Islanders May End Up Going Veteran Route On Line 3
By Matt O'Leary
After a tease earlier in training camp, it looks like the Islanders are going to go with the veterans on line three after all.
I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. It appears that the Bellows – Pageau – Wahlstrom line that would excite Islanders fans was just a tease and the Isles will likely go with the veteran route for that unit.
Yesterday, we saw who the team put on waivers and when they left Leo Komarov and Michael Dal Colle off the list it’s assumed that both will make the team. The Dal Colle – Pageau – Komarov line leaves a lot to be desired but nobody should be surprised.
The Isles lean heavily on veterans, almost to a fault, so to send Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows, and Otto Koivula back to the AHL wouldn’t be much of a surprise, unfortunately.
In 48 games last year, Leo Komarov had 14 points to his name. He averaged 12:36 of ice time and was a piece of the penalty kill unit that Barry Trotz relied heavily on. To me, the more confusing one is Michael Dal Colle.
He had 10 points in 53 games and ended up playing in just three playoff games. He also doesn’t play on the power play or penalty kill so he’s pretty much 9-12 minutes of 5v5 a night and that’s it.
A darkhorse candidate for the third line could be Dmytro Timashov, who still isn’t officially signed. He had just nine points in 44 games last year in the NHL but has had success in the AHL previously.
In 2018-2019 with the Toronto Marlies, he had 49 points (14 goals, 35 assists). Perhaps, they end up going Timashov – Pageau – Komarov to start instead and keep Michael Dal Colle as a healthy scratch.
I was really hoping we’d see Bellows and/or Wahlstrom this year, but in all likelihood, it’ll be another year of development for them in the AHL. “If you have the time, take it” or whatever the hell Lou Lamoriello says.