The New York Islanders were once again more than the sum of their parts in these playoffs, taking a group mostly devoid of NHL stars and coming within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s not that the team lacks talent — far from it, in fact — but the workman-like attitude that has been instilled in the group by the front office and coaching staff makes almost every player on the roster equally important.
Perhaps no player better represents that equal-importance structure than Casey Cizikas, the long-time Islander who has only scored more than 10 in a season once. In fact, Cizikas only has 81 tallies in his entire 590-game NHL career but is still considered an incredibly valuable piece of the puzzle in New York. Acting as a third or fourth-line center, the 30-year-old Cizikas is a key cog in the Islanders' defensive structure and can be relied upon in almost any situation.