Thomas Vanek had hoped to be back in the lineup for the New York Islanders when they took on the Detroit Red Wings this evening, but he doesn’t appear quite ready to go yet. He hasn’t played for the Isles since last Saturday, when he was forced to leave early against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
He tripped over netminder Sergei Bobrovsky at that juncture. While he’s been skating since then, he won’t be available tonight.
Capuano: Nabokov in goal tonight. Same #Isles skaters as the last game meaning Vanek remains day-to-day.
— NYIslanders (@NYIslanders) November 16, 2013
Vanek had said that tonight was his target date while speaking to Arthur Staple of Long Island News Day, on Thursday. The player had this to say at that point about what it’d take for him to return to the lineup:
Each and every day it’s just rehabbing it, exercising it. Once it gets to a point where it’s just pain tolerance, then I’ll be back . . . Yesterday, I thought it was going to get better overnight, and it did. But it’s not quite there. So I’ll push hard for Saturday.
If he was gunning for tonight and came up just short, it seems likely that he could be ready to go by New York’s next contest. That won’t take place until Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Isles have another two days off after that tilt, and will see the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road next Friday.