The struggles of New York Islanders forward Anders Lee have been a real concern for Islanders fans this year. As a rookie, Lee was the second leading goal scorer for the team with 25 goals last year. His production has dropped significantly so far this year and the Islanders need him to regain his mojo.
In his last 5 games Lee does not have a goal and has managed just one point. Barring an exceptionally hot goal scoring streak for Lee, it looks as though he is going to fall well short of his goal scoring production from last year. He has 6 goals through 45 games which is a steep drop from 25 in 76 games in the 2014-2015 season.
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His assist numbers will be up from last year which is a step in the right direction. He has 14 assists so far this season and will likely surpass his total of 16 from last season. This cannot be overlooked because although Lee is struggling with shooting and scoring, his uptick in assist numbers are encouraging.
Anders Lee is a crucial part of this team and with the trade deadline looming it would be nice to see the Islanders get some scoring help from within rather than make a deal where they may be forced to give up some key pieces. Lee proved last year that he can score in bunches and needs to find his rhythm in the second half of the season.
Last year, Lee struggled in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Washington Capitals. He only managed one assist an a -2 rating in 5 games. It is going to be hard for any team to win a playoff series when their second leading goal scorer all but disappears once the playoff starts.
When Lee is putting up points, the Islanders are a much different team. This was evident in the playoffs last year, but the stats are even more striking this season. The Islanders are 12-2-2 this season when Anders Lee nets a goal or an assist compared to 12-13-4 when he does not.
The main topics of concern for Islander fans lately have been the injury bug, trade rumors, and John Tavares. The more pressing concern should be how Jack Capuano can manage to get Anders Lee playing like he did last season. That may be the key moving forward.