Islanders forced to make lineup changes with Casey Cizikas suspension

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils / Rich Graessle/GettyImages

With a bad hit against Carolina Hurricanes Brendan Smith of the, you knew New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas was going to get more discipline than the two-minute minor he was assessed during the game on Friday night.

Cue the Department of Player Safety giving Cizikas a one-game suspension less than 24 hours after the hit. That one-game suspension would be served as the Isles head to St Louis to play the Blues.

So with Cizikas out, who steps in for the Isles fourth-line center?

New York Islanders forced into lineup changes after suspension

You'd think it would be an easy call. Look at the scratchpad and whoever is left on it is the guy, right? Except that guy is Kieffer Bellows. Sure he's played on the fourth line of late, but he's not a center. Playing him there is a plan that is full of pitfalls and peril.

In the past, the Islanders have opted to put Zach Parise at center for the fourth line. But with the chemistry he has playing on the third line with Barzal, it makes sense to keep him there.

Which is probably why the Islanders called up Andy Andreoff from the Bridgeport Islanders. The veteran center is having a good year for Bridgeport with 39 points in 55 games. He's a tough player that isn't shy to play the physical side of the game. Something that will fit right in on the fourth line in Cizikas' spot.

Going back to Bellows for a second. Barry Trotz confirmed that Bellows would play so, assuming that still holds true and that Andreoff steps in to replace Cizikas, who's coming out for Bellows. It has to be Oliver Wahlstrom, no?

The sophomore player was on the ice for less than seven minutes in the Isles 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Friday. There must be something that Barry Trotz did not like from Wahlstrom game to sit him for most of the game on Friday so it would make sense for Bellows to step in for him.

Projected Lineup


Varlamov (Sorokin)