After taking a hard shot to his right eye during the first period of last night’s game, defenseman Mike Mottau was taken to a local hospital on a stretcher. He will stay in the hospital overnight, a team spokesman said, and is expected to fly back to New York tomorrow.
With 3:48 to play in the first period, Mottau went down hard when struck with Zach Bogosian’s shot, clutching his right eye before even hitting the ice. Mottau, whose face was bloodied from the impact, was helped off the ice by head trainer Garrett Timms.
Although he was taken to the hospital on a stretcher for precautionary reasons, a heavily-bandaged Mottau seemed lucid and walked to the ambulance on his own.
“First off, you pray that he’s alright and that it’s nothing career-threatening or anything like that. Hopefully we’ll get some idea pretty soon that he’s alright,” said alternate captain Mark Eaton.
Mottau’s absence marked the second time in eight days the Islanders were forced to play with only five defensemen.
The team was also down a defenseman last Saturday against L.A. when Jack Hillen couldn’t play because of what was later revealed to be a concussion.
Through the first 20 games of the season, the Islanders have seen five defenseman go down. In addition to Mottau’s injury last night, Mark Streit (shoulder), Milan Jurcina (hamstring), Andrew MacDonald (hand), Jack Hillen (concussion) are all currently on injured reserve.