Islanders Lead Goal Scorer vs League Average
By Matt O'Leary
Looking at the league average for top goalscorer and how the Islanders compare since Barry Trotz took over as head coach.
Goal scoring is arguably the Islanders‘ biggest need for the 2021 season. While the Barry Trotz era has been a resounding success so far, the team’s most obvious flaw is their mediocre goal scoring over the past two seasons.
Last year, Brock Nelson was the Isles leading goal scorer with 26 goals. Over an 82 game season, that’s a pace of 31 goals which is good for Brock, but how does that compare to the rest of the league?
Well, if you take the leading goal scorer on every team and average it out the average lead goal scorer for a team had 30.1 goals this year. That would mean that the Isles leading goal scorer is four goals below average for the league.
2018-2019 was an even bigger gap. Anders Lee had 28 goals on the season, which put the Islanders at 24th in the league. Actually on five teams lead goal scorer had fewer than 28 goals (Arizona, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Vegas, and New Jersey).
The 2019 league average leading goal scorer was at 34.6. That puts the Islanders roughly five goals below the pace.
Obviously, that’s an area the Islanders would like to improve on in 2021. Sure, they’ve proven that they can survive with the goal-scoring they’ve produced over the past two years but if they want to take that next step, the goals are going to have to start to come.
Sure, Anders Lee can bounce back to form a little bit, and Brock Nelson can continue to be a 30 goal pace guy in 2021 but is that going to be enough to compete with the big guns?
If the Islanders don’t regress in net or defensively, yes. The Islanders system is built to thrive on defense and strong goalie play. They have those pieces in place, so if they just get even a slight boost offensively this team can be very dangerous.
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I’m curious to see guys like Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Anthony Beauvillier this year. If the three of them perform towards their peak the offense should be good enough to survive. If not, well the Isles might just be a borderline playoff team.