The NY Islanders have seen inconsistency on each line this season. During the early season struggles, Lane Lambert shuffled the lines on a nightly basis. The team first saw Simon Holmstrom play on the top line with Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat, then Oliver Wahlstrom, until finally settling on Anders Lee. The second line started the season hot until cooling off drastically in recent weeks, with Brock Nelson’s points coming on the powerplay. The third line has seen a shuffle between Wahlstrom and Julien Gauthier, while Hudson Fasching has seen time on all four lines.
The only line that seems to be a constant in terms of personnel and production is the 'Identity Line'. While Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, and Matt Martin do not produce much offense, the team can always rely on their heavy hits to wear down opponents.
However, Cizikas' status is currently week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Without Cizikas on the bottom line, many roles will now become undefined to account for his absence. We've already seen several different line combinations to start the last four games and have also seen Lambert go back to the usual lines and double-shift players as necessary.
Here are some new options the coach should consider to get things going,