The New York Islanders face another due or die game tonight in game 6. Barry Trotz has already alluded to the fact that some players from game five won’t be available for game 6. This is probably a smokescreen, so Tampa doesn’t know who to prepare for. I’m saying that the Isles are fully healthy, but are going to switch up the lines again. So, there are some lineup changes that will need to occur. However, I will keep the 11 forwards, seven defenseman strategy.
1st Line Forwards/Defenseman
Mat Barzal and Anders Lee will obviously be on that first line. There’s no reason for either of them to switch lines. There’s a case for Jordan Eberle to sneak up on that first line as usual, but I’m going to move him down to the second line. I think Cal Clutterbuck should man the right-winger spot on the first line. Cal is a great forechecker, lays the boom, and can snipe the toy department. For the defenseman, it’s going to Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock. PP is by far the best defensive line pairing.
2nd Line Forwards/Defenseman
Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle as the 2nd line forwards. “Why isn’t Josh Bailey on that line?”. Well, J.G. Pageau needs help, and Bailey can feed him in the slot. This line is a boom or bust; it all depends on how Eberle plays. It’s just an experimental line, so don’t get mad in the comments. The 2nd pairing for defense should be Devon Toews and Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk played really well in game 5, so there’s no reason to take him out.
3rd Line Forwards/Defenseman
J.G. Pageau, Josh Bailey, Matt Martin on the 3rd line. This line is a little confusing, but this may be the most productive line. Matty can crash the net and scoop up rebounds. Josh Bailey can forecheck and pass to Pageau in the slot for an easy goal. This is the “thumper” line even without three physical guys manning it. The defenseman will be Mayfield and Leddy. Hopefully, Leddy doesn’t turn the puck over a million times again.
To finish out the lineup, we’ll have Leo Komarov and Michael Dal Colle play. Andy Greene will be the extra defenseman. 3 scrappy players who will give it their all to win this game and see another one. What are your thoughts on these hypothetical lineups? Keep it clean in the comments; it’s just an idea.