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New York Islanders Five Most Important Players for 2019-20

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 23: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders wraps around the net as Ben Lovejoy #12 of the New Jersey Devils defends at Prudential Center on November 23, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 23: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders wraps around the net as Ben Lovejoy #12 of the New Jersey Devils defends at Prudential Center on November 23, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Anders Lee

Goals are a premium in the NHL these days. Thankfully, the New York Islanders have one of the better goal scorers in the league.

Over the last three years, Anders Lee has scored 102 goals. Only 12 players have scored more goals than Lee over that period. And, as you can imagine, some of those players are some of the most elite names in the league.

So if the Islanders are going to generate that extra offense they crave they’ll need Lee to be at the peak of his powers.

His 28 goals last season was a good return, but it’s below where we know he can be. Just two years ago Lee scored 40 goals. The year before that 35.

When standing in front of the net, there is no better player in the league when it comes to redirecting pucks past goalies. There’s no one better to find the puck in the scramble in front of an opposing goalie and roofing it with a backhand.

Getting Lee back to his 40 goal pace would easily help the Islanders keep pace with the top teams in the division. Just like they did in 2018-19. Getting him there isn’t quite clear.

Lee shot the puck almost as frequently as he did in 2017-18. He was four shots shy of his SOG totals from two seasons ago. We also know that in 5on5 situations, Lee shot more frequently from his “office” in front of the net in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18.

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Barzal will have to generate more offense, Eberle will need to do the same, but for Anders Lee, he’s going to have to score more than he did last season.

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