I figured, since the Islanders do not want to disclose any injuries – it would be fitting to get an “Undisclosed Injury Report” out there.
If you haven’t already heard, the Islanders would not confirm last night that DiPietro suffered any specific injury during the first period against Carolina. Lies, deceit, fibs – whatever you want to call it, the only bits of information trickling down from upper management through head coach Scott Gordon, captain Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro himself were clearly part of a mass conspiracy. What we were able to figure out is that there was “something” ailing DP.
Greg Logan was furious during the interviews, absolutely furious. You can see for yourself in his latest blog entry – it was almost a full five-hours after the final buzzer of the game when Logan posted in his blog. Normally, you just don’t see an opinion as critical and harsh come from any beat writer – but as a blogger (part of the non-mainstream) it’s good Greg has a place he can go to air his concerns and frustrations. For me – you already know how I feel about this foolish injury policy the Islanders are practicing.
It just shouldn’t come down to being fed false information about injuries – especially when the Islanders are likely near the top of the list regarding man-games lost to injury, much like they were last season.
The Walking Wounded
Here is a current list of the “injured” players currently out, recovering or “scratches” for the New York Islanders.
Perhaps one of the most curious injuries – 2008 1st round draft pick Josh Bailey has been missing in action since the pre-season. Having only played in two exhibition games – the young center was supposed to play in nine NHL contests before being sent back down to juniors. A monkey wrench got thrown into the mix however, as somewhere along the line Josh was injured. It was never really disclosed what exactly was ailing him – but he was just about to be cleared to return when the “injury” was tweaked during practice. Josh has been a scratch for all of the Islanders games to this point.
Best guess, Bailey has some sort of groin, abdominal or hamstring injury.
Estimated time of return: Per news reports – 2-4 weeks
Rick DiPietro is the bionic man, he has had two hip surgeries and one knee surgery in two seasons. We call it the 1-2-2 deal. DiPietro missed almost all of the preseason matches and only played in one exhibition game before riding the pine as back-up for Joey MacDonald. DiPietro was finally allowed to play – came in and got shellacked in his first start. He claimed he felt great and that the wait was well worth it. In every game since, DiPietro looked ok – but not anything like his pre-all star performance last season. DiPietro has let in weak goal after weak goal, and when he has been sharp the defense let him down. In the loss to Carolina on Saturday – DiPietro threw the puck up the middle – a basic fundamental mistake, which lead to a turnover and ultimately a goal against. Gordon made everyone’s head spin by bringing out Joey Macdonald in the second period – leading to speculation that DiPietro was re-injured.
The rumors and personal thoughts among the media were rampant and questions began to fly from every direction during Gordon’s press conference. Gordon laughed about the precarious situation he found himself in and claimed DiPietro was day-to-day, right in the line of fire. Bill Guerin played dumb, giving a sarcastic answer and claiming he knew nothing of an injury, then with a laugh saying “You know how it goes”. When it came to DiPietro facing the media, he said the questions were becoming a bit of a distraction and that he couldn’t talk about any specifics. It was like a soap opera, a badly written soap opera.
Chris Botta claimed this morning on his blog that Yann Dennis was recalled on an emergency basis to back up MacDonald – but then Greg Logan couldn’t get clear cut confirmation that Dennis would even dress on Monday. In the same blog entry, Logan claims that DiPietro is going to the doctor tomorrow – interesting development for one of those mild “undisclosed injuries” – eh?
Best guess: DiPietro tweaked his knee, it was red and it looked like there was some swelling. He came into the room sans ice-pack however – further deepening the mystery.
Estimated time of return: listed as day to day
Andy Sutton was all set to return from season ending hamstring surgery and played in a few exhibition games – that was until he suffered a “hand injury”. Sutton underwent hand surgery, at the time the injury was announced – his return was around 6 weeks. Sutton was just cleared to take part in full contact practices and has been practicing with the team daily.
Once Sutton returns, he will replace the size that Witt presented back there – but what about his intensity? Reports from some of the other players are that Sutton is dying to get back out the ice. His conditioning hasn’t been better and his skating ability has improved since last season. It remains to be seen being we have not seen much of him since last season – but a guy like him returning from injury when other key guys are down is certainly a plus.
Estimated time of return: within a week.
Mike Sillinger is another player who underwent surgery during the off season. Sillinger did not take well to the surgery and needed some injections to jump start the healing process. He has been skating since the summer, but did not take part in camp from what I could gather. He has been skating and working with the Islanders coaches and could return sometime within the next month. Out of all the injuries – the Islanders have been most upfront about this one.
Estimated time of return: 2-4 weeks or about a month
Chalk another up on the undisclosed injury list. Defenseman Freddy Meyer IV was injured at some point during Saturday’s game against Carolina. Meyer had a fair game, scoring and assisting on Bergenheim’s short handed tally – although he also had a bad give away that lead to Staal scoring effortlessly.
Defenseman Brett Skinner has been called up on an emergency basis to fill in for Meyer should the need arise. Greg Logan said that Meyer is also going to see the Doctor on Monday.
Estimated time of return: listed as day to day
AKA “Glass Man” – Radek Martinek went down in only the second game of this season. I had joked at the time he got hurt we should have started a Martinek injury pool amongst the Blog Box – but I really hate when Marty goes down with injury. Martinek is a solid d-man when healthy, it’s just a shame the poor guy can’t ever play a complete season. Hopefully now that he got an injury out of the way early – he can come back healthy and remain that way for the rest of the season.
Martinek suffered what is believed to be a separated shoulder, but the team wouldn’t say much other than “an upper body injury”. To those of us who saw the play – it did not look good and he was clearly in pain. A positive however, I saw him in the locker room on Thursday and he wasn’t in a sling that was visible to me – so maybe he isn’t as bad as speculated.
Estimated time of return: Per news reports – 4 to 6 weeks
Brendan Witt is the guy you associate with playing through pain, he is a man’s man and is THE shutdown guy for the Islanders. Witt injured one of his knees last season and seemed to be fully recovered – that was until he took a knee-on-knee collision against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Witt limped off the ice and appeared to be in agony and could not put much weight on the knee. He was listed as questionable for the game yesterday against Carolina and the same for the game against the Rangers tomorrow.
If Witt loses any length of time it will be detrimental to the Islanders defense – especially with Martinek already injured and now a potential injury to Meyer. The Islanders were also mum on this injury – claiming Witt sustained “a lower body injury”.
I happened to see Brendan walking around yesterday in the locker room – he looked to be favoring one leg over the other, so not really sure what is going on with him.
Estimated time of return: listed as day-to-day
Seven players currently down because of injuries. Here we are 7 games into the 2008/2009 NHL season and the Islanders already have enough injuries to last them an entire season. Thankfully Chris Campoli made his return, otherwise it would be eight.
When this many injuries happen, you have to start looking into why. Last season – it seemed freaky that all the injuries happened, especially to hips. This year, it cannot be chalked up to coincidence – it has to point to conditioning. Maybe that’s why the Islanders are deflecting so much away from their injured players, they are hiding something much more serious.
Simply amazing though, looking through all the “injuries” and how they are explained though – isn’t it?