With the standard caveat that practice lines on Wednesday do not equal game lines on Friday, could we be looking at a kick-start for three Islanders youngsters as part of a "second" line around Josh Bailey? Or will Rob Schremp be the featured #2 center, insulated by veterans Doug Weight and Jon Sim on the wings?
Mark Herrmann reported these lines from today's practice:
Matt Moulson-John Tavares-Kyle Okposo
Sean Bergenheim-Josh Bailey-Blake Comeau
Doug Weight-Rob Schremp-Jon Sim
Richard Park-Nate Thompson-Tim Jackman
Extras--Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen
But before assuming Bergie/Bailey/Comeau is your second line (the "Show Me Something" line?), recall that against the Kings Monday those three got the fewest even-strength minutes this side of Tim Jackman and Joel Rechlicz. And those minutes weren't accumulated together. Looking at the play-by-play, Comeau got a significant number of EV shifts with Schremp and Weight -- who logged a lot of EV and PP minutes -- while Bergenheim and Bailey got a lot of EV time with Sim.
Of course, Scott Gordon mixes things up throughout the game -- Comeau replaced Bergenheim on Bailey and Sim's wing at one point in the 3rd -- and any time Rechlicz is in the lineup, there is a lot of mixing to fill out a "fourth" line.
But what say you to these lines -- and to the continued forced hibernation for Tambellini? Around this site, we've had some wondering WTF about Tambellini's health scratches, while others have focused on the need to give Bailey some wingers who can score. To the latter question -- is this an answer? And if these lines stick together Friday, what are the chances the Bailey line gets more even strength minutes than the Schremp + veterans line?
My prediction: If Ryan Miller has a Ryan Miller game, we remain frustrated regardless. If Miller has an off-game, we admire John Tavares and Kyle Okposo and retain a cheery mood for 24 hours (San Jose is up Saturday).