A Look At Possible Islanders Lines for Opening Night
With the season only a few months away and a feel that the Islanders are done shopping in free agency it seems like a nice time to take a look at possible opening night line combinations.
Moulson – Tavares – Boyes
This line doesn’t show too much difference from last season besides the addition of Brad Boyes. It is believed that Boyes was bought in to fill the spot left by P.A. Parenteau. Playing with Moulson and Tavares should hopefully bring out Boyes old scoring touch from a few seasons ago. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Robert Kowal)
Everyone in Isles country knows what they are getting out of the duo of Moulson and Tavares so nothing should change there with the upcoming season.
Bailey – Nielsen – Okposo
The problem right now with the second line is the lack of a true number two center. Until one is found this is where we find Frans Nielsen for another season. Some believe this spot should be for Ryan Strome but others think he would be best served by another season in juniors. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Robert Kowal)
Josh Bailey played his best hockey last season playing on the wing and Coach Jack Capuano knows this and will play him more on the wing this season. This should get his scoring started earlier in the season and hopefully lead to one of his best seasons yet.
Kyle Okposo showed some good chemistry playing on a line with Bailey on the other wing so hopefully they can find a connection early in the season and turn it into high numbers on the stat sheet.
Grabner – Cizikas – Martin
This combination could have some great upside using Grabner’s speed with Martin’s size and toughness. Cizikas is also a hard working center that is always finding the puck. The mix of these three could spell doom for a third line that adds quite a bit offensively which is what the Islanders desperately need. (Photo Credit: Flickr/clydeorama)
Cizikas showed enough last season with his call up to earn a full-time roster spot this season with the big club. The fans will love his style of play and his never quit attitude.
Joensuu – Reasoner – Boulton
This line will be one that is constantly changing throughout the season. Boulton isn’t expected to play every night but in games when the Islanders need an enforcer this is where he will play.
Joensuu makes his return to North American hockey and it is believed he didn’t come back to play in the minors so he will have to work his way up the Islanders line-up, starting at the bottom.
Reasoner hopes to rebound from a career worst season in almost every category. Most Islanders fan want him gone but he will at least start the season with the Islanders and have a chance to redeem himself.
Some players were left off this roster for various reasons. Nino Niederreiter had a very tough year last season with the big club. A trip to Bridgeport, playing first line minutes could help him re-find his scoring touch and prepare him to come back to the Islanders and really contribute.
David Ullstrom played a few games for the Islanders last season and became a favorite personally of this blogger. He could be the alternate for Boulton on the 4th line throughout the season and could possibly find himself on the 3rd line in Martin’s spot some games.
Ryan Strome will be given every chance possible to make this team out of camp but he would best be served by one more season in juniors. During the prospect scrimmage this summer he showed that he has matured from last season but he still has a little bit to go before he is really ready for the NHL.
Of course these lines could all change with one phone call from Garth Snow with a trade or another signing but at this point in the summer this is the most likely lines that could be seen opening night in Pittsburgh.
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