Hamrlik Swells Isles' Injury List
By Alan Hahn
January 1, 2002
Add Roman Hamrlik's name to the list of injured
Islanders defensemen; a list that is growing by the
The team yesterday announced Hamrlik, who had been
playing in obvious pain since spraining his right knee
on Nov. 27 against Washington (he missed just one game
after that), needs arthroscopic surgery to repair the
knee. He will undergo the procedure tomorrow, the same
day his defensive partner, Radek Martinek, will have
season-ending surgery to repair his right knee.
Hamrlik, however, is expected to return in February,
most likely after the Olympic break.
"There's nothing you can do," coach Peter Laviolette
said of the rash of injuries that has decimated his
defense. "Other teams go through it too." The news
about Hamrlik is buffered some by the possible return
of Kenny Jonsson, who practiced yesterday with the
team before it flew to Washington for today's game
against the Capitals. Jonsson has missed the past two
games after sustaining a concussion during the Dec. 23
game against the Boston Bruins. He is considered
"probable" for today's game.
"We'll see how he feels," Laviolette said. "If he
feels good, there's a chance he'll go."
If he doesn't, the Islanders will be without three of
their best four defensemen. Laviolette said whether
Jonsson plays or not, he will likely go again with a
lineup of seven defensemen, which he did Saturday
against Montreal. That means he'll have to scratch two
forwards; Dave Scatchard and Mats Lindgren were the
odd men out against Montreal. Laviolette said he was
pleased with the way rookie Raffi Torres played on the
second line with Michael Peca and Mark Parrish and
that makes it hard for the coach to keep him off the
"We need to put the best lineup out there," Laviolette
With 15 games in the next 30 days and 20 in the next
43 before the Olympic break - 11 of which are on the
road - this is a crucial stretch for the Islanders,
who suddenly find themselves sandwiched in a very
tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference.
It begins this afternoon against the wildly
inconsistent, but dangerous Capitals, who haven't lost
a game to the Islanders since March 2, 1997; a span of
19 straight (17-0-2). Earlier this season, the teams
skated to a 5-5 finish at Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 27.
The overall series record is even at 69-69-12.
Notes & Quotes: Coach Peter Laviolette did not travel
with the team yesterday, but will fly to Washington,
D.C. this morning to join the team in time for the
game. He was allowed to remain on Long Island with his
family because his wife, Kristen, is due with the
couple's third child . . . Shawn Bates has four goals
and six points in five games since his return to the
lineup after missing nine games with a groin strain
and appears to have found a home as the left wing on
the top line centered by Alexei Yashin . . . For
anyone keeping score, the Islanders finished the
calendar year of 2001 with a 29-42-8-3 record.