Islanders Scott Mayfield: Truly underappreciated

Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders
Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

The New York Islanders were able to complete a convincing victory over the Ottawa Senators the other night at UBS Arena. The 4-1 victory was much needed as the Islanders have dropped the last three of four games.

The Islanders have had a habit of giving up the first goal and followed suit against the Senators. Following up with four unanswered goals was just what the doctor ordered.

Among the standouts was All-Star Adam Pelech, scoring a goal in close, and Mathew Barzal with a goal. Ryan Pulock returned to the Islanders lineup and played his first game at UBS Arena. Pulock was brought along carefully, playing 15:08 minutes.

New York Islanders Mayfield's Two Point Night

The goals were scored by Barzal, Wahlstrom, Beauvillier, and Pelech; but the point leader on the night was none other than defenseman, Scott Mayfield.

Mayfield contributed to the offense with two primary helpers on the goals for Barzal and fellow defenseman, Pelech.

The pass from the blue line across to Barzal was the most impressive play for Mayfield on the evening. Normally Mayfield's contributions are less flashy and not seen on the scoresheet. The pass to Barzal was perfectly placed at the right speed for the one-timer.

The most impressed person in the arena was Barzal, as you could clearly see him saying to Mayfield, "what a pass!"

In addition to putting up the points, Mayfield was a plus 2 with one shot on net. Providing one of the more dependable options on defense, Mayfield logged 21:26 minutes of ice time. One shift, in particular, saw Mayfield and Pelech on the ice for over three minutes.

Mayfield on Pace for Career Season

Through all the Covid turmoil with the Islanders roster, Mayfield was one of the few players to remain in the lineup. Having played in all 38 games this season, Mayfield has provided some stability to a battered defensive group.

With the two assists last night, Mayfield now has 12 points(2 G, 10 A) on the campaign. The previous career point total was 19 in 79 games for the Islanders in the 2018-19 season.

Although these are not overly impressive statistics, they only add to the value that Mayfield brings to the Islanders. Under Barry Trotz, Mayfield has consistently been a plus player. Since the arrival of Trotz, Mayfield is a plus 24.

As remarkable as the plus-minus has been for Mayfield, it is even more impressive in the playoffs. Mayfield is plus 23 in the last 49 playoff contests.

Mayfield has a knack for scoring some timely goals and certainly did that in the Eastern Conference finals last year. Down 2-1 and facing elimination, Mayfield rushed down the wing and scored 11:16 into the third to draw even. Obviously, the end result was the magical OT goal by Beauvillier.

The positives on the ice are outweighed by Mayfield's team-friendly contract that runs out after the 2022-23 season. Mayfield's current cap hit is $1,450,000, which is a steal for any defenseman with his production.

Mayfield takes a lot of slack and sometimes it is deservedly so, but he is truly an underappreciated player. The inert passes out of the defensive zone can drive any fan bonkers.

However, the positives to Mayfield's game are not as obvious. The PK production is by far the biggest value brought by Mayfield. The physical presence in front of the net is welcome to the goalkeepers, while being a positive presence in the locker room.

It may be tempting for Lou Lamoriello to deal Mayfield near the trade deadline, but it would be tougher to replace than we all realize.