The Islanders will be forced to play their second emergency recall defenseman in as many games tonight against Columbus.
With Bruno Gervais out with a groin strain, 20-year-old Russian defenseman Anton Klementyev will make his NHL debut only two days after fellow d-man Mark Flood played in his first game (replacing the concussed Dustin Kohn).
So really, it is entirely fair for Scott Gordon to say that his defense is severely depleted right now.
According to my calculations, the Islanders defensive corps will head into tonight's game with a combined total of 726 games of NHL experience.
To put that in perspective, Brendan WItt has 890 games alone.
Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau, we know that 726 is the lowest of any NHL team's defense. Carolina had only 888 after their last game, but beyond that, no other team in the league had less than 1400.
Here is the breakdown:
That's 12 games combined among those last three. Not ideal by any means, but if the Islanders can hold the fort and see some of the younger players gain experience in doing so, more power to them.