Mikhail Grabovski (Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
New York Islanders winger Mikhail Grabovski missed 10 games, came back for one and is now back on the shelf with an undisclosed injury. Grabovski, 32, was sent back to New York ahead of Thursday’s game and won’t play Saturday.
Mikhail Grabovski made his way back into the New York Islanders’ lineup Tuesday night after missing 10 games with an upper-body injury. But after 17 minutes of ice time against the Penguins, Grabovski is right back out of action.
Ahead of Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators, Grabovski told the training staff he was suffering from what the Islanders called “undisclosed issues” and he has since been sent back to New York, meaning he’ll miss at least Saturday’s game against the Stars.
“I thought he played pretty well,” Capuano said of Grabovski’s return to the lineup Tuesady. “[The next day] he had a couple of issues. We decided to send him back to get checked up.”
Grabovski has had a tough time staying healthy since coming over the Islanders last season. The 32-year-old only played in 51 games in 2014-15 and has suited up for another 58 during this campaign, but it’s hard to say how many more games he’ll get into before the campaign is through.
Production-wise, Grabovski’s first campaign with the Islanders was underwhelming, but he was having a good season for New York in 2015-16. His nine goals matched his total from 2014-15 and his 25 points were six more than he had notched all of the previous campaign. But even if he’s not always showing up on the scoreboard, losing Grabovski, an important third-line winger, isn’t a good thing for the Islanders. It’s worse when you consider New York is close to losing their divisional playoff spot to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Islanders are holding onto the third spot in the Metropolitan Division by one point with one game in hand over the Penguins, but Pittsburgh has been one of the best teams in the league over the past two months. That’s not to say the Islanders have been poor, but they’ve allowed the Penguins to make up some ground. A crucial game between the two clubs could come April 2 in Pittsburgh.
Given how Grabovski’s injury was spoken about — undisclosed issues coming the next day — the hope is that he’s not battling through a concussion. He suffered a concussion last season following a hit from John Scott and missed 27 games at the tail end of 2014-15 with what was believed to be another potential head injury. He was two seasons remaining on a four-year, $20-million deal.