If by any chance you’re feeling the Monday blues, I’ve got just the cure for you. Today, New York Islanders captain Anders Lee was on the ice doing net-front drills. Lee has been sidelined since the midway point of the season after suffering a lower-body injury in a game against the New Jersey Devils.
Seeing Lee on the ice doing what he does best should have you feeling your best.
New York Islanders get a big boost from Lee’s return to the skating
Now, it’s important to state that Lee isn’t expected to return this season. Barry Trotz has gone out of his way to say that the Islanders captain won’t be back on the ice in these playoffs. But the excitement from the fanbase around Lee’s “return” is palpable.
Mollie Walker’s tweet of Lee’s redirecting shots in front of goal already has 561 likes and it’s only been up for 40 minutes.
It’s easy to see why Islanders fans are so excited to see their captain back. Not only is he the leader of the club, but having him on Barzal’s left wing has been incredibly productive this season.
When Lee-Barzal-Eberle are on the ice together this year they hold some truly incredible numbers at 5on5 (all stats from NaturalStatTrick):
- CF%: 58.64
- SCF%: 60.66
- HDCF%: 70.45
- xGF%: 65.00
- GF%: 66.67
But again, Lee isn’t coming back this season. Seeing him on the ice now surely means he’ll be ready to go for the 2021-22 season. If seeing him on skates and practicing has fans this pumped I can only imagine the effect this is having on the players.
With the series going back to Boston for Game 5 and the series tied 2-2, today’s game is about as must-win as it can get. Any advantage the Islanders can get could go a long way to helping them push this series to 3-2 as it goes back to Long Island. Seeing Lee on the ice and in his office is going to be a big emotional boost for the Isles.