The Turnaround of NY Islanders Captain Anders Lee's Season

Los Angeles Kings v New York Islanders
Los Angeles Kings v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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I would love to say that I jinxed Lee and that my article criticizing him lit a fire under him, and now the player that the team and fans were missing is back, but there's no proof to back that up. Instead, we can all agree that Lee's spark is back. That bleh player from before November 15th, who lacked speed and strength, made a complete 180. Lee has been making big hits and has seemingly, his goalscoring prowess has returned. Fans were itching to see him steal goals again, and he's no longer losing net front battled and reclaimed "his spot."

In the 12 games since the Kraken, Lee has five goals and two assists and has had a significantly positive impact whenever he steps on the ice. No longer a "line-killer," Lee was moved back to his rightful spot on the first line alongside Horvat and Mat Barzal. Per Natural Stat Trick, since Lee was placed back on the top line on November 28th against New Jersey, the top line has had eight goals for and just three against when playing with Lee. Without Lee on that line, Barzy and Bo have just one goal for and two goals against. His playmaking abilities seem to be even better than in seasons past since being moved back onto that top line, and seems to be keeping up with the speed or Barzy and Bo, something he's previously struggled with.

What's most notable about his comeback is how excited Lee has become when he scores goals. When down by two in the third period against the LA Kings, who had yet to lose on the road OR give up a lead this season, Lee stepped up to the plate. He scored twice in the last 11 minutes to tie the Kings and send the game into overtime. The Isles came back to win 3-2 in overtime thanks to Pageau, who is also slowly getting his swagger back, but that history-ending win wouldn't have been possible without Lee's grit and never give up mentality. Lee went from never having his head in the game to never giving up on a game.

The Anders Lee comeback has been a breath of fresh air for this Islanders team and fans. And, it came at a crucial time to turn the Isles season around, who went from losing seven straight in November to now sitting second in the Metro Division amid a three-game win streak.