Islanders Anders Lee Should Be In NHL All-Star Game Not Sidney Crosby
By Tim Ryder
The National Hockey League released the rosters for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game today. The New York Islanders have two representatives going this year, John Tavares and Josh Bailey. But there should have been one more Islanders player invited.
John Tavares finally has company at the NHL All-Star Game this year. Josh Bailey has also been selected to represent the Islanders at this year’s festivities, January 27-28 in Tampa, FL. Although the New York Islanders’ Anders Lee is third in the NHL with 25 goals this season, he was left off of the Metro Division’s All-Star roster.
In the NHL’s defense, this year’s Metro Division is jam-packed with elite players. The forwards selected to represent the Metro in the NHL All-Star Game are as follows: Alex Ovechkin, Taylor Hall, Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, and New York Islanders forwards Josh Bailey and John Tavares.
Making the NHL All-Star Game case for New York Islanders’ Anders Lee
Anders Lee of the New York Islanders has had himself quite the first half of the 2017-18 NHL season. Through 43 games, Lee has 25 goals, 15 assists. His 51.1 CF% and 2.8 CF% Rel both rank above the NHL average. He ranks 3rd in the NHL in goals and is in the top twenty in scoring.
Anders Lee has been relatively quiet over the New York Islanders’ last five games. His goal against the New Jersey Devils last Sunday was his first point scored since scoring two goals in a loss to the Jets on 12/29 in Winnipeg.
This recent downtick in production combined with the Isles not having the greatest time of late has resulted in him not being selected for the All-Star Game. Even though he absolutely should.
In order for Lee to have been selected, one of the players lucky enough to have been named to the NHL All-Star Game would have to be left out. Let’s take a hypothetical look at one of the players Anders Lee could have been selected over.
After a slow start to the 2017-18 season, Sidney Crosby has begun to produce at the levels that are expected of a player of his caliber. Crosby has a respectable stat line this year, with 15 goals and 28 assists. His plus/minus is a paltry -11, which would be his lowest +/- rating since sporting a -1 rating his rookie season.
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Even Crosby himself has admitted that he’s not having an all-star season. If not for the seven points Crosby’s scored over his last two games, he’d be four points behind Anders Lee’s current point total of 40.
Though Anders Lee may indeed be having a better season, a superstar like Crosby is expected to be selected over an emerging star like Lee. If not for Crosby’s quick burst of production there would certainly be more of an outcry over Anders Lee’s apparent snub.
I’d imagine that if Crosby hadn’t overtaken Lee in points last week, the New York Islanders faithful would surely be accusing the NHL of shenanigans.
Next: Advanced Look At Islanders PP/PK
If any of the players that were selected to represent the Metro Division in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game can’t appear in the game, the New York Islanders’ Anders Lee should be the clear-cut favorite to be the first player named as a replacement.