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What lineup changes are coming for Islanders game in Washington?

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JANUARY 21: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders handle bench duties against the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on January 21, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JANUARY 21: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders handle bench duties against the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum on January 21, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Middle Six

Clearly one of the players from the Islandersmiddle six is moring up to join the top line. Who that player will be is still a debate. That debate won’t be answered until game time when Barzal and Eberle take to the ice with their mystery winger.

But, we know that Palmieri is “on the list” so to speak. If he moves up, how does that change things in the middle six for the Islanders? Here’s how I see it:

Bailey-Nelson-Zajac
Beauvillier-Pageau-Wahlstrom

Wahlstrom has already sat out long enough. The Islanders rookie needs to step back into the roster and take his spot on the third line next to Jean-Gabriel Pageau. I know I have him as a dark horse for the top line, but again, I don’t see Trotz pulling that card twice this year (earlier this year he took Bellows off the taxi squad and put him on the top line).

On the second line, Bailey steps off the Pageau line to form a vet-heavy trio with Zajac (who will also step back into the lineup). This second line might not look particularly prolific offensively, but you should look at it more as a strong-two way line that can limit chances defensively while having enough to maximize on their opportunities in the offensive zone.

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