On Friday, Michael Dal Colle left practice early due to an injury. He was unable to play in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh and it was already reported that he wouldn’t be playing tonight for the Islanders against Buffalo.
Now, we’ve found out that it’s going to be more than just today. The Islanders have decided to put Michael Dal Colle on IR according to Andrew Gross.
The frustrating part for Dal Colle was that he looked decent in his eight-game stint with the Islanders this year. He’s averaged nearly 12 minutes of ice time per game and has two assists to his name.
If you’re a fan of advanced numbers, Michael Dal Colle has had fairly productive metrics as well. He’s fourth on the team with a 53.76 CF% and he has 56 SCF% according to Natural Stat Trick this season.
At this point, he’s a better option on line three than Leo Komarov, and you could make the case for him over Kieffer Bellows as well as clearly, Barry Trotz has much more faith in Michael Dal Colle in a middle-six role.
As a result, the Isles can continue to play Leo Komarov (I’d advise against that). Or they can go a fresh route. With Kieffer Bellows getting a lashing from Trotz, I think you could make the case for Austin Czarnik in that spot.
Czarnik played 14:12 for the Islanders in his lone game this year but his presence on the ice was obvious. He’s a righty so I’d doubt they’d run an all-righty line like Czarnik – Pageau – Wahlstrom. Instead, how about giving Wahlstrom, who has been generating chances, a spot on line two.
Lee – Barzal – Eberle
Bailey – Nelson – Wahlstrom
Beauvillier – Pageau – Czarnik
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
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I think that would give the forward group a higher upside than putting Leo Komarov or Ross Johnston back into the lineup. We’ll see what Trotz draws up for tonight’s puck drop.