With the captain out indefinitely, there was a hole in the top six that needed to be filled. The Islanders could have gone a number of ways. Beauvillier could have stepped up to play next to his friend Barzal. Michael Dal Colle could have slotted in as he did in Thursday’s game after Lee’s departure. Maybe even Jean-Gabriel Pageau could jump up to be the team’s number one center.
But Barry Trotz chose Kieffer Bellows to play next to Barzal and Eberle.
Kieffer Bellow given huge opportunity by New York Islanders
Yes, that the same Kieffer Bellows that was effectively put in the dog house just weeks ago by Barry Trotz after a particularly poor outing. After that game, Trotz was critical of Bellow’s play and the 2016 first-round hasn’t seen the ice until today.
It should go without saying that this is a massive opportunity for the young forward still looking to cut his teeth in the NHL.
He won’t likely end the night with as much ice time and either Mathew Barzal or Jordan Eberle, but he’ll certainly get a number of shifts out with the Islanders top duo and spend more time in the offensive zone than he’s probably used to.
After getting left out in the cold for so long, Barry Trotz is seeing if his young winger can step into the game and give the Islanders something to run with as their captain sits out for an extended period.
This is the opportunity that Kieffer Bellows has been looking for, he’ll need to make the most of it if he’s going to stake a claim to a spot on the Islanders roster.