NY Islanders News

Islanders Line Shuffle in Today's Practice was Bizarre

By Matt O'Leary
New York Islanders First Practice At UBS Arena
New York Islanders First Practice At UBS Arena / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New York Islanders skated today before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow. The offensive output against Toronto on Saturday was lacking, so Barry Trotz put the lines in a blender.

Now, keep in mind that Anthony Beauvillier was out for a maintenance day but still these lines were...bizarre.

Austin Czarnik had a little bit of a run on the top line but that has quickly come to a close in the latest version of the forward group. The Islanders elected to try out Kieffer Bellows and Josh Bailey on that line.

Bellows has been in and out of the lineup for the Islanders all year long but in his last four games he has no points. Granted, he hd a nice run of five points in the previous four games before that but still his play at best has been inconsistent.

Speaking of inconsistent, enter Josh Bailey. Bailey this year has been hot and cold seemingly in a game to game basis. One night he looks like the 50 point player who is making plays and giving you steady play but then the next night he looks like he is the 30 point version of himself who looks lost half the time when he's out.

The point here is, I feel bad for Mathew Barzal. I feel bad because just yesterday I wrote about him needing a more stable option. I'm assuming that when Beauvillier is back he will go on the second line and Kieffer Bellows will move back down but honestly, I have no idea. Not a clue.

Oliver Wahlstrom makes the most sense to get a shot, as we wrote about yesterday here, but for whatever reason Barry Trotz doesn't think he's ready.

I just don't know how Mat Barzal is supposed to perform at his peak with an endless rotation of wingers on his side. It's almost the same thing we wrote about from 2009-2018 about the last first line center.

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