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31 in 31

New York Islanders key statistics

Lee among best at scoring on tips, deflections; penalty kill needs to improve

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the New York Islanders.


[Islanders 31 IN 31: Season Preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]


1. Big start for Barzal

Center Mathew Barzal won the Calder Trophy and led the Islanders with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) in 82 games last season. It was the most points by an Islanders rookie since Mike Bossy scored 91 points (53 goals, 38 assists) in 73 games in 1977-78.

Barzal is the second Islanders player to score at least 85 points in a season since Ziggy Palffy had 87 (45 goals, 42 assists) in 82 games in 1997-98. The other was John Tavares, who had 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games in 2014-15.

Video: Barzal expected to step up, de Haan goes to Carolina

The Islanders' share of 5-on-5 shot attempts increased from 45.50 percent to 52.33 percent with Barzal on the ice, for a Relative SAT of plus-6.83 percent that ranked seventh among those to play at least 20 NHL games last season. Linemate Jordan Eberle ranked first (plus-8.65).


2. Lee powering forward

Anders Lee became the first Islanders player to score 40 goals in a season since Jason Blake scored 40 in 2006-07. 

The forward gets a lot of his goals close to the opposing net. Over the past four seasons, he is tied for second with 24 goals by tip-in, ranks second with 21 goals by backhand, and is tied for eighth with six goals by deflection. 

Video: NYI@DET: Lee beats Coreau with nifty backhand

Lee is one of 10 forwards with at least 600 hits and 600 shots in this span, and his NHL career shooting percentage of 14.6 percent is tied for 12th among the 308 active players with at least 50 goals. 


3. Defensive disappointment

The Islanders allowed an NHL-high 293 goals last season, their most since allowing 315 in 1995-96. They allowed an average of 35.6 shots on goal per game, the most in their history, and their penalty-killing percentage of 73.2 percent was their lowest since the stat began being tracked in 1977-78.

In order for that to change, the Islanders need a bounce-back season from goalie Thomas Greiss, whose save percentage dropped from a previous NHL average of .916 to .892 in 2017-18. That ranked 54th among the 56 goalies to play at least 20 games.

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