NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As far as the Islanders are concerned, it’s better this happened now than in the playoffs.
Jockeying for position in the tightly contested Eastern Conference, the Isles will reportedly be without top defenseman Nick Leddy for at least the next two weeks.READ MORE: NYC Mayoral Candidates Make Last-Minute Push For Votes Ahead Of Tuesday's Primary
Leddy left Monday night’s 4-3 overtime win in Toronto during the second period with an upper body injury and did not return. He then sat out the Isles’ 2-1 loss to the visiting Rangers on Tuesday, ending his consecutive games played streak at 320.READ MORE: More Violence On Subways: Police Say Tourist Hit With Bottle, Man Slashed In Separate Attacks
The 23-year-old defenseman, who signed a seven-year, $38.5 million contract extension last month, appeared to suffer the injury on a slash by Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul.
A lot can still happen to the Islanders (43-22-4) over their final 13 games. Despite having a playoff spot all but sewn up, they can finish anywhere from first to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. It would behoove the Isles to finish in the top two in the division so they can have home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Leddy, who was acquired back in October from the Chicago Blackhawks, has had a tremendous first season on the island, scoring a career-high 10 goals and carrying a plus-17 rating in 68 games. With 29 points, he’s just two shy of his career best, set last season.MORE NEWS: NYPD: Off-Duty Officer Attacked With Baseball Bat In Bronx; As Many As 6 Suspects Sought
In Leddy’s absence, the Isles will likely rely heavily on veteran Brian Strait, who has six points in 39 games.