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New York Islanders Third Line Is Struggling Immensely

The New York Islanders third line continues to struggle. The luster of Leo Komarov and Valtteri Filppula has begun to wear off.

Remember at the start of the year, Leo Komarov and Valtteri Filppula came flying out of the gate for the New York Islanders? Filppula had four goals and six points in the first six games of the season.

Well, Filppula has since slowed down. In the 35 games since that start, Filppula has five goals and 13 points. That’s a pace of just 30 points, which is right on par for what he was expected to do this year when the deal was signed.

If you want to look more specifically at his recent streak, he’s gone the last 18 games with just three points. That’s unfortunately not going to cut it, even for a third line player. That kind of production, or lack thereof, isn’t helping anyone.

On top of the lack of production bone-headed plays don’t help either. When trailing by a goal, Filppula took a lazy penalty late in the third period that sent the Isles to the PK, making it impossible to pull Robin Lehner.

Leo Komarov has been no better. Komarov has just three points in his last 20 games. Komarov is in the first year of a four year deal worth $3 million per year. He’s not giving you enough for $3 million, especially on the third line.

Also, in the game against Carolina, he took a penalty late, similar to Filppula today, that didn’t allow the Isles to pull the goalie to try to tie the game. For someone who provides “veteran leadership,” he continually makes silly plays on the ice in awful situations.

The last couple of games, the Isles decided to scratch Michael Dal Colle against the Rangers for a combined 13:04 over the last two games. Is it worth it to have him in the lineup for roughly six and a half minutes of gameplay?

How Michael Dal Colle or Josh Ho-Sang can’t crack that line is almost comical at this point. When Leo Komarov and Val Filppula are with Josh Ho-Sang they have a 59.72 CF%. With anyone else other than JHS, they have a 40.26 CF%.

Corsi isn’t the only area they’re better with Ho-Sang. They have a 47.83 chance percentage vs a 40.35 chance percentage without him.

Yes, the Islanders are in a playoff spot, Barry Trotz has been good, and the Islanders are playing well but ultimately, if you think the third line isn’t going to be an issue you’re just flat out lying to yourself.

Leo Komarov and Cal Clutterbuck should be rotating in out for each other. Leo isn’t a third liner, he’s a fourth liner and Clutterbuck has been flat out atrocious this year. As for Filppula, you just have to hope they don’t double down on him next year at 35 years old.

Next: Ho-Sang is scoring in the AHL

Otto Koivula, Josh Ho-Sang, and Michael Dal Colle are the future of that line. Hopefully, a couple of them start taking over on the line this year, before it gets worse.

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