When Scott Mayfield got to practice in Bridgeport Tuesday morning, he was told “treat it like a morning skate.” So while the rest of his minor league teammates were doing their daily drills, the defenseman was focusing on the possibility he was going to play in the Big Show hours later.
“It kind of just goes back to the fact you’ve got to be ready at all times. It’s nice to get in,” Mayfield said after a 4-2 victory over the Rangers at Barclays Center Tuesday night, one in which he played a significant part as a replacement for Johnny Boychuk, who had flu-like symptoms.
Mayfield beat Henrik Lundqvist from the right circle at 7:03 of the first period, giving the Islanders a 1-0 lead and setting a tone. “The offense always feels good. It’s definitely not the first thing I try to focus on in my game but the past two games here it has kind of clicked,” he said.
But this was not just any game. It was a huge one for the Islanders as they are trying to build on other recent wins and starting to make something of their season. “It’s awesome,” Travis Hamonic said. “Scotty is just one of those guys who works and works and works. It’s not hard to be happy for a guy like that contributing. It’s not easy to get called up and come into probably the biggest rivalry in the NHL. He came in, no nerves and played great.”
Chances are, Mayfield will get the call again, without much advance notice. “I’m getting kind of used to it,” the young defenseman said. “My first time, it was definitely kind of a shock, with excitement. But now I know what I need to do when I get here and how I need to play.”