NY Islanders News

New York Islanders Put John Tavares At Wing At Practice

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: John Tavares
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: John Tavares /

At practice today the New York Islanders had an interesting top two lines. Let’s take a look at what Doug Weight drew up today.

After another loss, last night, and their 10th in the past 11 games New York Islanders Head Coach Doug Weight shuffled the lines at practice today. His top two units certainly looked interesting. Let’s take a look.

Arthur Staple was kind enough to share the line combinations via Twitter this afternoon. It was:

Tavares – Barzal – Eberle

Lee – Beauvillier – Bailey

The New Top Line

On paper putting your top two players on the same unit sounds intriguing. But when they play the same position it makes less sense to make one play out of position. That’s exactly what’s happening here.

Sure, John Tavares on Mathew Barzal’s wing could be a really interesting line but I would rather spread them out and build two quality top lines.

I do like that Weight kept Eberle and Barzal together because they’ve grown some solid chemistry together this year but Tavares on the wing doesn’t move the needle for me whatsoever.

The New Second Line

The center depth really gets cut here going from Barzal down to Beauvillier. I like Beau on the wing of the second line (with Barzal centering) or centering the third line. I don’t think he’s offensive-minded enough to be driving the bus between Anders Lee and Josh Bailey.

Lee and Bailey have had a lot of success the past two years with John Tavares why move them away from their center and break up the line?

The top two lines aren’t the problem for the New York Islanders. The top line (Lee-Tavares-Bailey) together has combined for 188 points while the second line (Beauvillier-Barzal-Eberle) combined for 147.

I don’t see how breaking up your two most successful parts of your team helps. This comes off as an extremely desperate move from Doug Weight and the New York Islanders.

Instead maybe try not playing Tanner Fritz and his four points on the third line. At this point, I’d be inclined to call up Josh Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle (shocking for me, I know) to see what they have for the final 11 games.

Next: Islanders Drop Second In A Row To Capitals

The Islanders attempting to fix one of the rare things that isn’t broken with this time epitomizes the 2017-2018 season.