The New York Islanders are making a playoff run for the third consecutive season. Last year, the team made their way to the Eastern Conference Finals but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6. Alluding to this season, many fans felt the Islanders success was a fluke and would not be replicated. However, after an exciting Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Islanders started the second round against Boston on Saturday night. The Islanders would not have been able to advance if not for the explosion of offense provided by the B-line.
What is the B-line?
The “B-line” is a term coined for the Islanders’ second line. The nickname comes from the forwards: Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, and Anthony Beauvillier, since they all have the letter ‘B’ in their names. Last season, the line accounted for tremendous playoff success. Josh Bailey led in assists for a majority of the playoffs, while Beauvillier went on a tremendous goal-scoring streak. The “B-line” has continued to produce offense for the Islanders, especially this postseason. The line combined for 19 points in their series against the Penguins.
The long-time center for the Islanders is known for his goal-scoring abilities. He led the Islanders with 18 goals in the regular season and currently has three in the postseason. Nelson also has three assists this postseason, for a total of six points.
Nelson was perhaps one of the most important players in closing the series against the Penguins. The Islanders center had two of the five goals scored against the Penguins. He was almost able to achieve his first postseason hat trick with an empty net, but the post got in his way. Nelson has been a critical factor in the Islanders’ ability to capitalize on major plays.
Bailey is a long-time Islander having played all 919 games in his career with the franchise. The right-winger is known for his play-making ability. His intelligence allows him to create unique scoring opportunities on the ice.
Josh Bailey has three assists this postseason and 27 in the regular season. In addition, he had eight goals in the regular season, and currently has three in the playoffs. Bailey’s explosion of production was evident from the first game against the Penguins. He had a goal in half of the games played against Pittsburgh.
Anthony Beauvillier has been nothing short of spectacular for the Islanders in the playoffs. Last season, he had 14 points in 22 games. This year he’s proving again that he thrives in the playoffs.
Beauvillier’s explosion of offense during the playoffs has garnered him deserved recognition. The 23-year-old leads his team with eight points and four goals in the postseason. The young left-winger has been strong along the boards, and significantly increased the physicality of his game.
If Beauvillier can keep up his game, he truly will be a force to be reckoned with.
The Islanders Can’t Rely On Their Second Line
The Islanders strongly relied on their B-line for offensive production during the first series. Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau have been significant members of their line, but nothing close to the power that is the second line. In addition, the first line’s contributions have been close to completely absent. If the Islanders want any chance of beating Boston and continuing their playoff run, every line must be activated.
New York is down 1-0 in the series against Boston. With every line on their A-game, the Islanders could be an unbeatable team. Hopefully, the success of the second line will be spread among the Islander bench, and New York can tie the series tonight.