line (or fourth line, depending on who you ask) and hope to get the same results that the hard-working Bardreau produced over the past month.
Andrew Ladd’s return to the lineup is also a cause for concern, as the veteran winger has not been able to find success since joining the New York Islanders in 2016 and will now likely be thrown right into the fire as the Isles face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, which has seemingly become one of the most intriguing rivalries in the NHL right now.
Ladd missed significant time last season as well, but in the time he did play, it wasn’t promising at all, as he posted just three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 26 games, and for someone who is owed $5.5 million up every year until the 2023-24 season, that production is not up to snuff.
Seemingly, the Islanders might be worse off with Ladd and Komarov’s return, as they aren’t up to snuff with the players they are replacing, but that’s where they will have to prove otherwise upon their return.
The Islanders will have to make do without the work ethic of Cole Bardreau and the youthful grit of Oliver Wahlstrom and see what these two veterans can offer when they make their return to the lineup in the near future.