The New York Islanders fourth line has re-established itself as the “best fourth line in hockey” once again.
There was a lot of excitement for the New York Islanders bringing back their once notorious fourth line, but no one expected them or more specifically twenty-eight year old Casey Cizikas to improve this much. Cizikas is in his eighth year in the NHL, and is the second longest tenured Islander only to Josh Bailey. When Casey has missed a few games you can certainly see the hole in the line-up without the twenty-eight year old.
Cizikas is well-known for his relentless forechecking and strong defensive abilities. Casey’s most noticeable talent is his outstanding job of killing penalties. His effort on the penalty kill is much appreciated by the team, as Casey blocks shots relentlessly and constantly pesters the opposition.
Casey Cizikas also occasionally scores goals… maybe a little more than occasional this season. Casey has scored an astonishing amount in eighteen goals this season, which ranks as the third-highest goal scorer on the team. He has more goals than noted scorers Anthony Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal, which is very impressive as Casey has never scored more than nine goals in a season before this year.
Cizikas’ biggest goal this season came against Toronto on Feb. 28, which is better known as the most anticipated game of the NHL regular season. The goal gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead, and it gave the Coliseum a similar feeling to the Playoff series in 2015 against the Capitals.
Casey’s sudden spark of offense has been crucial to the Islanders success, but the defense and grit he displays on each and every single shift has shown the organization and the fanbase that he’s the true definition of what an Islander should be. Casey should certainly win the Bob Nystrom “Mr. Islander” award because of his hard work and hustle he shows every night. Without Casey, the Islanders would have one less goal scorer, one less penalty killer, and more importantly one less hardworking individual that the younger guys can look up to. Casey Cizikas is the true definition of what a New York Islander should be.