3 Lineup Changes for the NY Islanders to Consider as the Season Slips Away

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Bortuzzo in for Aho

This is in no way a besmirching of Sebastian Aho, who has been a warrior for the Islanders all season while thrown into a difficult circumstance playing on the right side as a left-handed defenseman for most of the season. But while Aho has proven he's an NHL-caliber defenseman, he's physically limited on top of playing on his off-side.

Robert Bortuzzo was brought in by Lou Lamoriello early this season from the St. Louis Blues for a seventh-round pick to serve as a depth defenseman. He suffered a lower-body injury on Jan. 2 against the Colorado Avalanche and has been missing from the lineup ever since. During his limited time on Long Island, the Isles are 6-2-3 with Botuzzo in the lineup.

Bortuzzo isn't going to put goals up on the board for the Isles, but he's a veteran presence in the lineup as the only player on the roster with a s Stanley Cup ring, along with the fact that he's 6'4" and would be playing on his natural right side.

With Aho's size, he struggles to move opponents from the front of the net. But with Bortuzzo, he adds a physical element to the blue line that's been missing without himself or Scott Mayfield in the lineup.