Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic looked good again at practice on Wednesday and will likely make his case for playing Game 1 to coach Jack Capuano when the two speak on the way to Florida.
Hamonic didn’t speak with the media, but appeared energetic and in good spirits on the ice at IceWorks in Syosset, during the final Long Island workout before Game 1 of the series against the Panthers on Thursday night.
“He’s had good practice the last couple days. I’ll talk to Travis on the plane, talk to him tonight,” Capuano said, “get a feel for where he’s at and talk to the doctors. I just want to make sure that he’s 100 percent and never put him in a situation that he could hurt himself. But just talking to him out there a little bit, he said he felt pretty good.
“We did some battle drills, we did some cutback drills, we did a lot of agility drills for our defensemen. I just want to make sure. I’m not going to say it to you guys before I talk to the player and see how he feels. If he’s ready to go and there’s no pain and he’s 100 percent, he’ll be in there tomorrow night.”
Hamonic missed the playoffs last year because of a torn MCL in his left knee, and looked destined for the same fate on March 31 after a knee-on-knee collision with the Blue Jackets’ Scott Hartnell. Hamonic sat out the remainder of the regular season.