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Notes: Hickey, MacDonald, power-play problems
Some notes off Monday's skate:
-- Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Monday after practice that defenseman Thomas Hickey, who left Saturday's game in Philadelphia after taking a shot off his foot, is “day-to-day.”
Capuano did not provide any further comment regarding Hickey, who is one of the team’s more reliable defenseman. The Islanders’ defense has been marred with key injuries as Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body) remain out.
-- Defenseman Andrew MacDonald left Monday’s practice after taking a puck to his upper body. He immediately went down and then limped off the ice with trainers. There was no update after practice.
-- Injuries are just one of several problematic areas for the Islanders. They've allowed the third most goals in the NHL with 82. The Islanders’ 70.3 penalty kill percentage is the lowest mark in the league. The penalty-killing unit has successfully killed just 18 of 32 man-advantages in the team’s last 10 games. The Islanders have lost eight times
during that stretch.
“It isn’t going to win many games and it’s something we’ve discussed as a staff, obviously, in the last 48 hours,” Capuano said. “But it’s going to get better. It’s cost us at least four or five games, there’s no question about it.”
-- Capuano added that he remains optimistic because many of the current Islanders were with the team last season when they made the playoffs.
“We can't do anything about our injuries,” Capuano said. “It is what it is. But it's important that you have the same guys because they know they have success when they play a certain way. You look at the Pittsburgh game and the Philly game and we're right there. It's not like we were dominated.”