There are a lot of dominant and well-balanced lines in the NHL. However, one line that does not get the recognition is deserves is the Islanders third line otherwise known as the “Identity Line”. This line consists of center Casey Cizikas followed by wingers Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. The Islanders third line is the reason they were able to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs last year as well as succeed this year.
Casey Cizikas is the center on this line and he runs the offense. This season Cizikas has 10 goals and 4 assists. However, his best stat is his +/-. He has a a +/- of 12. If a +/- is positive that means his team outscores the opposition when he is on the ice. Cizikas is not much of a threat offensively however, he is a solid defensive forward.
At Left Wing, the Islanders have Matt Martin on this line. Martin is known as the enforcer on this team. An enforcer is very important in hockey as he will dish out the heavy hits and get into fights to shift momentum. Also, Martin will be the first to defend his teammates especially rising star Matt Barzal since he is the best player on this team and an easy target since he is undersized. This season Martin has 5 goals and 3 assists. Martin is also a good player on defense.
At Right Wing, is Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck is the Assistant Captain of this team due to his tenure with the Islanders and his consistent play. Clutterbuck has 3 goals and 4 assists on the year. Clutterbuck’s +/- is 6 on this season. He is also a very effective defensive forward.
This line is very successful and underrated. They typically will match up against teams first lines to try and stop them offensively. This is a brilliant strategy which Barry Trotz has implemented. Trotz is a great coach and has brought over his success in Washington to New York.