A shift to the Barclays Center for the remaining home playoff games also means a necessary shift in the game-day routine for the Islanders as most players live near the team’s practice facility in East Meadow and none live in Brooklyn.
But coach Barry Trotz was not ready to reveal how the Islanders would approach the change in home venue from NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders held their morning skates in East Meadow during the regular season before the players and staff commuted to Brooklyn later in the day.
“Right now, we’re looking at all options and what makes the most sense,” Trotz said on Thursday in East Meadow as the players had their second straight day off from practicing. “I’m not going to comment on it right now. It’s not complete. I’ll just confuse everybody.”
President and general manager Lou Lamoriello, when he was running the Devils, used to require his players spend the night prior to a home playoff game at a team hotel. He did the same when he became the Maple Leafs GM.
No injury updates
Trotz said he had no update on defenseman Johnny Boychuk and right wing Cal Clutterbuck after they exited Tuesday night’s 3-1 win at Pittsburgh in the decisive Game 4 of that first-round series. Boychuk blocked a shot with his left leg and Clutterbuck appeared to be slashed on his hand.
Trotz said center Tanner Fritz (hand) was “getting close” to resuming skating.
Fritz, recalled from Bridgeport, played four games as an injury replacement for third-line center Valtteri Filppula before undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot from his hand on March 30. He was expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Goalie Robin Lehner is expected to be one of the three finalists for the Masterton Trophy, awarded for perseverance and dedication, when the NHL reveals the list on Friday.
Goalie Mark Fitzpatrick (1992) and Ed Westfall (1977) are the only Islanders to win the award, but Lehner is considered the favorite as he’s battled back from addiction and mental-health issues to have a career season.