There will be a change to the New York Islanders top-six today. The Islanders announced that Josh Bailey will be out "day-to-day" with an upper-body injury. The Isles veteran winger has 21 points in 38 games played this season.
Sure that production doesn't look great, but that's still a 45 point pace. He's not been as effective as he was in the four or five years prior to this but he's still a big piece of this team that will be sidelined for some time.
Now, thankfully, we all agree that the season is effectively over for the Islanders. Barring some miraculous run, the Isles are not making the playoffs. Which means the Isles can take this opportunity to ice a younger player with bailey out and let him run with the role.
New York Islanders vs Boston Bruins: Bailey out, Bellows in (maybe)
The team can live with the mistakes a young player like Kieffer Bellows will make because in all reality the results don't matter that much. It might even help their draft lottery standing.
So with Bailey out, it's clear the Bellows is in. And according to Trotz, the Isles 2016 first-round pick is ready for a full-time role on the team:
Tonight's lineup against the Boston Bruins likely looks something like so:
Bellows still has things to learn but he's proven that he can give the Islanders a bit of offense with his nine points in 20 games. For a team with little offense, getting anything, specifically from a young player like Bellows, is vital.
With two goals against the Sabres, Kyle Palmieri is up to three goals on the year. His dismal shooting percentage is still bad at 4.5%, but that's a three-percent jump on the season. It's nowhere near what it should be or what it needs to be, but hopefully, we've seen a course correction in Kyle Palmieri's season. Not because the Isles need it now, but they've got three more years committed to Kyle.