New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson had a career high in points and game-winning-goals but here’s why one of those stats is misleading.
I was looking at the New York Islanders stat sheet from the 2016-2017 season and noticed something that came as a surprise. Brock Nelson was second on the team in game-winning-goals behind Anders Lee.
It’s not too shocking that Lee was the leader of this category, with seven game-winners, with his breakout 34 goal season. It’s a little surprising that Brock was right behind him though with four.
This gives off the impression that Brock Nelson is clutch (to those who don’t watch on a regular basis). Game-winning-goals are a measurement of timely goals that win the game for your team so naturally someone who might not watch on a regular basis may look at this stat and think he had a good year last year.
More from Editorials
- Islanders key to success: Load management with goalies
- Islanders Zdeno Chara trending in the right direction
- Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Deserves Benefit of the Doubt
- Islanders Ilya Sorokin becoming number one goalie
- Islanders Zach Parise Was Quiet in Return to Minnesota
Similar to the 2015-2016 campaign, Nelson left a lot desired last year. Yes, he had his third straight year of 20 plus goals and 40 or more points but with his talent he should be capable of producing more than that.
I looked at his game-by-game stats from last year and they aren’t pretty. On two separate occasions Nelson went 10 or more games without a goal. For a perennial 20 goal scorer that seems unrealistic.
That pace, one goal every 10 games, is essentially an eight goal pace for the season. That’s not exactly screaming clutch performer at you.
The Islanders are going to be relying on Nelson heavily if they are unable to find a second line center before the start of the season. It seems like the consensus is that if no other moves are made that Nelson would anchor the second line with either Mathew Barzal or Anthony Beauvillier centering the third line.
Even with a veteran Andrew Ladd and a dynamic Josh Ho-Sang on his line Nelson is going to have to take that next step, something he hasn’t done since the 2014-2015 season and find some consistency.
If it’s another 20 goal, 45 point season with periods of hibernation for Brock the Isles will be in a tough spot. That’s why so many are calling for a second line center still. So, the overall consensus is stats can be subjective and Brock Nelson is not clutch.