It's been a season from hell for the New York Islanders. Between a 13 game road trip, a double-digit game losing streak, COVID, injuries, and guys underperforming it's been a brutal first couple of months to the 2021-2022 season.
One of the big reasons for their struggles is guys in their top-six underperforming. For instance, Anthony Beauvillier hasn't picked up a point since November 4, he's gone 14 straight games without registering a point. As a result, Barry Trotz sat him in the press box against the Devils.
He's not the only one though, Josh Bailey and Kyle Palmieri have also been dreadful. Should they sit too?
In short, yes they deserve to be benched as well just not all at the same time. For Bailey he has three assists in his last five games but something just looks off with him. In the loss to Detroit he looked completely uncomfortable out there and he has just one goal on the season.
Sure, those who hated Bailey are crawling out from whatever bridge they've been under since 2016, saying this is the player he's always been which isn't the case but at this point, he deserves to take a seat and watch for sure. There's no sugarcoating it, he's been bad
Kyle Palmieri is arguably the biggest head scratcher of them all. He's generating his chances, according to Natural Stat Trick he has an individual expected goals for of 5.67 at all strengths. Essentially, it's saying with his chances he should be sitting at six goals on the season but all he has is one.
Kyle's lone goal of the season came 13 games into the season and he's gone another 11 without one since. Plus, he hasn't registered a point in 10 games in a row. Both Bailey and Palmieri are deserving of a benching but with Mathew Barzal out is Barry Trotz going to take that risk?
It doesn't seem like it. More than likely you'll see them in the lineup during Barzy's absence but when he returns could they sit one of them? Absolutely, something has to change and we can't keep being subjected to watch these guys get 17 minutes of ice time per night and come up empty night in and night out.
I know it's not something Barry usually does but in this case, he might not have a choice.