Islanders Anders Lee 2019-20 player grade: Special team failings

Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

New York Islanders second-year captain gets a B- for his work on the special team.

After getting a huge payday from the New York Islanders, big things were expected from Anders Lee. With a disappointing 2018-19 season on the stat sheet, the hope was that Anders Lee could bounce back in 2019-20.

The expectation for Lee was that he could get back to that 30-40 goal scorer and fill that top-line role that head coach Barry Trotz was giving to the Isles captain.

That Power Play Though

With 68 games played, Lee scored 20 goals and added 23 helpers for 43 points. Over a full 82 game season, that type of production put him on pace to hit 24 goals and 52 points. Which is right about where he was in 2018-19.

That’s not great. After signing a seven-year $49 million contract extension Lee should be putting up more than that.

In those 68 games this season, Lee had 195 shots on goal. Nine fewer than he had over 82 games in 2018-19. Putting him on pace to hit 235 shots on goal over a full non-COVID shortened season. His career-high for shots on goal in one season is 208 from that 40 goal season in 2017-18.

He created seven more scoring chances in 14 fewer games this season and was on pace to obliterate the 97 high-danger chances he created in 2018-19 with 95 in 68 games so far this year. He was expected to create 16.07 goals at 5on5 but scored 18 this season. (All at 5on5 of course.)

At 5on5 Anders Lee was doing what he should to have a good season. The power play is where things went wrong for Lee.

Lee had two power-play goals this season. Over the past two seasons, Lee had 24 power-play goals (14 in 2017-18 and 10 in 2018-19).

Just about all of his individual stats on the man advantage were lower this season than they were just last year. Rather than write them all out, here’s a table that highlights the disparity between his stats in 18-19 with what he had this year and if they were paced out over a full 82 game season.

Terrible. Just terrible. No wonder the Islanders power play ranked 24th in the league and was only effective 17.3 percent of the time.

Although to be fair, the Islanders only had 168 power-play opportunities this season. That’s the fewest number of PP opportunities in the league by a healthy margin. The team with the next fewest number of opportunities is the Anaheim Ducks with 184, 16 more than the Isles.

Grade: B-

Anders Lee’s 5on5 numbers were great this year. His special team numbers were certainly not. But I couldn’t lower his grade too much. He was after all a good player on the Isles top line

Lee wasn’t the only one to have bad numbers on the power play. And it’s not like the other Isles players on the PP helped him out by directing pucks at the net. A B- is a fair grade to give him.