Anders Lee is the Key to the Islanders Power Play Success

Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders
Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New York Islanders power play was once the worst in the NHL by a large margin. In October and November, the team had just five power play goals for on 49 opportunities. I don't have to tell you how bad 10.2 percent on the power play is.

A large portion of the Islanders issues were personnel. Through most of November, the Islanders battled COVID issues and were without key players to their team and the power play. Maybe the best example of that was Anders Lee.

Lee returned from COVID protocol for December 2 game against the San Jose Sharks. Since that mark, the team has massively improved on the power play. They have nine power play goals on 26 opportunities which is a conversion rate of 34.6.

Three of those nine goals from Anders Lee has come on the man advantage including yesterday's in the win over Edmonton.

Sure, Anders Lee isn't the *only* reason why the power play is improved but to deny his importance in front of the net would be a massive oversight. Even when he's not scoring, the threat of him in front of the net or creating screens his huge for this team.

They tried to replicate it with Zach Parise in Lee's absence and it just wasn't working. Lee has a 86.67 CF% on the power play along with a 87.5 GF% and a 95.45 HDCF% as well. For skaters with more than 40 minutes of ice time on the man advantage, Lee is second in CF%, third in GF%, and first in HDCF% according to Natural Stat Trick.

Even last year, with Anders Lee in the lineup the Islanders had a power play percentage of 21.9 which was 14th in the league. It's not amazing obviously but it's more than enough for this team that usually struggles a ton on the man advantage. For the rest of the year, the team converted at just 15.5 percent on the power play dropping to 22nd.

It's pretty obvious the impact he has when on the ice, especially on the power play. Don’t sleep on Anders Lee's importance to this team. Not only is he a great leader on and off the ice but the power play is rendered virtually ineffective if he's not out there.