The New York Islanders received some good news today. Fourth line center, Casey Cizikas returned to practice after missing it yesterday with a non-COVID-related illness. If you remember earlier in the year, the Islanders were dealing with a stomach bug as Anders Lee and JG Pageau missed a game each.
In the Islanders’ last game out on Thursday, Cizikas had just 10:59 of ice time which is uncharacteristically low for him.
It’s been a little bit of a slow start out of the gate for Zeeker. He only has one point (an assist) in the team’s first 11 games on the season. Last season, at his age 29 season, he was playing at a .25 points per game pace for New York.
Over the course of a full 82 game season, that’s a pace of 21 points which is usually right around where he finishes in a full season. Cizikas isn’t supposed to be a major point producer but his slow start is slightly off for him.
Here’s a look at some of his advanced numbers according to Natural Stat Trick:
CF%: 41.24 (18th)
GF%: 61.54 (6th)
xGF%: 45.08 (16th)
HDCF%: 40.91 (16th)
He’s not the only Islanders forward struggling right now. Kyle Palmieri has yet to find the back of the net, JG Pageau has just four points, Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier only have three goals, and Zach Parise hasn’t scored yet as well.
The Islanders are better with Casey Cizikas out there, as evident by his absence in the past, as he’s the catalyst for their fourth line that they love so much. Plus, he’s not going anywhere.
Lou Lamoriello extended Cizikas to a six-year $15 million deal ($2.5 million AAV) to keep Casey on Long Island through his age 36 season.