Looking back at 2019-20, here are the five best single-game performances from New York Islanders skaters.
Remember the 2019-20 season? The regular season that is. The New York Islanders last regular-season game was on March 10th in Vancouver. It’s been nearly a full eight months since the Isles player a regular-season game.
With the NHL and NHLPA getting to the table to hammer out some of the logistics for 2020-21 the start to the season might not be so far away. So I wanted to look back on last year, because it was so long ago, to think of the best single-game performances.
To help me I used HockeyStatCards.com. They compile Game Score stats on a game-by-game basis for every skater in the NHL. So here are the top five game scores for the Isles during the regular-season.
Anders Lee | November 1, 2019
Opponent: Tampa Bay Lightning
Score: 5-2 W
Stats: 1G, 2A, 4SOG
Game Score: 4.49
Put the puck on the net, you never know what can happen, right? Apparently, that saying stands even if you’re behind the goal line and the puck is on your backhand. Just watch Lee score from that position against the Lightning.
Lee had one of those dominant nights that we’ve come to expect from the captain. A goal, two helpers, four shots on goal, and a 2.92 GF powered the Islanders to a big win against a powerful opponent (even if Tampa wasn’t firing on all cylinders at the time).
Nick Leddy | October 25, 2019
Opponent: Ottawa Senators
Score: 4-2 W
Stats: 2G, 1A, 3SOG
Game Score: 4.38
After Nick Leddy’s incredible performance on October 25, Barry Trotz let MSG’s Shannon Hogan know – as well everyone listening – that Nick Leddy is not about to get traded by the Islanders.
Leddy was his old self on this night. He was constantly able to exit the zone with the puck and transition defense to offense. Add in two goals as well as a helper and the Isles clearly had that top-pair, puck carrying, and productive defenseman once again.
The Isles clearly think this Nick Leddy will show up in 20-21 or else they wouldn’t have felt comfortable moving Devon Toews to the Colorado Avalanche.
PS: Matt Martin finished that game with a 3.39 game score picking up a goal and an assist in only 5:28 of ice-time (he was injured in the second period).
Brock Nelson | February 10, 2020
Opponent: Washington Capitals
Score: 5-3 W
Stats: 3A, 2SOG
Game Score: 4.27
It’s comforting to find a top performance in the latter half of the 2019-20 season because that’s when the wheels were falling off the Islanders season. It’s also comforting to know that it was Brock Nelson who delivered that performance. For years, February was the final month of Nelson’s annual hibernation before he’d wake up again in March.
On February 10, Nelson powered the Islanders to a 5-3 win over the Washington Capital with three helpers (two primaries and a secondary). Watch Nelson (and his line) complete this pretty play to get the Isles on the board first.
Brock Nelson has been something else under Barry Trotz. He’s not just a good two-way center or just a goal scorer, he’s also a leader now. On this night he lead his team to a big win over a big divisional rival.
Brock Nelson | November 19, 2019
Opponent: Pittsburgh Penguins
Score: 5-4 W (OT)
Stats: 2G, 1A, 5SOG
Game Score: 4.20
February 10 wasn’t the only time Nelson put the team on his back. On November 19, with the Islanders holding a 14 game point streak as they traveled to Pittsburgh, Brock Nelson put the team on his back.
After going down 2-0 in the first, Nelson scored the equalizer 5:30 into the second with a nice redirected effort. And then, with the game in the extra frame, Brock Nelson scored the game winner with this follow through on his initial shot.
The goal not only won the game, but it pushed the Islanders point streak to 15 games. Matching a franchise record. A record that Brock Nelson would break with another OT game-winning goal two days later.
How about Anthony Beauvillier’s work to get the puck along the wall to generate that opportunity. There’s something poetic about two of the most transformed players under Barry Trotz combining for this type of goal.
Honorable Mention: Nick Leddy finished the game with a 4.14 GS with three helpers on the night.
Anthony Beauvillier | December 14, 2019
Opponent: Buffalo Sabres
Score: 3-2 W (OT)
Stats: 1G, 2A, 6SOG
Game Score: 3.91
On the subject of Beauvillier, the young man had a three-point night against the Buffalo Sabres in the middle of December. The Isles were up 2-1 with minutes left to play, but when Mathew Barzal took an undisciplined roughing penalty against Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Eichel tied the game with 1:46 left in the third.
Beau came to his buddy’s rescue in overtime. With Nelson breaking up a Buffalo play in the Isles D-zone, Beau picked up the loose puck and went all the way for this pretty goal right in the toy department.
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Mathew Barzal must have breathed a heavy sigh of relief to see that goal go in.
Beauvillier had two helpers before the OT goal. He set up Dal Colle to open the scoring and got a secondary helper on Eberle’s goal early in the third. Meaning Beau had a hand in 100% of the Isles offense against the Sabres. He also finished the game with an incredible six shots on goal.
Beau has been something else for the Islanders this season. The fourth-year pro had a coming-out party in 19-20. Going into 20-21 the hope is that Beau can continue to be this top-six winger that can take over games like he did against the Buffalo Sabres.