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Editorials

Islanders: Three lineups assuming Kyle Palmieri acquired by trade

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 19: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New Jersey Devils stretches during warmups before the game against the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center on March 19, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 19: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New Jersey Devils stretches during warmups before the game against the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center on March 19, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 25: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders celebrates his first period goal against the Boston Bruins along with Jordan Eberle #7 at Nassau Coliseum on February 25, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

All Righty Top Line

Palmieri-Barzal-Eberle
Beauvillier-Nelson-Bailey
Komarov-Pageau-Wahlstrom
Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

Barry Trotz likes stability. He doesn’t want to move too much around if he doesn’t have to. Specifically when it’s working. But if Lou was to bring in Kyle Palmieri, the veteran coach would be forced into at least one change. The easy move to make, one that has minimal impact on the roster is putting Palmieri on the top line with Barzal and Jordan Eberle while moving Leo down to line three.

That top-line now has three righties, which isn’t always great. Ideally, a lefty is on the left-wing so that they can receive passes on their strong side (and on an open stick and not on the backhand). But it’s not as if having three righties on a single line is the end of the world. Righties often play on the left.

A strong second line of Beau-Nelson-Bailey sticks together to be that strong two-way trio.  Over the last five games, the trio has combined for 15 points. Beauvillier has six, Bailey has five, and Brock has four. Why break them up?

Pageau and Wahlstrom have been quiet for a few games, but we all knew that was going to happen. At some point, the top six will have sorted itself out offensively and with that Trotz would rely less on Pageau and Wahlstrom to get things going offensively.

The duo is still strong away from the puck and doing all the “right things” so it’s not as if they’ve disappeared. With a strong top-six, it’s clear some of the defensive attention they’ve been receiving will no longer be there, which should open things up for them.

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