DENVER – Scott Mayfield has adapted the Mile High City as his hometown after playing for the University of Denver from 2011-13 and his parents have moved from St. Louis as well. So the Islanders defenseman knows all too well some of the difficulties of playing at a high altitude.
“It affects everyone differently and it’s more of a mental grind but you’ve got to make sure you get your recovery time on the bench,” Mayfield said as the Islanders faced the Avalanche on Monday night at Pepsi Center.
“You don’t notice it when you’re out there [on the ice] as much but as soon as you’re on the bench and you’re trying to relax and they ask you to go right back out there, you’re like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not recovered yet,’” Mayfield added. “I’ve seen guys really sick. My first workout or two back here in the summer is tough. I’ll throw up a couple of times.”
Islanders coach Barry Trotz said it was imperative to keep shifts short and roll all four lines.
“You fall off a cliff a little bit quicker.”
Trotz said he planned to start goalie Robin Lehner on Tuesday night at Arizona. Lehner made 14 saves in his last start, a 3-2 loss to Vegas on Wednesday night at Barclays Center in which the Golden Knights rallied from a 2-1 deficit and he has not record a victory since Oct. 30.
The Coyotes (14-16-2) are opening a three-game homestand after a 1-3-0 road trip and are in a 1-5-0 slide overall.
Forward Michael Dal Colle, 22, the fifth overall pick in 2014, was named the AHL’s player of the week after scoring five goals on five shots in two games for Bridgeport, including his first pro hat trick…Forwards Ross Johnston and Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Luca Sbisa remained the healthy scratches.