The New York Islanders’ offense has seen its fair share of big performances in their playoff run thus far.
Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, J.G. Pageau, among several others, have stepped it up, and its a reason the Isles are one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals.
Then there’s Brock Nelson.
Nelson, who has six goals and 11 points in 14 games, has struggled a bit to find the back of the net consistently, is now starting to convert on more of his chances.
And for the Isles, that couldn’t be coming at a more crucial time.
Nelson now has three goals in the last two games, including his snipe late in the third period yesterday over Flyers’ netminder Carter Hart’s glove, which started another third-period comeback.
Bailey ➡️ Nelson ➡️ 🚨 pic.twitter.com/5wS8pgGzJa
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 2, 2020
He almost made it back-to-back multi-goal games in overtime but was stoned by Hart.
“I’d like to have the breakaway back, Toews thought his squeaked through, and [we] had a couple of other looks,” Nelson said postgame. “That’s hockey.”
As the Isles continue to go deeper into the postseason, Nelson is the kind of player who they should expect a lot from.
He showed he’s capable of finding that extra gear from his performance in the playoffs last spring. Nelson tallied four goals in eight games.
But there’s even more to his impact.
Nelson identifies as one of the Islanders’ most prominent secondary scoring threats; his six goals in the playoffs is third on the club, and he’s tallied 51 tucks the last two seasons. Nelson’s also been one of the club’s better forwards for the better part of two years now and someone they rely on for heavy minutes and in the big moments as the second-line center behind Mathew Barzal. Plus, with the heavy-powered Tampa Bay Lightning looming next round — depending on if the Islanders can close out their series tomorrow night — having Nelson going could help make a huge difference if the games do become high-scoring affairs.
It’s not to say the team offensively would be in trouble without Nelson not producing — they’ve gotten contributions from throughout the forward corps since entering the bubble — but he showing that goal-scoring prowess makes the Isles that much more dangerous of a club.
So he hitting his stride now could pay huge dividends.
The Islanders have gotten to this point in the playoffs because of their offense. Brock Nelson has had his moments, but now it seems like the goals are starting to come for him on a more consistent basis.
It’s a great thing for him and even better for the Islanders who are as close to playing for the Stanley Cup as they’ve been in decades.