Evaluating the NY Islanders' lineup changes

The Islanders are 3-0-0 since Patrick Roy shuffled the lineup last Tuesday.

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders
Boston Bruins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next

The second line came to life against the Bruins.

The Isles' second line has been one of the most productive all season. Though inconsistent in terms of offensive streakiness, Nelson and Kyle Palmieri combined for 39 goals. The only issue with this line pairing was Pierre Engvall, who never seemed to find a role-playing next to the two premier goal scorers. With Nelson moving to the top line to help Barzal and Horvat, Roy has paired Palmieri with Pageau and Lee.

This lineup change makes sense for several reasons. First, fans can make the argument Pageau was at his best in 2021 and 2022 when he played on the third line next to Palmieri and Zach Parise. This pairing gave Pageau two goal scorers to work with when he drives toward the net. Secondly, all three veteran forwards are among the team leaders in hits the past few seasons, giving this line a similar identity across the board.

In their first two games together, this trio was the Isles' least productive. They combined for a -2 rating with only nine shots on goal, none of them coming from Pageau. Considering their eminence time on ice, this line should have plenty of more offensive opportunities. However, this all turned around against the Bruins as Palmieri netted a natural hat trick as well the captain scoring his 16th goal of the season. Pageau and Palmieri also had ample opportunities at a shorthanded goal, showcasing the duo's chemistry on the penalty kill.