Head coach Lane Lambert and the New York Islanders continued to shake things up at morning skate on Friday in the hopes of finding a winning combination of lines to generate some offense and snap the team's six-game winless streak.
Among the changes is elevating Simon Holmstrom, who played on the fourth-line Wednesday to the third-line alongside Zach Parise and JG Pageau. Meanwhile, Josh Bailey who hasn't scored in 14 games (Dec. 27 vs PIT) is playing wing on the fourth-line centered by Aatu Raty and joined by Matt Martin. Regular fourth-line center Casey Cizikas is back on Mathew Barzal's wing on the right-side with Anthony Beauvillier on the left.
Bailey has played over 1000 games with the Islanders, and Martin has played over 700 with the team, yet this will be one of the rare games where they start out on the same line. "Honestly, I maybe recall one [games with Martin] , years ago, said Bailey. "After coming back from injury, we were on the same line for one game. We've had shifts here and there and obviously are good friends so hopefully, that translates."
Bailey will be playing extended minutes would Raty for the time and has been impressed watching him through his first 10 NHL games. "He's been great, added Bailey. He's a good young player with a bright future...he's done well with the opportunity he has been given thus far."
"He's certainly finding out about the NHL game," said Lambert about Raty. "Part of being a top-six player is you have to be responsible defensively as well. He's learning that aspect of it."
"He's playing with very experienced, responsible guys which help him, Lambert added. "He's learning the league and understanding what it takes. Whether he's playing 20 minutes or playing seven minutes, there's value in his development."