Islanders Barry Trotz Works His Magic With Line Shuffling

Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Before the game last night, it was announced that the New York Islanders would be shuffling up their lines. It wasn’t looked at as a big surprise considering that Barry Trotz called out the second line after their game in Columbus.

Well, to some the obvious choice would’ve been moving Josh Bailey down a line and Oliver Wahlstrom up a line, but Trotz decided to go another direction. Instead, Bailey got put on the top line and Kyle Palmieri got moved to line two.

It’s a tad unorthodox considering that Josh Bailey hasn’t done anything to prove that he deserves to play up top with Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee this year but, why question a two-time Jack Adams award-winning coach. It worked.

Each one of the guys impacted by the switch had a great game. First, you had Josh Bailey assisting on a Brock Nelson goal on the power play, and then later it was Kyle Palmieri and Brock Nelson who assisted with the Anthony Beauvillier goal

What a play all around here from three of the four guys who were moved around in the lineup in hopes of creating an offensive spark.

  • Brock Nelson 1 goal, 1 assist
  • Josh Bailey 1 assist
  • Anthony Beauvillier 1 goal
  • Kyle Palmieri 1 assist

Here’s how the new-look lines have done in terms of advanced analytics on the season (numbers according to Natural Stat Trick):

  • Lee – Barzal – Bailey: 10:37 TOI, 41.67 CF%, 17.63 xGF%, 20.0 HDCF%
  • Beauvillier – Nelson – Palmieri: 14:48 TOI, 46.43 CF%, 64.25 xGF%, 100.0 HDCF%

The addition of Bailey up top wasn’t great at 5v5 (his lone assist did come on the power play last night) but the second line with Kyle Palmieri worked. We’ll see if Barry Trotz decides to keep these lines the same for their game in Vegas tonight. I’d be surprised if we see a change considering they put up a three-spot last night in Arizona.