The All-Star break is coming at a good time for the Islanders to get healthy, but Adam Pelech will indeed miss time with a presumed head injury after being on the wrong end of Brendan Gallagher’s illegal elbow Thursday night.
Islanders coach Patrick Roy called Pelech day-to-day with an upper-body injury prior to Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Panthers.
Hudson Fasching, who left the loss to the Canadiens in the second period, was also designated day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Neither skated with the team Saturday morning.
Gallagher was given a five-game suspension by the league for the hit following a hearing over the phone Friday.
“Lou [Lamoriello] is in a better position than me to say if it’s fair or not,” Roy said. “Every time you lose a player like Adam, the suspension to us is no longer important. We’re losing a quality player.”
Mathew Barzal threw the blame right onto the Islanders’ struggles this season for Zach Parise eschewing the team to sign instead with the Avalanche on Friday night.
“Obviously would’ve loved to have him come here, but he’s gotta make a decision for himself,” Barzal said. “I’m sure if we had won eight of the games that we probably could have this year and we were 15, 16, 10 points even ahead of where we’re at today, I’m sure he’d be in blue and orange, but he’s gotta make a decision for himself.
“He knows his time’s ticking and Colorado’s obviously a front-runner in winning the Cup. I wish that we had done a better job to allow him to come here.”
After Pierre Engvall committed a pair of defensive-zone turnovers that led directly to Montreal goals Thursday night, Roy defended the Swede on Saturday morning.
“Pierre is a good player. He’s an important player on our team,” Roy said. “Sometimes it’s just, ‘OK, we need a little more from you,’ and I know I’m gonna get more from him. … Last year in the playoffs, everybody said to me he was one of our better players.
“So let’s bring that little flame back and having him play the way we think he should be playing.”
Oliver Wahlstrom drew in on the third line for Julien Gauthier in his first action with Roy behind the bench.
“I saw a lot of good practice players. Now I want to see a player on the ice [in games],” Roy said. “I know he has beautiful hands, he makes a move, I want to see everything. Now I want to know.”