Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Visnovsky to make season debut, Isles inch closer to full strength on D

Phoenix Coyotes v New York Islanders

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 08: Lubomir Visnovsky #11 of the New York Islanders carries the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2013 in Uniondale, New York.

Maddie Meyer

Good news, bad news sort of day for the Islanders -- Lubomir Visnovsky has been cleared for action and will make his season debut tonight against the Bruins, but fellow blueliner Travis Hamonic will miss the game with a lingering upper-body injury, per Newsday.

So, the defensive pairings for tonight:

Visnovsky-Thomas Hickey

Johnny Boychuk-Nick Leddy

Brian Strait-Calvin de Haan

The state of the Islanders’ defense is, unsurprisingly, one of the bigger stories to start this season. GM Garth Snow made a pair of significant moves late in the preseason by acquiring Boychuk and Leddy, and both have paid immediate dividends: Boychuk sits tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in scoring (six points in six games) while Leddy is in the top-20 with four.

When healthy, the projected top six of Leddy, Boychuk, Hamonic, Visnovsky, Hickey, de Haan and/or Strait is one of the deepest in the Eastern Conference, especially when you consider Griffin Reinhart -- the fourth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft -- is down in AHL Bridgeport, along with a slew of fellow prospects: Ryan Pulock (15th overall, ’13), Scott Mayfield (34th overall, ’11) and Kevin Czuczman, the former NCAA standout that signed as a free agent last year and appeared in 13 games for the Isles.