PITTSBURGH — Scott Mayfield wanted to practice with his Islanders teammates on Monday at PPG Paints Arena. Coach Barry Trotz told him to take the day off.
But Trotz said there was no concern over the defenseman’s availability for Tuesday night’s Game 4 of the first-round series against the Penguins, with the Islanders looking to complete their first sweep of a best-of-seven series since 1983.
“Total maintenance, he’s fine,” Trotz said. “It was really my decision. He was going to come out and I said, no, we’ll just give you the day and you’re going to be fine.”
Mayfield logged 17:12 in Sunday’s 4-1 win in Game 3 at Pittsburgh with three blocked shots, giving him eight in the series.
Lefthanded shooting Thomas Hickey likely would enter the Islanders’ lineup in Game 4 if the righthanded shooting Mayfield is unavailable, with lefthanded Devon Toews shifting to his off-side.
The Islanders are now one of the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup, at least in new odds released by BetOnline, one of the more heavily-trafficked online gambling companies.
The Islanders were given 7-1 odds to win the Cup, trailing only the defending Cup champion Capitals, who are 5-1, among the NHL’s 16 playoff teams.
“I don’t know how to answer that,” center Casey Cizikas said when informed of the odds. “We’re just trying to play good hockey right now.”
The Flames, Blues and Golden Knights all were listed at 8-1, the Penguins were 40-1, while the Hurricanes were last at 50-1.
Pens don’t practice
The Penguins opted not to practice on Monday, and coach Mike Sullivan told the media at the team’s facility in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, his team has responded to these days off.
“We’ve skated eight days in a row now,” Sullivan said. “[In March], we played a lot of games — every other day, like we are now— and our team responded really well when we didn’t skate the day before and had a morning skates and played.”