It’s been a very solid start to the season for the New York Islanders‘ third line. JG Pageau, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Zach Parise have provided a nice depth scoring line for New York through the first six games of the year.
Yesterday, Zach Parise did not practice due to back stiffness. It’s something to monitor today, to see if he will be good to go for the action on Saturday in Nashville.
Obviously, due to age, he’s 37 years old, the Isles are going to want to be safe with him as to not wear him out too early in the season. So far to start the 2021-2022 season, the team has had a few guys miss time already.
Matt Martin missed the first couple of games recovering from offseason surgery while JG Pageau and Anders Lee both missed time with a stomach bug. Only twice have the Islanders had their complete lineup so far this and that’s not including Semyon Varlamov in net who has yet to take the ice due to injury.
For some context on just how good the Isles third line has been, they have a 58.2 expected goals for percentage which leads the team as a line that’s spent more than 30 minutes together. They’ve also only allowed one goal against holding their own in the defensive end.
Parise doesn’t have a point yet as an Islander but his advanced numbers are pretty solid. Here’s how he’s performed at 5v5 so far this year and how he ranks on the team (via Natural Stat Trick):
- CF%: 50.0 (2nd)
- SF%: 53.2 (3rd)
- xGF%: 62.7 (1st)
- SCF%: 55.1 (1st)
- HDCF%: 50.0 (7th)
The points haven’t come yet but all signs indicate that they’re coming and that he’s been good even without finding his way onto the score sheet. Hopefully, it’s just a day-to-day thing and doesn’t turn into anything major. The Isles can’t afford to lose that line.