Right now, the Islanders are being carried by their third line and it’s a newly formed line. Well, one of the pieces is new. Anthony Beauvillier was struggling up on line two before being moved to play with JG Pageau.
Beau had two goals in his first 22 games. Yes, there was an injury involved that slowed him down but his streaks are nothing new to the Isles over the last five years.
In order to try to get a spark, Barry Trotz put forth this new lineup three games ago:
Komarov – Barzal – Eberle
Dal Colle – Nelson – Bailey
Beauvillier – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
We’re going to ignore top-line LW for a second, because if Anders Lee wasn’t injured it wouldn’t be an issue but that bottom six is really solid for the Islanders. With Beau, as I mentioned he’s a streaky player so, in my eyes, he’s better suited in the middle-six and preferably the third line.
Since being placed there, he now has three goals in three games including back-to-back game-winning goals in overtime.
As for the center of that line, JG Pageau has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 33 games for New York this season. A 27 goal pace from your third-line center, who is literally a jack of all trades, is phenomenal value.
Since this line came together, Pageau has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in three games. As for the youngster, Wahlstrom he continues to find the back of the net like it’s going out of style. He has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) since the line’s inception and four goals in the last five if you’d like to go back a little further.
The advanced numbers are promising when looking at this line too. According to Natural Stat Trick, the line has a 59.63 xGF%, a 53.13 SCF%, and a whopping 76.92 HDCF% in 50:37 of ice time together.
Yes, clearly the Islanders still need work on the top line BUT, the combination of Beauvillier, Pageau, and Wahlstrom has been absolutely lethal. This kind of depth scoring in the playoffs is what makes a team dangerous. Add a rental like Kyle Palmieri or Taylor Hall to play with Barzal and this team can do some significant damage come playoff time.