SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jordan Eberle missed Friday’s practice after taking what he called “a funny hit” in Thursday’s practice. He wouldn’t reveal which of his Islanders teammates delivered that hit.
“It’s a secret,” he said.
Eberle’s ability to joke about being forced off the ice the day before back-to-back games against the Sharks on Saturday and the Kings in Los Angeles on Sunday could indicate that he’s feeling fine, but there’s reason to be cautious with a potential injury to a top-line forward.
“Felt a little sore this morning. We’ll take it from there and hopefully I’m ready to go tomorrow,” Eberle said. “You wake up the next day and it’s a lot more sore than you expected. Did what we could to get that inflammation down and doing everything we can to be ready.”
Doug Weight indicated that Cal Clutterbuck (hip), who has missed the last three games, is ready to return, which at least would keep the Isles from having to summon a forward 3,000 miles from Bridgeport or go with seven defensemen on Saturday should Eberle not be ready.
No matter who is in the lineup, the Islanders need to reverse a maddening trend the last two games of getting more than 40 shots on goal but scoring only twice and earning just one point.
“I think we’re playing similar to our identity,” Eberle said. “We’re a fast team, we’re moving the puck well. We’re just not getting the results we want. This is a result-driven league and you have to win hockey games. We understand that and we’re not satisfied with how the games have gone, even though we’ve played well. We have to get that extra level to get results.”
Weight’s power play has gone 0-for-15 this season. Perhaps that means it’s time to get Ryan Pulock and his 100-mph slap shot in the lineup. Pulock has been a healthy scratch this season.
Weight is undecided about changes. “We play twice here this weekend. It’s been a while for [Dennis Seidenberg] and Pulie,” he said. “I haven’t made a decision. I’ve got to be honest, the six guys back there have played really well. Nothing has been decided.”
Thomas Greiss will start in goal against the Sharks on Saturday . . . Alan Quine (wrist) is on the trip and has been a full participant in practice. If he’s ready to play when the Islanders return home on Monday, a conditioning assignment to Bridgeport is expected.