THE MORNING SKATE: Travis Hamonic and Kirill Kabanov Injury Updates (Video)

So… How about that game last night?
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Travis Hamonic got hit in the face with a shot during Saturday’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres. According to the team, he was taken to the hospital for surgery and stitches to repair a broken nose. The timetable on his return is two weeks and likely a cage when he returns.

The Islanders, still grasping at playoff straws, now face their already uphill battle without arguably their best and most reliable defender. Hamonic had played in 113 straight games, which ranks sixth among Islander defensemen all-time. That’s pretty incredible considering he’s only played 113 NHL games in total.

Now the Islanders have a few choices depending on how other injuries play out. Mike Mottau is still on IR and not likely to come off. Milan Jurcina is day-to-day following an arm laceration last week. It’s possible he could be ready to go for Tuesday. Alternatively, the team could place Jurcina on IR which would allow for an emergency call up from Bridgeport, which is dealing with defender shortages of its own. If Juice is placed on IR, it’s a seven day minimum stay which would make him ineligible to return until Saturday’s game, assuming the move is retroactive to February 4th.

Prospect Kirill Kabanov took a nasty hit from Saint John’s Jason Cameron on Saturday. Cameron was given five and a game for the hit.

This happened in the same game that Brandon Gormley (first round, Phoenix in 2010) took a skate to the neck (and is luckily alright).

Complete with a winning record in January!