New York Islanders Third-Line Key to Big Success
The New York Islanders are off to a strong start this season. A lot of things are coming together for the blue and orange. For the Isles to have big success this season the play of their third-line is key.
The New York Islanders have a deep team. They have four forward lines that are capable of causing havoc to the opposition on a nightly basis.
The top line two lines centered by John Tavares and Mathew Barzal are turning into offensive juggernauts. The Casey Cizikas line is all about sandpaper, two-way play, and secondary scoring.
It’s the third line, the kid line, that’s the key to big success for the Isles.
New Kid Line
The Isles third line consists of Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, and Josh Ho-Sang. All three youngsters bring a lot of skill to the table.
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Beauvillier (just 20-years-old) is starting to pick up his game. On the season he has posted three goals, six points, and is a minus six (his plus-minus was a lot worse) The 28th overall pick in the 2015 draft has a skill set that includes a two-way game, strong corner work, secondary scoring, and he plays with a lot of energy.
Ho-Sang (turns 22 next month) looks like he will be a dynamic offensive player. He already has 12 points (17 games played) and looks equally capable of lighting the lamp as well as being a play-maker. The first-round pick from 2014 needs to work on the little things that would make him a complete hockey player.
For Nelson (turned 26 in October) it’s all about consistency. If the kid from the University of North Dakota can play his game on a nightly basis, the sky is the limit.
No one is asking these former first-round picks to be stars and carry this team. What this Islanders club needs from this trio is responsible hockey and solid offensive production on a nightly basis.
By far the new kid line had their best game of the season, Monday night against the Florida Panthers. What is most impressive about this outing was how this unit rebounded after a tough performance the game before versus Ottawa.
However, the kid line struggled against the Lightning on Tuesday. Will see if they can rebound with a strong game against Pittsburgh.
This unit is a relatively new line and they are all young especially Beauvillier and Ho-Sang. This group will require a lot of patience from both the coaching staff and the fan-base. Doug Weight is going to need to be tutoring this group throughout the season.
If this line can be productive then Garth Snow can focus on adding a veteran blue line defenseman to improve this squad. The new kid line is capable of big things. They just need to be focused on consistency and two-way play.
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If Weight can help mold this talented trio into playing winning hockey, while at the same time utilizing their offensive skills, the coach will be worth his weight in gold.