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New York Islanders Practice: Taking Attendance, Trotz Breaking Up a Duo?



New York Islanders
New York Islanders come together before practice on Monday, Jan. 24 at Northwell Ice Center

Before the start of Monday morning’s practice, New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz brought the group to center ice for a chat. Most practices start with the team huddled against the boards to go over the first set of drills.

This one was different.

Despite not knowing what was said and not wanting to assume, it was rather important as you could have heard a pin drop throughout the 30 to 40-second talk.

Here’s the latest from Monday’s practice:

Taking Attendance

For practice on Monday, the New York Islanders were without three skaters. Ryan Pulock and Kyle Palmieri are still on IR, and the hope from head coach Barry Trotz is that they will return soon.

Anthony Beauvillier was also absent, which brought about new line combinations.

When I asked Trotz about his absence, he said it was just a maintenance day for the 24-year old. I would expect him to be in the lineup Tuesday night against Philadelphia.

Latest Line Combinations

Trotz showed off some new forward combinations during five on five possession drills a day before their contests with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Again, remember that Anthony Beauvillier was absent, and changes were made accordingly to fill his spot for practice.





The most significant change was that Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal were separated, a pairing that played together for many years. Besides Lee’s injury and a few instances here and there, the issue for that line was finding someone to play in the right-wing spot.

While that remains an issue, Trotz has elected to solve the problem another way.

“I would say for the most part I’ve had Leezy and Barzy stapled together,” Trotz said. “I think there’s times when you keep doing the same thing, it’ll work for a few years, and then it will stop working.”

“Sometimes you just need a refresher.”

Now, there are a few combinations that could work but regardless of the new lines, I do believe that Lee will not be alongside Barzal for Tuesday’s contest.

Predictions For Next Game vs. PHI

But before we get to that, let’s discuss Oliver Wahlstrom being back in the mix. He was a healthy scratch against Toronto on Saturday after being benched on Friday against Arizona due to consistency issues.

Kieffer Bellows, who was in the top left-wing spot at Monday’s practice, may have just been serving as a placeholder in Beauvillier’s absence.
While he could remain there, Beauvillier is more than likely not going to be a healthy scratch and is likely to stay in a top-six role.

Here are my predictions for how the lines shake up for Tuesday’s contest:





With Lee’s skillset and Wahlstrom’s ability to shoot along with Pageau’s passing ability, this could be a line that generates offense as well.

Parise has been a player that Trotz has used up and down the lineup, a player that saw shifts with Barzal during the Toronto game and was alongside Barzal for the entirety of the 4-3 shootout win over Philadelphia on Jan. 18.