Casey Cizikas Case Study

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Casey Cizikas centers the Islanders fourth line. Some would say it’s ‘THE’ fourth line in the National Hockey League today. With Cal Clutterbuck on his right and imposing Matt Martin on his left, the trio has forged a remarkable chemistry as a unit and the regard in which they are held in their head coach’s eyes can be seen with the situations they often find themselves in.

Jack Capuano is not afraid to use them at any time, in any zone. He almost always orders the line over the boards after the Islanders have surrendered a goal to quickly regain momentum. He has had them in the offensive zone at Madison Square Garden with two minutes left in a tie game, taking a faceoff, leading to a winning goal. When the team is struggling to establish any offensive flow or consistency, he juggles and what is the result? The alarm goes off and there they are - Cizikas front and center on Josh Bailey’s tying goal last night with Cal Clutterbuck netting the game winner with a little over a minute remaining.

But make no mistake, they function better as a trio rather than as individuals.
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“We know what we need to do to be successful and we feed off each other’s game so well. Get pucks in deep, forecheck the hell out of the opposition”, he said after an early season game in Brooklyn.

If there was a straw that stirred the drink, however, it would be the 5-11, 200 pound, 25 year-old-center from Mississauga who picked exactly the right time to have a career season, both for him and the club. Cizikas has shattered his previous high for points in a season with 26 and is only two goals away from tying the upper limit he set just last season with nine. He’s playing at a plus for the first time in his career (+5), has already surpassed career highs in hits and blocks and is a 48% Corsi player on the season. This is all with 60% of his zone starts being

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