Shuffle It Up
If the Islanders are acquiring Kyle Palmieri, why not take the chance and mix things up a little?
We know that Palmieri is a top-line player. Sure, his numbers might not be great this year. His 17 points in 34 games has him on pace for a 41 point year (over 82 games). That would be his lowest as a Devil.
His most common linemates this season have been Jack Hughes (296 minutes of shared 5on5 ice-time) and Pavel Zacha (129 minutes of shared 5on5 ice-time). What happens when Palmieri plays with a better player like Mathew Barzal?
Moving Eberle down to the second line isn’t the demotion it looks like. Both he and Brock Nelson have already spent some time together (108 minutes of shared 5on5 ice time) this season and were productive with it:
- CF%: 57.01
- xGF%: 54.17
- SCF%: 57.00
- HDCF%: 56.82
Dal Colle, who was playing a strong game before being injured would certainly step in on the third line while Leo Komarov sits out. Until MDC is back, Leo stays in the squad.
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The fourth line remains intact across all three lineups. There’s absolutely NO reason to change any of those three out. The identity line has been flawless since struggling early in the season.