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PHT 1st Dud of the Week Okposo scratched vs. Rangers

Nov 15, 2011, 5:11 PM EDT

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

Yesterday, struggling New York Islanders RW Kyle Okposo was named PHT’s 1st Dud of the Week (along with No Goals Club members Blake Wheeler and Radek Dvorak).

Today, the struggle continued as Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com reports Okposo will sit out tonight’s game against the Rangers. Isles head coach Jack Capuano said it would be a game-time decision, but it’s widely believed that Okposo will be held out of the lineup (and pregame warmups.)

While the move is a condemnation of Okposo’s recent play (no goals through 14 games), it has dual purpose. Scratching Okposo gives 19-year-old Nino Niederreiter an opportunity to make his season debut, potentially on New York’s top line with Matt Moulson and John Tavares.

(Should also be noted this is a straight positional swap, as both Okposo and Niederreiter play right wing.)

“I’m super excited,” Niederreiter told ESPNNewYork.com when reached by telephone Monday. “I couldn’t be happier than I am right now. I’m just going to try to take it one day at a time and do what I can to help the team.”

While Niederreiter’s happy, Okposo isn’t all that pleased…

source:

  1. bcisleman - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    I remember the 2007-08 season when Kyle broke into the NHL with a dramatic helmet-less goal against the Devils and went 2-3-5 in 9 games. He then had 39 and 52 point seasons before losing more than 1/2 of last season to injury.

    For the past few seasons, NYI fans have been waiting for him to have that big breakout season and it hasn’t happened. Now Nino is challenging and next year there will be Petrov–both very skilled RW PFs. Kyle really has to start to make it happen or he may get left behind.

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