Johnny Boychuk’s status for Tuesday’s Game 2 against the Panthers remains in limbo.
The Islanders did not practice on Sunday in Toronto and coach Barry Trotz had no update on his defenseman. Boychuk exited Saturday’s 2-1 win in Game 1 of the best-of-five qualifying series at 2:44 of the second period for concussion protocol after an illegal check to the head from Mike Matheson.
“No, nothing,” Trotz said. “We’ll see where he’s at [Monday]. It was a day off for everybody.”
Trotz certainly has options if the right-shooting Boychuk is unable to play in Game 2. Lefty Andy Greene and right-handed rookie Noah Dobson were healthy scratches on Saturday but might have been the Islanders’ most consistent pair through Training Camp 2.0 and Wednesday night’s 2-1 exhibition win over the Rangers, when both had assists.
Trotz could insert those two as a pair and sit Boychuk’s partner, Nick Leddy, who took three shots in 21:41 in Game 1 and also played on the 1-for-3 power play. Or, Trotz, could pair Leddy with Greene – which would force one to play his off-side – or Dobson.
The Islanders brought 10 defensemen to their hub city, including longtime regular Thomas Hickey and Sebastian Aho, both lefties.
“We have 10 guys back there that can play,” defenseman Devon Toews said. “We’re confident with whoever plays. It’s a struggle to get in the lineup and stay in the lineup.”
Right wing Leo Komarov missed almost all of Training Camp 2.0 with a facial injury – wearing a full birdcage when he finally did practice – and has yet to dress for a game. But Trotz is expecting the agitator to be ready soon. “He’s right on that line of being available,” Trotz said. “I don’t know if he’s quite in the mix for next game. But he’ll be in the mix this series.”