BOSTON – Anders Lee set up in his usual spot right in front of the crease and tried to deflect shots into the net. He used his big body to try and stop pucks being rimmed around the boards. And he concluded his lengthy solo workout with side-to-side stopping and starting.
The injured and out-for-the-season Islanders captain was on the ice for the optional morning skate on Monday at TD Garden, less than three months after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament and requiring surgery. The Islanders face the Bruins in Game 5 of their second-round series on Monday night.
The stated timetable for Lee’s return, per president and general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Barry Trotz, has always been next season’s training camp in September. Trotz repeated during the Islanders’ six-game win over the Penguins in the first round that Lee was not a possibility during this postseason.
Still, Lee has been a daily presence around his teammates as he rehabs from the most serious injury of his career. He was hurt against the Devils on March 11 when Pavel Zacha fell over his extended right leg.
“Can you imagine Anders Lee in this series?” Trotz said on Saturday. “And an [injured Oliver] Wahlstrom in this series. That would be beneficial. But they’re not. So, we just play with who we have and we like who we have.”
Lee, who turns 31 next month, is in the second season of a seven-year, $49 million deal. He had 12 goals and seven assists in 27 games this season before his injury as the top-line left wing and net-front presence on the power play.