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Editorials

New York Islanders: Anders Lee Over – Under 34.5 Goals

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Anders Lee
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Anders Lee
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Anders Lee is coming off a 40 goal season with the New York Islanders in 2017-2018, will he be able to repeat it in 2018 or will he regress with a new center?

Over the past two years, Anders Lee has been extremely productive in the goal scoring department. He’s developed himself a nice little niche with the New York Islanders, and is now one of the premier power forwards and is in the conversation with James Van Riemsdyk and Wade Simmonds for the best in the business.

Last year was Lee’s best year in the league playing with John Tavares and Josh Bailey on the top line. In all 82 games, he put up 62 points (40 goals, 22 assists). It was the first time in his career that he had 40 goals.

Now, without John Tavares, things might be a little different for Lee. There seems to be a debate about whether or not he’ll play with Mathew Barzal on the top line or if he’ll go to the second line so Anthony Beauvillier can stick with Barzal.

If I were coaching the team, I’d keep the Beauvillier – Barzal – Eberle line together while also keeping Anders Lee with Josh Bailey on the second line.

Who will center that line is also a major question mark. There are three likely candidates; Jan Kovar, Brock Nelson, and Valtteri Filppula who will fill that role. If I had to bet on it, I’d go with Kovar but really either of the three could potentially play that role.

Obviously, the center isn’t going to be at Tavares’ level which might cause a decrease in production. Keep in mind, Bailey also had a number of assists on Lee goals so the two working together should keep them around the same pace with a potential for a minor dip when you account for the center production dropoff.

The Prediction

For the prediction, I’m assuming Lee plays on a line with Jan Kovar and Josh Bailey. I think he drops off in production but not by much. If the over is at 34.5 for goals I’d take the over. I expect him to fall between 35 and 39 goals on the year.

Robin Lehner over/under .912 save percentage. Next

To expect him to hit 40 may be a stretch but in a contract year, he’ll put up numbers. Look for him to get an extension at some point during the season, especially if the goals are flowing.

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