New York Islanders Anders Lee A Goal Scorer’s Profile

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 08: Anders Lee
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 08: Anders Lee /
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New York Islanders forward Anders Lee had a breakout season last year, leading the team with 34 goals. Looking back at all 34 goals you see a player that is far from one-dimensional.

On Thursday TSN analyst Travis Yost put out a story hailing the New York Rangers Kris Kreider as the king of tipped goals in the NHL. New York Islanders Anders Lee was five tipped shots short of Kreider’s 19 with 14 of his own.

I thought the number seemed low for Lee. It seemed that after Thanksgiving Lee couldn’t stop deflecting pucks into the opposition net. I assume Yost got his numbers from NHL.com. I pulled up the chart and sorted it based on the number of tipped goals since 2014 like Yost did.

But then the deflected column stuck out. Are deflections not considered redirections towards the net by a player? Look just about anywhere and deflections and tip in are used interchangeably.

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Look up “tip-ins” and you’ll find a number of examples where players have the stick on the ice, but you’ll also find an equal number of examples where it’s batted out of mid air. There’s no consistency, so I put them together.

When you add Lee’s tips and deflections together he ends up with 18 on the season.

None of his 18 tip-ins/deflections are better than this one handed effort against the Winnipeg Jets from December 31st. Lee deflects the puck with one hand while simultaneously fighting off a defender.

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Which puts Lee a few spots higher tied for fourth -and has the added bonus of not putting a Ranger at the top of the list. Yost’s numbers aren’t wrong. I think there’s just more to them.

He’s a top tier net front presence player. He’s big and strong, has outstanding hand-eye coordination and has a battle level that’s rarely matched in the NHL. Which help him create and finish these opportunities.

Of his 34 goals, just over half (52.9%) were covered just now with tips and deflections. But the other 47.1% are a combination of wrist shots, slap shots and backhands. Lee clearly has his “optimal usage” in the front of the net.

Anders Lee Goal Heat Map

The above heat map of where Lee scored from last season confirms he’s a net front guy. Scoring most of his goals from right at the top of the crease. It also shows he can also wire them in with the best of ‘em as you can see with the map. Although with less frequency.

Next: Hockey News Predicts Isles Lines for 2019-20

Like Yost alludes to in his article, the modern goalie is so positionally sound that if he sees the shot he’s likely going to stop it. That’s why redirecting puck is so important in today’s NHL. And the New York Islanders have one of the league’s best in Anders Lee.

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