Well the injury bug has finally lost its patience with the Islanders and has decided to bite our d-core right in the ass once again. Islanders fans knew that it was inevitable that Martinek would go down with an injury at some point...unfortunately it will sideline him for the rest of the season.
Freddy Meyer, welcome back to the line-up. He never really deserved to sit after playing pretty well for the first 10 games. It's a shame that he earns his way back onto the roster with an unfortunate situation to one of our better defenseman.
This also keeps Jack Hillen as one of our top-six guys. I believe that he deserves to stay here, playing each game, regardless of any possible injuries. He has been solid and pretty darn physical for a guy of his size. Plus he keeps contributing offensively. Even if he isn't getting that first or second assist, (he has four on the season in 12 games played), he is still making good decisions with the puck. He's not afraid to try for the home-run pass up the middle or join in down low on the rush, and he's quick enough on his feet to get away with it too.
It appeared the coaching staff was hoping he would develop the same way that Campoli had been doing after the Islanders traded him to the Ottawa Senators. Although Campy isn't a Chris Pronger or Al MacInnis out there, he was still an offensive minded dman that could be relied on in top-4 situations. Hillen has a little bit more to go to get to that stature, but he has been showing promise.
Now, since Martinek is the first to get the bite from the bug, who would be next? It's hard to say, but my prediction is that Andy MacDonald would be the most logical call-up. He was one of the few that were drafted by Ted Nolan and Neil Smith after having played under Teddy in Junior in Moncton. You all should remember the few appearances he made last year. He played pretty well and may emerge as a 5th or 6th dman for the Isles down the road.
The only other choice would possibly be Dustin Kohn, but he has been spending a lot of time with Bridgeport over the years and hasn't shown enough to become an NHL call-up.
In other news, Doug Weight is also back in the press-box for about a week. So far the new captain has had it pretty rough. He's missed games on and off all season long, allowing me to assume that when he has played he's been playing through pain. So far he hasn't been the force he was last year, and that may have something to do with it.
Tonight the Isles host the Atlanta Thrashers. The Islanders need to win this one if they want to avoid being the team that they have been consistently in the past. Ya know, the team that loses 7 games in a row, then wins 6 in a row, then loses another 5...yada yada yada.
It certainly would help if a guy like Bergenheim could step it up. So far he only has four assists in 16 games played. What happened to the kid that was showing that he could be a decent goal scorer during the second half of last season? Four assists? Sometimes Sean is hardly noticeable out there. Maybe Gordon should sit him a few games and let Blake Comeau have a chance to get back into the line-up. If Bergy doesn't do something by the end of the month, the Islanders might want to think about what they're going to do with him. Sean, who can be counted as a member of the youth movement, has been here for a few years now and should be relied upon as one of the older kids that the younger kids could look up to. This hasn't been the case.
I find it interesting that a guy like Frans Nielsen, who missed considerable playing time after suffering an injury during the pre-season, can come back and almost seem like he hasn't missed a beat. He was able to do that last year after Mottau of the New Jersey Devils floored him at the blue-line. But a guy like Bergenheim is no where to be found.
It's time for the Islanders to get back on track. Tonight is as a good a night as any.