JG Pageau’s playoff performance can be huge for the Islanders this year and in the future.
Yesterday, I talked about Derick Brassard and his past in the playoffs. While early in his career he was phenomenal in the playoffs, the Islanders can’t head into the playoffs in 2020 with the hope that he turns back the clock.
Instead, when looking for depth goals, the Isles should look no further than JG Pageau. Pageau is in the middle of a career year with 26 goals between his time in Ottawa and on the Island but previously, his career-high in goals is 19.
He’s a third-line center who plays a well-rounded game, he’s not your prototypical 25+ goal scorer as this year has looked like an outlier thus far.
While the goal-scoring really didn’t show until this year, if you look at Pageau’s history in the playoffs he tends to have a knack for heating up and lighting up the lamp. In 35 career playoff games, he has 12 goals and 16 points.
12 goals in 35 games is a pace of 28 goals over a full season. Again, this is someone who hasn’t reached 20 goals in his career before this year. He has two hat tricks in the playoffs, including four goals against the Rangers back in 2017.
In that game, his fourth goal was an overtime winner by the way. We saw first-hand last year against Carolina what could happen if your offense goes cold. They had just five goals in four games in that series.
Barzal had two goals, Brock had one, and Devon Toews and Josh Bailey each had one apiece. That leaves guys like Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Anthony Beauvillier off the score sheet (half of the Islanders top-six this year).
In games or series where your big-name guys are going slow, you need that pop from your bottom six. If anyone is going to do it, JG Pageau is your best bet to provide depth scoring on this team.
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If the Islanders have any hope of going on a run this year, they need their top-six functioning on all cylinders, and Pageau and Cizikas have to elevate their lines. It’s a big ask, but don’t be surprised if somewhere along the way Pageau steals a game for the Islanders.