Three new duos Islanders must try in 2022-23

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Of course, the New York Islanders are going to have to bring in more quality this off-season, but they'll also have to find a few more efficiencies from the pieces they already have on the roster. That might mean juggling a few guys into new, full-time, positions.

Here's a look at a few duos I want to see the New York Islanders ice on a more permanent basis next season.

New York Islanders: Finding/working with new duos

The defensive pair shared the ice for 120:22 of total 5on5 ice time this season. Of course, Pelech spent most of the next to Pulock (456:28 5on5 TOI). And that makes sense. But that shouldn't be the case next year.

The Islanders don't have a left-handed defenseman to pair with Dobson just yet. They'll get someone to pair him with, but does it make sense to pair him with a new voice while Dobson himself is still trying to build off of last season?

Doesn't pairing Dobson with Pelech and whatever new LHD they get with a more seasoned Ryan Pulock make more sense? To me it sure does.

With Pelech, Dobson gets a defensive partner that can mop his mistakes, breakup d-zone entries from the opponent, and just generally be the solid anchor on the backend that Dobson needs. The new guy gets to learn the Isles defensive system from a player who knows it quite well in Ryan Pulock. Win-win, no?

Can it work? Had I suggested this pair at the start of the year you might have been skeptical that it could work. Of course, they played together as the kid line years ago, but their games have evolved since then. Are these two shooters compatible?

Yeah, it probably could work on a more sustained basis. We saw it be a fruitful duo for a large portion of the year this past season.

I really like what the pair was doing this year in the 363:22 of shared 5on5 time. Much of that time began at the end of February (341 of the 363 minutes). From the end of February to the end of the season, they were creating more chances than they were giving up not to mention scoring a bucket load of goals.

From February 27 till the end of the season the two scored 18 5on5 goals (10 for Nelson and 8 for Lee). That's ~25% of the Isles 5on5 goals in that period. That's lethal levels of goal scoring, for the Islanders at least.

It's worked in the past. The most we've seen of them together on the ice in the Barry Trotz era (again at 5on5) was in 19-20 when they shared the ice for 141 minutes. It's not much, but a 51.46CF% and a 51.53 xGF% is pretty darn good.

Prior to the Barry era, we all remember when the two spent the final portion of the 17-18 season together. The combo worked flawlessly well.

From January 7 (when Beau was called back up from the AHL) through the end of the season, the two paired up for 392:04 5on5 minutes. They combined for 50.88 CF%, a 50.53 xGF%, a 56 HDCF%, and a 62.22 GF%. Statistically, they ended up with 57 5on5 points in 40 games (34 from Barzal and 23 from Beauvillier).

I understand that Beau isn't Anders Lee, but this is a new era and a new era requires a different approach. How could you not try to run that pair out again in 22-23?