If I traveled back in time three years, found you in the streets, and told you that the New York Islanders would be one win away from the Stanley Cup in 2021 you’d be very surprised. Maybe even shocked. You’d probably start laughing if I then told you that Brock Nelson was the Islanders most productive player in Game 7’s.
Sure, at that time the Islanders already had Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz. But they were less than a week from losing John Tavares, something Islanders fans didn’t think would happen but knew it just might at this point.
But here we are today with the Islanders one win away from a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. So looking at the roster, how experienced is the squad and how have they done in these critical win-and-in games?
New York Islanders players experience in Game 7
I compiled a list of simple stats from everyone on the squad who is likely to play tonight for every Game 7 they’ve played over their careers. I just looked at the number of games played, goals, assist, and even plus-minus.
(I know plus-minus isn’t a good stat, but for a three-game sample [max] it can tell us something.)
Again, the fact that Brock Nelson leads the way for production in Game 7’s isn’t something an Islander fan from a few years ago would have guessed. But Brock Nelson is absolutely clutch in Game 7 and series-clinching games in particular.
In the history of the NHL, Brock Nelson ranks sixth all-time in goals per series-clinching game with nine goals in 12 games played.
So here we go. Game 7 is tonight. It’s about as 50/50 a game as possible. Both teams are excellent groups and fully capable of pulling out a win. Hopefully, for the New York Islanders, Brock Nelson can continue being “captain clutch” by scoring an early goal.
I’ll just leave you with this quote from Barry Trotz as we wait for puck drop at 8:15ish PM: