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New York Islanders Three Takeaways from First Preseason Game

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Billy McGregor of Farmingville wears a modified John Tavares jersey prior to the preseason game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Billy McGregor of Farmingville wears a modified John Tavares jersey prior to the preseason game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 16: Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders and Mikhail Vorobyov #46 of the Philadelphia Flyers collide during the first period during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 16: Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders and Mikhail Vorobyov #46 of the Philadelphia Flyers collide during the first period during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Best Fourth Line is Back

If you had any doubt that the trio of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, and Cal Clutterbuck could be effective, think again. The three didn’t miss a beat from 2015-16 when Don Cherry said they were the best fourth line in hockey.

That season the three put up some good depth production and hit everything and anything wearing opposition colors. They combined for 811 hits over the season, that’s just under ten hits a game.

Their constant effort kept the opposition pinned down in their own end, where they’d eventually get clobbered and forced into a turnover.

That very same line was front and present in the Islanders first preseason game. Martin, Cizikas, Clutterbuck, were all over the Flyers and seemingly in mid-season-form…from three years ago.

They didn’t miss a beat. Everything that made them a threat in that 2015-16 season was on full display against the Flyers.

With Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz’s push to be “hard to play against” this has to be music to their ears. And to the ears of fans.

There’s still a long way to go in the preseason but after this display, you’d have to pencil in Martin, Cizikas, Clutterbuck to be the default fourth line come opening night. They seem like the perfect embodiment of what Lou and Barry are preaching.

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