PARRISH, SOPEL OUT FOR TUESDAY
If the Islanders are going to get back on track after Saturday's loss at Montreal, they will have to do it without the services of valuable players Brent Sopel and Mark Parrish. The Islanders host the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Parrish (hip strain) and Sopel (wrist injury) continue to be listed as day-to-day. Neither practiced with the team today. Of the two, it appears Parrish may be closer to returning. Regardless, Steve Stirling is hopeful the increased icetime for other players will equal increased production.
"We need everyone to step up," said Stirling, noting that all three goals in Montreal came from the Alexei Yashin-Miroslav Satan tandem. "Having Mark and Brent out hurts us, no doubt, but this is life in the National Hockey League. Just about every team in the league is battling injuries to key players and it will happen all year. The teams that handle it the best, the ones that get contributions from players stepping up, they're the teams that make the playoffs. We will never use injuries as an excuse."
With Parrish and Sopel out, the Islanders' power play undoubtedly takes a hit. At Islanders Iceworks this morning, the team took the ice 45 minutes early for some additional power play work. "Practice time with such a busy game schedule is at a premium," said Stirling. "When you have it, you have to take advantage of the time."