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Islanders Leo Komarov Is Thriving In 4th Line Role

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 07: Noah Dobson #8,Leo Komarov #47 and Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders congratulate teammate Casey Cizikas #53 after he scored a goal in the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 07, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 07: Noah Dobson #8,Leo Komarov #47 and Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders congratulate teammate Casey Cizikas #53 after he scored a goal in the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 07, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Leo Komarov has done a fantastic job for the New York Islanders taking over for the injured Cal Clutterbuck on the fourth line.

On January 1, 2018, the New York Islanders signed Leo Komarov to a four-year $12 million contract. At the time the fans were in panic mode because their franchise player just dipped out for Toronto but this was a head-scratching contract.

I didn’t love the term or the AAV but I figured if he was playing on the fourth line it’s a fine move, the year prior the Islanders bottom six was atrocious. Well, two days later Lou Lamoriello traded for Matt Martin killing that plan.

It then bumped Leo Komarov up on the third line where he would never reach expectation. He finished last year with 26 points which is very solid for a fourth-liner but leaves a little to be desired on line three.

At the start of this year, he again started on line three, playing over his head. He went a full calendar year without a goal which isn’t going to cut it in a third-line role.

Once Cal Clutterbuck went down in December, Leo moved down to play with Martin and Cizikas and it has worked wonders. He has three goals in the past month, which is more than he had in the previous 12 before that.

Frankly, his game is just better suited for that role with Cizikas and Martin. For me, the Komarov dislike never was about his game per se, it was more about the role that he was playing. We are very much here for fourth line Leo.

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