Is having someone who has no goals in their last 43 games on the top line a good idea? The Islanders currently have Leo Komarov on line one with Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle, and his last goal came in February of 2020.
Since then, there was a pandemic stopping the season, the Islanders finished their 2020 season in a deep playoff run, and there’s been half of another season completed all during the time in between Komarov goals.
It’s bad. While Leo is an easy target, and I take my fair share of jabs along the way, it’s also not fair to put him in this position. Leo said it himself, he’s just trying to stay out of the way.
Unfortunately, not only has he been an anchor to Mathew Barzal, evident by Barzy’s dip in production since the Anders Lee injury, he’s taken dumb penalties. The Islanders lost yesterday in Pittsburgh because they beat themselves, too many dumb mistakes.
A veteran like Leo Komarov can’t take a lazy hooking penalty, but he does it consistently. Ross Johnston isn’t exempt from the critique either. He was asked to play on Line 3 for the Islanders with JG Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom.
On his first shift, the first time he’s played since January 26, he takes a penalty. Sure, he had six hits and the Islanders finished with 52 on the night but they scored one goal, and it came on the power play.
The Isles found themselves down 2-0 because of penalties from two veterans (The second goal was 4v4) in the first period. That’s inexcusable.
I understand, there’s a gigantic hole where Anders Lee should be and Michael Dal Colle being out doesn’t help but are we really to believe that Austin Czarnik and Kieffer Bellows can’t outperform Ross Johnston and Leo Komarov?
I don’t buy it. I love Barry Trotz, he’s been phenomenal for the Islanders, and Lou Lamoriello has added much-needed stability to this franchise. I just don’t see what they’re seeing in this specific instance, I don’t think I ever will.
Hopefully, a move is in the works, personally, I think Kyle Palmieri makes too much sense for this team because the days of Leo Komarov and Ross Johnston in the lineup together can’t go on much longer.