New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas will miss the next three-to-four weeks with a leg injury, the team announced on Wednesday.
#Isles Transactions: Casey Cizikas is out with a leg laceration 3-4 weeks and placed on IR (retroactive to Feb. 11). Cole Bardreau has been recalled from Bridgeport.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 12, 2020
During the first period of Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ivan Provarov’s skate blade cut Cizikas’s left leg. Cizikas left the game and did not return.
Over 48 games, Cizikas has 14 points (10 goals, four assists). Cizikas is an important presence on the Islanders’ fourth line, which is now suffering quite a bit with winger Cal Clutterbuck’s wrist injury, as well. He has been out since December and it’s still unknown when we’ll return.
The Islanders are third in the Metro and are currently in a playoff spot, but they have struggled a bit since December. Just as they seem to have gotten things going, they have two back-to-back wins against the dangerous Washington Capitals and impressive Flyers, respectively, they suffer this injury.
In response, the Islanders recalled Cole Bardreau from their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The 26-year-old has played nine games with the Islanders this season, scoring a goal and notching an assist. He will most likely play on the fourth line with Leo Komarov and Matt Martin, the only original fourth-liner remaining.
Bardreau has actually struggled quite a bit in the AHL this year; he has two goals and one assist in 29 games. His struggles somewhat translated to the NHL, which is part of the reason why he was sent back down. However, his call-up is necessary because of injury and the team recognizes the positive aspects of his game like his speed and versatility.
Even though Bardreau and Komarov may be able to hold down the fort until Cizikas and Clutterbuck return (Komarov has actually been playing quite well alongside Martin), these injuries may just be even more encouragement for the Islanders to be active buyers at the trade deadline.
Over the past decade, the Islanders have always been one of the quietest teams during this time of year. However, it has become evident that they need to acquire at least one impactful forward if they hope to go far in the playoffs, especially if injuries continue to stack up for them.