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Islanders: Barry Trotz makes unsurprising but frustrating lineup change

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 06: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders skates in warm-ups prior to the gatme against he Buffalo Sabres at the Nassau Coliseum on March 06, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - MARCH 06: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders skates in warm-ups prior to the gatme against he Buffalo Sabres at the Nassau Coliseum on March 06, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Barry Trotz made two changes to his New York Islanders lineup for tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. Neither should come as a surprise but one is still a little frustrating.

Tonight, Oliver Wahlstrom and Braydon Coburn step out of the lineup from Sunday’s win in Philadelphia while Josh Bailey (who is now healthy enough to play) and Noah Dobson who was a healthy scratch last night.

Cal Clutterbuck, who was a game-time decision, won’t dress for tonight’s game.

Two changes for tonight’s New York Islanders game against New York Rangers

There’s no surprise that Trotz decided to insert Josh Bailey (now that he’s healthy) for Oliver Wahlstrom. After Sunday’s 1-0 win, Trotz was critical of Wahlstrom’s play and singled him (and other rookies) out.

Usually, a key indicator that a change is coming is ice time. Against the Flyers, Wahlstrom played a team-low 9:24 of total ice-time. That includes 1:29 of power-play time. That combined with Trotz’s comments equals a benching for sure.

Bailey has been a middle-six forward all season long. He hasn’t been great this year but he’s been a good solid middle-six player for them this season. Trotz knows what he’s going to get from Bailey when he jumps over the boards. That isn’t the same for Wahlstrom.

Which is the frustrating part. Rookies have ebbs and flow to their game. We all know that, but the leash on these rookies is so short. Like unfairly short. The mistakes made by a rookie are punished more heavily than the same mistake made by a veteran. It’s all a bit frustrating considering the upside that Wahlstrom brings to the lineup.

After getting a rest, Noah Dobson gets back into the lineup for veteran Braydon Coburn. Again, that seemed obvious if you looked at ice times on Sunday. Coburn played 12:53. Noah Dobson hasn’t played less than 13:05 before getting COVID.

Potential lines tonight

Komarov-Barzal-Eberle
Beauvillier-Pageau-Bailey
Dal-Colle-Nelson-Palmieri
Martin-Cizikas-Zajac

Pelech-Pulock
Leddy-Mayfield
Greene-Dobson

Varlamov (Sorokin)

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