Calvin de Haan didn't have many expectations for his first NHL game, just hopes that his poised, patient style would trump the obvious anxiety he'd be feeling Thursday night.
"I've just got to play simple," the 20-year-old de Haan said after his first regular-season morning skate. He was called up on an emergency loan from Bridgeport with Steve Staios (upper body) out for Thursday night's game. "I may play 30 seconds or 30 minutes, so I just have to do what I do best and not try to be someone I'm not."
De Haan, the 12th overall pick in the 2009 draft, turned pro this season after losing time the last two seasons in juniors to shoulder problems. He had two goals and six assists in 22 games and was a minus-1 with the Sound Tigers. "It's taken some time to adjust to the pro game," he said.
De Haan got the call-up over fellow rookie pro Aaron Ness primarily because Jack Capuano wanted to see his rookie play a calm, composed game in the face of NHL competition. "Overall as a defense, we have to get back to pucks quickly and make a smart first pass and show some poise," Capuano said.
Staios was tested for a possible concussion Monday but no determination had been made as of Thursday, leaving his injury as upper body. He still might have to follow concussion protocol, which means he could miss several more days. The Islanders' defense still is missing Mark Eaton (sprained MCL) and Andrew MacDonald (leg).
Nabokov has setbackEvgeni Nabokov could have been in line to start Thursday nightbut experienced what the team called "discomfort" in his groin after Monday's practice and was held out, with Kevin Poulin recalled to start. Nabokov has been out since Nov. 17. He did skate Thursdaymorning.