Isles Year in Review – #26 Matt Moulson
By John Panarese
Perhaps one of the most underrated wingers in the national hockey league, in my opinion, Matt Moulson put together yet another solid and impressive season. It was his third full season in the league and his third season of scoring 30 or more goals. Quite an accomplishment for a guy who was signed by Garth Snow under the radar and who few people expected to make the impact he has made for the Isles.
Like his line mate, John Tavares, I don’t think I can come up with any more ways of stating what kind of player the Islanders got. His contributions on and off the ice for the team simply cannot be measured. Once again, Moulson led the team in goals, and his consistency was really one of the most impressive elements to his game.
I’m going to change up how I do my player reviews, and this is probably the format or method I should have been using all along as a carry over from my season posts. Thus, I will offer my “blind observations” about Matt Moulson and my thoughts about his 2011-2012 season on the island:
• Snubbed for the all star game again, and passed over for the worlds, I don’t know what Matt has to do to get the recognition he deserves outside of the Island.
• I still get a chuckle when I recall Keith Jones and his comment when the Islanders signed Moulson long term that he would only be a third line player at best on any other team in the league. Really, Keith? How many wingers scored more than 36 goals this season among the 30 teams in the league?
• His 36 goals and 33 assists were career highs for Moulson. Every season so far, in fact, his offensive numbers have improved.
• All the credit cannot be given to JT. Yes, great players can make other players better, but Moulson’s knack of being in the dirty areas of the ice and finding the back of the net is a talent, plain and simple.
• I’ll forgive him for only taking 6 penalty minutes this season. I’ll also overlook his love of Rapp music ….
• His 4 goal night against the Stars in Dallas is still one of my favorite games from the season.
• He played in all 82 games again. I don’t think he as actually missed a game in an Islander uniform thus far.
• His Twitter posts are among the most entertaining.
• The chemistry he has established with John Tavares makes him part of the best offensive combinations in the NHL.
It is really a no brainer that I feel Matt Moulson earned an A for the season. I really think that 40 goals is not out of the question for him, and I expect to continue to see good things from him in the future. He surely has earned a spot on the top line for the New York Islanders, and has been one of the best stories the Isles have had over the last number of years. Well done, Matt!
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