Marek Zidlicky joined the list of Islanders defensemen who have missed a game because of injury. The 39-year-old was sidelined Tuesday night against the Penguins with an upper-body injury suffered in Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Rangers.
Zidlicky might have been scratched anyway, seeing how he’s been out of the lineup 14 times as a healthy scratch this season. But Ryan Pulock returned to the lineup to make his regular-season Barclays Center debut in Zidlicky’s spot.
“We don’t know where he’s going to be with this,” coach Jack Capuano said of Zidlicky.
Calvin de Haan (lower body injury) missed his second consecutive game and seventh in the past nine and Capuano sounded far more pessimistic about de Haan’s return in the short term.
“He’s not anywhere close to skating yet,” Capuano said. De Haan’s injury is believed to be different from the one that sidelined him for five games leading into the March 1 win in Vancouver.
With de Haan at least a week away from even resuming on-ice activities and Zidlicky’s status uncertain, the Islanders were considering calling up a spare defenseman from Bridgeport to bring to Toronto for Wednesday’s quick turnaround against the Leafs.
Of course, the Isles’ defense is depleted at the AHL level as well. Scott Mayfield is out with an undisclosed injury and, with Pulock already here, he would have been the first choice. Kevin Czuczman, who played 13 games with the Isles at the end of the 2013-14 season, likely would get the call to be a safety net in Toronto.
Crosby’s fond Coliseum memories
Outside of Jaromir Jagr, no visiting player in the last two decades enjoyed as much Nassau Coliseum success as Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. He had 13 goals and 25 assists in 23 regular-season games at the Coliseum, so perhaps he was as sad as some Islanders fans to see the old place go.
“You’re saying they didn’t like me there?” he joked when asked about his memories of the Coliseum, which included a raucous 2013 playoff series. “It was always a tough place to play. It was loud. You think about Montreal, which holds 20,000, and the Coliseum was what, 16,000? It felt like 20.”
Crosby did like what he saw from Barclays Center after the morning skate. “It’s a really nice place,” he said. “You have two pretty different feelings — the old rink with all that tradition and here where it’s brand new. Hopefully I can make some good memories here, too.”