Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Niskanen out 2-4 Weeks; Despres up for huge bump in minutes

By Artistry 

Dan Bylsma said today that the reliable Matt Niskanen will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a foot. Early indications are Simon Despres will slot next to Kris Letang tonight, meaning Despres is going from 0 (healthy scratch) to 60 (playing with a guy who averages like 28 minutes on ice per game) in no time flat. We wish him nothing but success, but we're mortified.

Trade deadline is April 5. We keep hearing rumors of Shero eyeing help on the wing, which is all well and good. But we'd be stunned if Ray Shero waits long to bring in another veteran defenseman. Incidentally, Brian Strait is playing with Mark Streit on the Islanders' top pairing tonight.


  1. Here's hoping this isn't disastrous.

    To be fair, though, Despres won't be out with Tanger all the time - likely not even most of the time. Martin will bounce between Brooks and Engelland, and Brooks will play with LeTang for stretches. The pairings will bounce around so that Despres gets the same 10 min of ice he's been. The real worry is how long 3 defensemen can play 30 min a game without getting worn down. 2-4 weeks seems like an eternity.

    1. That's really the issue. You can't shield 3 defensemen from playing legit minutes. Maybe 1 or 2, but not 3.