With the return of Matt Martin to the New York Islanders is it at all possible for Casey Cizikas to return more than 24 points this season? Yes. A thousand percent.
Remember, that was the 2015-16 season and the last time Matt Martin skated with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. The three put up a combined 71 points that year. Their unrelenting forecheck and battering-ram like style perfectly disrupted any offense the opposition could mount while they were on the ice.
That style perfectly suited the three’s physical style of playing the game. Not only did they become feared for their physicality but for their ability to generate offense. Again, they scored 71 points from the fourth line.
But that was three years ago. Has a three-year hiatus been too much to overcome?
If you’ve watched the preseason the answer is no.
The energy and momentum that Martin, Cizikas, and Clutterbuck brought to the Islanders when they last played together is still there. The Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, and New York Rangers got to see it first hand so far this preseason.
The three are hitting anything on skates, disrupting the opposition’s offense, and are keeping the momentum from swinging the other way. They’re the embodiment of being hard to play against.
The last time Casey Cizikas skated with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck he put up 29 points. If he can stay healthy there’s no issue that he passes the 24 point threshold.
Remember, just two years ago, this time playing with only Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas was on pace to score 35 points. But due to injury, he missed 23 games and only played 59 games.
Staying healthy is going to be the key for Casey Cizikas. Over the last two seasons, he’s missed 41 games, half a season. With the long offseason where he could recover, there’s no reason to think he’ll miss significant time due to injury.
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With the return of Matt Martin, a return to the style of play that has suited Casey Cizikas best, and hopefully as close to a full 82 games as possible, Casey Cizikas will surpass 24.5 points in 2018-19.