If you’ve watched the Islanders at all this year, you’ve probably noticed that the Islanders fourth line isn’t exactly as effective as it used to be. From 2013-2016 and then again from 2018-now, Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, and Cal Clutterbuck have played on a line together.
For years they were extremely effective, and at times dominant at what they do. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it appears like the end is coming sooner rather than later with that line.
According to MoneyPuck.com, of lines with 40 minutes or more, the Islanders’ Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck line is third-worst in 2021.
Unfortunately, the numbers back up the eye test. Their expected goals for percentage is 31%. For every two goals they’re expected to allow, they are expected to score .9. Look, I understand that the role of this line isn’t to score but if you think they’ve been as effective as usual you’re fooling yourself.
Cizikas has one point in nine games, and during the playoffs last year had just two points in 18 games played. Over his last 27 games, his three points put him on a .11 point per game pace, which is a nine-point season in 82 games.
He’s also averaging just 1.2 hits per game on the season, which is significantly lower than his 2.7 hits per game pace from last season. Matt Martin’s been the same story for the Isles.
He is averaging 3.2 hits per game, after averaging 4.4 last year and he has no points in the first nine games for the Isles. He’s on the books for another three years at $1.5 million a year through his age 34 season.
As for Cal Clutterbuck, he’s 33 with another year remaining on his deal at $3.5 million. His hit numbers have been fine but he’s still a -3 in nine games and has a career-low 33.33 in goals for percentage.
Casey Cizikas is a few weeks away from 30 years old. Martin and Clutterbuck are already on the wrong side of 30. We might have to accept the harsh reality that this line will never be as efficient as they once were.
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It’s not 2015 anymore, and once the Islanders realize that they will likely be better off.