Certainly, there are no promises, and Colin McDonald knows he is not in the position to ask for any. He is an emergency call-up from Bridgeport, so presumably when the emergency ends, so will his time with the Islanders.
McDonald will take any ice time he can get, though he'll try to make a lasting impression. Good things may lie ahead for the Islanders, and McDonald would like to be part of what transpires. "It's another day in the NHL," he said Friday. "This is why everyone tries to play the game."
The team needs bodies. Kyle Okposo and Eric Boulton already were sidelined and now Casey Cizikas might be out. He didn't practice Friday. Jack Capuano called it a maintenance day, but a spokesman later said Cizikas is banged up.
"We've only got 12 forwards, we're going on the road," Capuano said in advance of Saturday's game in Detroit. "A few guys have some bumps and bruises, so we got an extra player. If [McDonald] plays, you know what you're getting. You're getting a guy you know he played with us last year, he understands the system, he understands the way that we need to play. He's a hard-nosed guy. He's gone down to Bridgeport and done everything that we asked him to do."
McDonald, 30, appeared in two games for the Islanders this season before being placed on waivers Oct. 22. He wasn't picked up and was assigned to Bridgeport. "I wasn't really too surprised, though it was a first for me, being on waivers," McDonald said, "so I wasn't sure what to expect. Obviously, you talk to your agent, try to get an idea if there's interest out there. It was another learning experience for me.
"I think sometimes it's easy to go down with a bad attitude and feel sorry for yourself. It's not going to get you anywhere at the end of the day. It took me about a week or so to kind of get my mind right. After that, it was good. I had a good relationship with the coaches down there. I really can't complain. It was a good situation."
McDonald was Bridgeport's leading scorer with 14 goals and 20 assists. He knows he might have a short time to prove himself, but he's up for the challenge.
"I haven't had any conversations with anyone,'' he said. "Of course you hope. I understand the situation. I'm just trying to make the most of it.
"Whether it's a guy like Johnny [Tavares] or guys like myself, I think everyone's out to prove something. I think it's different reasons for each guy, but yeah, every day is a different tryout for me, just trying to continue to try and make a name for myself. Just try to make it a full-time NHL player."
McDonald was on the Islanders when they made the playoffs in the 2012-13 season. He scored two goals against the Penguins, his former team. "It's been fun to see how well these guys have been doing," he said. "I'm happy to be a part of this. Hopefully it's a seamless fit for me."
Notes & quotes: Capuano said defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body) "practiced well" and that a decision about his return will be made shortly.