New York Islanders: Stanley Cup Playoffs Profile, the identity line

New York Islanders. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders are heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with arguable the best fourth line in hockey ready to carry them. In what has been called this team’s identity line, here are their playoff profiles.

I could make a legitimate argument that Casey Cizikas is the MVP of the New York Islanders this season. He ended up shattering his career high goals with 20, and broke his personal records for points in a season with 33 overall. He also had a +22 rating which is incredible for a forward, and played in over 73 games proving how important having depth all year is.

But, he does not do it alone. He often shared a line with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck. While I won’t go as far as to say Matt Martin is the reason for the Islanders success, the Islanders missed the playoffs the last two seasons he has been gone in Toronto, and he has been on the Islanders each of the last three times they played the playoffs, that is pretty funky.

As for Clutterbuck, well, we know what he is. In his simplest form, he is the right-wing of this identity line, but overall he is a grinder who also has a lot of playoff experience with this team. He is not a massive scorer, no fourth line forward is, but he too is simply a grinder who can get it done on both ends, with a +6 rating this year.

This Islanders line goes, the team goes. They can score goals, as Cizikas has shown, but they play incredibly hard and are not afraid to get down and dirty and won’t often be on the ice to give up leads and eat a lot of minuets.

But how do that all fare in the Stanley Cup Playoffs? That is what I am about to tell you.

Matt Martin. 

In his career, Matt Martin has played in 30 career playoff games, but 24 of them on with the Islanders. He did not play on the postseason roster last year with the Maple Leafs. But overall, he has notched a goal and three assists. His -2 rating is the only thing off course from his season this year where it is a +5.

During these playoffs I would expect Martin to have his normal role on this line. He is having a career resurgence under Barry Trotz where is actually playing. In the playoffs with the intensity up, he will continue being a hit machine, playing solid minutes and helping this team go.

Casey Cizikas.

Casey Cizikas has had a long career with the Islanders. This includes a long playoff career. In his Stanley Cup Playoff Career, he has performed admirably. He has played in 24 games, has three goals, five assists, totaling eight points. What I believe his most impressive stat is that he has a +1 rating in the playoffs, playing exclusively good teams, that is impressive in what can often be a lost stat.

Cizikas has played the Penguins in the playoffs before, he played in all six games in their series in 2013. I fully expect Cizikas to play the full slate of game these playoffs too, he will probably score some goals too, he’s been here before.

Cal Clutterbuck.

Clutter is an overall seasoned vet in the NHL. He has been around a long time (playing in near full seasons every year since 2008-2009) However, he has not been to the playoffs in most of those seasons.

For his Stanley Cup Playoffs career, he is similar to his linemates. He has played in 23 games, tallied five goals, three assists, with a negative one rating. Clutterbuck is not here, in the playoffs to score. He is going to play a similar style to Matt Martin opposite of him and be vital to the power play, which the Isles need to thrive in against the Penguins.


Overall, this is a line I wouldn’t want to mess with, they are practically built for the physical, depth-testing, grinding style of the playoffs. They are all going to get minutes and their chemistry, including what they have done in their playoff careers, will need to be ready to help the Islanders get past the Penguins.

Next. Isles playoff profiles, Mat Barzal. dark

The best fourth line in hockey might just have to settle to just the most important line in hockey over the course of these playoffs.