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Islanders Kieffer Bellows oddly a healthy scratch

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders skates against the Washington Capitals during the second period at Capital One Arena on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders skates against the Washington Capitals during the second period at Capital One Arena on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders made a number of lineup changes as they return to the Nassau Coliseum ice to play the Philadelphia Flyers after a 4-3 loss two days prior to the same Flyers squad.

Ilya Sorokin would come in for Semyon Varlamov. That made sense, the Isles need to give the young Russian a bit more work. Thomas Hickey would take Sebastian Aho’s spot. Again, that made sense. Hickey was a well-established NHL veteran before he had an extended stint on the sidelines and the AHL.

But confusingly, Kieffer Bellows was taken out of the lineup and replaced by Leo Komarov.

New York Islanders oddly scratch Kieffer Bellows

Look, if you noticed Kieffer Bellows’s ice time after the 4-3 loss to the FLyers you probably expected him to come off the top-line. Only Matt Martin had less time than Bellows’ 9:49 of ice-time. But he wasn’t so bad that he deserved to be out of the lineup.

Moving him down to the third line with Pageau and Wahlstrom made sense for the next game. At least to myself, anyways. Beauvillier would jump up to the top line in order to give him some confidence and hopefully get him out of his funk, and Michael Dal Colle would get to play on the second line with Brock and Bailey to keep building off his first goal of the season.

Instead, Bellows was totally out of the lineup, and of all people, Leo Komarov moved up to the top line. Leo Komarov! (Dal Colle and Beauvillier would swap lines.)

Again, I understand that Bellows was going to be demoted from the top line tonight. The fact that he was put on the top line was wild, to begin with. He did well with the opportunity to score three goals in four games. To be moved off the roster entirely is an odd call from Barry Trotz.

We’ll see if there’s something more to this or if this is just Barry Trotz trying to get a reaction from his squad after a poor effort in the last game.

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