The Islanders have shown a sign of life at the beginning of the second half of the season. They've won four of their last six games, mostly thanks to the stellar goaltending of Evgeni Nabokov and solid production from the top line.
Five players on the Islanders have seen action on the top line. Matt Moulson and John Tavares have been on the first line for the whole season. Moulson has 22 goals and 21 assists. Tavares has 17 goals and 29 assists, good for the team lead in points.
Kyle Okposo, P.A. Parenteau, and Michael Grabner have also seen some time on the first line. Grabner has 14 goals, Parenteau has 32 assists, and Okposo, the current right wing of the top line, has 11 goals and 12 assists.
It must be something about playing with Tavares and Moulson. For now, it looks like Okposo will be the fixture on the top line out of he, Parenteau, and Grabner.
But Parenteau got the bulk of his points playing on the top line. And Okposo has rejuvenated himself after he got the promotion to the top line.
Over the last stretch of games, Moulson, Tavares, and Okposo have been generating some sort of offense every time their skates hit the ice. They've been burying goals, and have been producing goals at an amazing pace.
But just how good is that? The first line has been the only line actually scoring, along with a few goals from Grabner here and there.
So what happens if the first line gets cold? That's a big if though. But still. You have a problem when only one line is scoring. It's hard to count goals on your fingers that Tavares, Moulson, or Okposo weren't involved in one way or another.
Without goals coming from the other lines, it's going to be hard for the Isles to have any shot at contention this season.
Before his goal against the Flyers, when was the last time Josh Bailey scored? When was the last time Brian Rolston scored? Has Marty Reasoner even scored a goal yet this year?
There's a reasonable cause for concern there. The Islanders can't depend on just Moulson, Tavares, Okposo, and Grabner to score all the goals for the team if they want to contend.