THREE UP, ONE DOWN
The Islanders have recalled defensemen Bruno Gervais and forwards Kevin Colley and Wyatt Smith in time to join the team for practice this morning at Islanders Iceworks and to get on the charter today for this week's road trip to Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus. Not joining the Islanders for the flight to the Motor City is 2003 first round pick Robert Nilsson, who has been sent to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.
With three forwards -- Shawn Bates, Oleg Kvasha and Petteri Nokelainen -- out of the lineup, it means the Islanders will likely play 11 forwards and seven defensemen in Sunday's game in Detroit. "We want to see how Bruno can do at this level," Islanders coach Steve Stirling said of Gervais, who leads AHL defensemen in goals (8). "He's earned a shot."
As for Nilsson, Stirling explained: "He played banged up a bit for a few games and then we gave him a few days of rest. Right now, he's not on one of our top forward lines, and Robert is too young and too talented to be sitting on the bench. We need him playing a lot. He'll get plenty of icetime in Bridgeport starting with their game tonight, and then we'll see. Make no mistake: Robert is going to be a big part of the Islanders for a long time."