Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Anthony Beauvillier is thriving in the playoffs for the Islanders.
In the Isles’ current first round series with the Penguins, Beauvillier has been one of the better forwards for an Islander team that has struggled to generate offense consistently. According to Natural Stat Trick, Beauvillier ranks fourth among Islander forwards in GF/60 (Goals For) at even strength and is second on the team in HDCF/60 (High Danger Chances For) in the postseason. The 23-year-old has registered a point in all but one contest — the 2-1 game two loss in Pittsburgh — going into the possible clincher tonight. His goal on Monday night was a thing of beauty and showed how much confidence he’s playing with again on the postseason stage.
Anthony Beauvillier. What a freaking goal! pic.twitter.com/lGBIzRvVZP
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) May 24, 2021
Beauvillier’s ascension in the playoffs seems to becoming an annual ritual especially the last two years. Last summer in the bubble, the QC native was one of the talks of the league with his performance over the first three rounds. Beauvillier would finish the Isles’ run with 14 points in 22 games, good for fourth behind Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey. He cooled off a bit in Conference finals, but Beauvillier’s excellent play had his trajectory pointing upward and earned him a reputation as a speedy, relentless player.
Entering this season, Beauvillier was looked upon to take that next step as a consistent threat coming off that solid postseason. Getting hurt early in the season threw a wrench in those plans. And it wasn’t until the final few weeks of the regular season that playoff Beau began to come out again. He ended the season on a hot streak going 7-6-13 in the final 11 games. That strong finish has now transferred over to the first round, and the Islanders have reaped all the benefits from it. “When you have a big piece of the game, you have lots of confidence,” Head Coach Barry Trotz has said of Beauvillier. “When you have a big positive effect on any game, you feel good about your play.”
Beauvillier’s line too with Nelson and Bailey, whom was responsible for two of the team’s three goals in game five, has picked up the slack as the team’s first line has struggled during the series.
The playoffs seem to bring out a more focused, more intense Beauvillier. It even goes back to his days in the QMJHL with Shawinigan. The year after following the Isles drafting him 28th overall, Beauvillier recorded 30 points in 21 postseason games leading the Cataractes to the President’s Cup, where they were defeated by Rouyn-Noranda in five games.
Beauvillier continues to be one of most vital players for the Islanders to be successful in the postseason. Now with an opportunity to move on to the second round for a third consecutive years, the Isles will need him to keep playing the way he has. After all, he is showing once again why the playoffs are his time to shine.
Not since 28 years ago have the Islanders been able to clinch a postseason series on Nassau Coliseum ice. They will have that chance tonight in front of 9,000 screaming fans.
The Isles have won a series on home ice in the last five years, but that came at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center when John Tavares scored in double OT in game six against the Panthers.
Tonight might just be a little crazier than that evening. The atmosphere should be electric.