Editorials

New York Islanders New Year New Third Line Proposal

By Jacob Seus
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Josh Ho-Sang
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Josh Ho-Sang /
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The New York Islanders first two lines have arguably been the best in hockey. The contributions have been endless from Jordan Eberle and Mat Barzal to John Tavares and Josh Bailey. It might be time to set a fire to the bottom half the offense though.

As we near the halfway point of the season the New York Islanders offense sits tied for second in the league averaging 3.5 goals per game. The offense has been the best part of the Islanders up to this point but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

The first two lines have been carrying the bulk of the offensive production. The bottom two lines are near invisible on a game to game basis. If the top six don’t put the puck in the net, it’s likely the Islanders didn’t win the game either.

Anthony Beauvilier,

Jason Chimera

, and

Cal Clutterbuck

have all been disappointments through the first 35 games. Those three guys have a combined ten goals between them and are a combined minus six. In a season where the Islanders have the talent to make a serious push, mediocrity should not be tolerated.

Ho-Sang And Fritz

One way Garth Snow and company could shake up the offense is to bring Josh Ho-Sang back to the big club and don’t let him come alone. The Islanders should also bring up Tanner Fritz with Ho-Sang and here’s why.

With all the talk about Michael Dal Colle and Ho-Sang, people fail to look at the Sound Tigers leading scorer. Fritz has 32 points in 28 games and is a plus-four overall. Fritz joined the team on a pro tryout before the 2015-2016 season and has stuck ever since. He’s a guy that can play multiple positions on any different line.

More from Eyes On Isles

Weight should pair Ho-Sang and Fritz on a line with Brock Nelson. This could be the spark Nelson needs to get his game going again too. Fritz has been paired with Quine, Prince, and Steve Bernier in the past. He has the experience of playing with NHL players.

If anything, Fritz could be used as a trade chip down the line and other teams want to see what the guy can do at the NHL level. While this could also backfire, and decrease his value if he plays poorly, it’s best that the Islanders look at all options. There would be no pressure to send Fritz back to Bridgeport if he doesn’t perform.

This would be a wakeup call as well to Clutterbuck, and Chimera. Two veteran guys with a strong locker room presence, but on a winning team you need more than that. More than one of these guys would find a seat in the press box and it would put an end to the Shane Princes and Alan Quines of the team.

It’s time the team takes serious look at Beauvillier. Weight is clearly frustrated with his play and has sat him down more than once in recent games. He’s still as young as anyone on the team but everyone expected him to take the next step after getting a full season of NHL experience last year.

Next: 2018 New York Islanders Resolutions

This would be a low-risk high reward move and that could change the momentum of the bottom lines. Snow should be looking to deal pieces to improve the defense but why not try to improve the offense when the key players are right down in the minors.

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