Our over/under series returns, today we look at New York Islanders forward Anders Lee. Will he have over or under 30 goals this season?
Last year was an odd year for Anders Lee. Similar to the New York Islanders as a team, he started slow and turned on strong in the second half of the year. Let’s start with some context here. In 2015-2016 he only put up 15 goals after his breakout rookie year.
Those struggles carried over into the 2016-2017 season as well. Through the first 18 games of the season, he had just one goal. He went 15 games without scoring a goal from his first of the year to that breakout night in Los Angeles.
From there he caught fire. He would score 33 goals in his next 63 games. He went from a pace of 5 goals over a full season to a pace of 43 goals over an 82 game season the rest of the way. What a turn of events folks.
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So I ask you this question: Will Anders Lee have over or under 30 goals this upcoming year?
The Case For The Over
If this is truly the player Lee is now, why can’t he recreate the year he had last year. He’ll be on a better line with the addition of Jordan Eberle. With no disrespect to Josh Bailey, who played very well last year *ducks*, Eberle is a much better fit on that top line with Lee and Tavares.
In theory, if Lee remains the same player he should have more scoring opportunities. Tavares and Eberle can be the playmakers while Lee can do his thing down low to clean up the mess.
The Case For The Under
What if last year was a fluke for Anders Lee? Maybe he’s not a 35 goal scorer in the league. He was just riding an unbelievable hot streak and is set to come back to earth in 2017-2018. Perhaps, he drops back down production wise with Eberle and Tavares leading the way.
Not down to 15 goals now, but certainly enough to put him under that 30+ goal pace for a full season.
I think to expect Lee to put up a similar season to last year is asking too much. I see Lee as a 25 goal scorer in this league, and Lee coming back to earth a bit this year. The Isles also aren’t going to need him to put up 34 goals for them to be competitive like they did last year.
I’m taking the under here, but I can certainly be wrong. I hope I am actually, it’d be nice to have two 30+ goal scorers assuming Tavares plays a full season and is healthy.