They say a rising tide raises all ships. Using that aphorism, a better offensive team should raise all point totals, making a 60-point season within reach for defenseman Noah Dobson this season.
Under the direction of Lane Lambert and the much-discussed more aggressive offensive style that promotes defensemen being more active in the play, it is reasonable to assume that Dobson's upward offensive trajectory will continue. Are 60 points realistic? It should be.
Can Noah Dobson reach rare points milestone this season?
A year ago, the 22-year-old become the first Islanders defenseman since Mark Streit in 2008 (16G, 40A) to reach the 50-point milestone. Before Streit, you have to back to flashy Russian defenseman Vladimir Malakhov who scored 10 goals and added 47 points in 1993-94.
Dobson's 51 points (13G, 38A) in 80 games came in a year where the Islanders finished 24th of 32 teams in goals scored (they were 29th of 30 teams when Streit scored 56P in 2008-09!). A move toward the middle of the Goals For (GF) rankings should have a trickle-down effect on everyone's numbers, Dobson included.
In AMNY, beat writer Joe Pantorno asked Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock about Dobson reaching the 60-point mark this season. “I hope [it happens],” said Barzal. “It seems like all our D-men are on pace for that right now. Yeah, I think that’d be amazing if he did. I’d love to see that happen.”
“I don’t see why not,” added Pulock. “I don’t think he needs to get to that number. Anywhere near there is a heck of a year. He’s got it in him. His offensive ability, his instincts, his skillset… it wouldn’t surprise me.”
As head coach, one of Lambert's objectives for this year and beyond is to keep Dobson on his upward trajectory. There is still room to improve consistency in the defensive zone, and his pairing with Alexander Romanov is off to an uneven start. Yet, he already has two goals in two games, very much picking up where he left off last season. As the year progresses, it'll be interesting to see what new strides Dobson takes on both ends of the ice.
"It’s nice to contribute from the back end. You can’t expect the defense to have five goals each game but it’s good to get some goals and offense from the defense early and I think it’s an important part of our game to be chipping in on the attack and helping out."- Noah Dobson in AMNY
Provided Dobson stays healthy and continues on the same path, topping the 60-point plateau is very much in play for this season. If he reaches the mark, he would be the first Islander to do so since three-time Norris Trophy Winner and Hall-of-Famer, Denis Potvin, did so in the 1984-85 season.