The Islanders first line is fine-ish. Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey are producing as advertised. Barzal with 1.25 points per games and Bailey with an equally great 1.00 points per game. But Anthony Beauvillier hasn’t yet produced anything this season.
Barry Trotz has already moved him off the first line in-game. If he chooses to move him by puck drop against Anaheim putting him at center would be a good idea. With Cizikas out the Islanders are short on options.
Beauvillier showed his abilities as a center in the past. But for some reason, he’s rarely featured down the middle. Now’s the perfect time to give him a try under Barry’s system.
Giving Beauvillier a tryout in the middle would push Anders Lee back on the top line and slot Brock Nelson as a winger. Beauvillier could benefit from a partnership with the puck possession that Jordan Eberle generates.
The bottom of the lineup remains largely unchanged after the Casey Cizikas injury and Stephen Gionta call-up. With his play this early in the season, Filppula deserves to play with Cizikas’ linemates.
Alternatively, the Islanders could keep Nelson at center (he’s been pretty good there), put Beauvillier on the wing of line three with Filppula and Clutterbuck, and bump Martin down to line four. That means Andrew Ladd gets to play on the second line with Nelson and Eberle.
Ladd has his faults, but he also has his qualities. Barry Trotz could make use of the veteran. We’ve seen what he’s been able to do with Valtteri Filppula. Maybe he can do the same with Ladd.