The talk around the New York Islanders this offseason is one we have all heard before. General manager Lou Lamoriello needs to bring in a pure goal scorer to bolster the offense. However, the current salary cap situation for the Islanders will not allow for that, as the offensive answers will need to come internally, which is where Anthony Beauvillier comes in.
The 24-year old forward needs to be one of the solutions if the Islanders want to achieve the ultimate goal of hoisting a Stanley Cup soon.
Beauvillier is currently a restricted free agent in need of a new contract.
Over the last couple of seasons, Beauvillier has been an integral part of the Islanders’ success and their back-to-back semifinal appearances.
The Quebec-native showcased the ability to be a 20-goal scorer in the NHL, but he has only accomplished that goal once in his five-year career (2017-18). One could blame there not being a full 82-game season for him coming up short of that mark over the last two years.
However, the main reason has been the cold streaks Beauvillier goes on during the course of the year. After five seasons in the NHL, those cold streaks have defined him as a player.
This past season, Anthony Beauvillier put up 28 points with 15 goals and 13 assists in 47 games. That equates to a 48.9 point season, with about 26 goals and 22 assists over an 82-game span.
Those are the numbers the Islanders want to see from their second-line winger.
The problem is, the projections do not take into consideration the streaky season Beauvillier was having.
He put together a nine, an eight and a seven-game goal-less streak during the abbreviated 2020-21 season. Given the schedule, without captain and leading goal-scorer at the time of his injury, Anders Lee, the lack of consistent production was a major problem.
That’s 24 games worth of goal-less streaks and that cannot happen for a player with Beauvillier’s skillset.
A season such as what we just saw is nothing new for Beauvillier.
Back in the 2019-20 regular season, (68 games), Beauvillier set a new career-high in points with 39 and was on pace to have a career season. While COVID-19 may be the main source of blame, Beauvillier posted two 13-game goal droughts, including a 10-game drought before the season came to a halt.
So regular-season inconsistencies have been a sure problem and something that needs correcting.
Still, Beauvillier has proven he can be a big game player during the postseason over the last two years. He scored four goals in the first seven games of the 2021 postseason, but then disappeared for 10 straight contests.
Beauvillier finally snapped the streak with his Game 6 overtime winner in the semifinals against the Lightning to force a Game 7.
Now what we saw happen in the 2021 postseason was rather similar to what we saw in the Islanders 2020 playoff run.
Beauvillier piled up the goals early on with four in his first five games. But as the Islanders went farther and farther, Beauvillier’s production became less and less.
He scored twice in seven games against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Quarter-Finals before scoring just one goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the semis. The eventual Stanley Cup winners finished off the Islanders in six games to win the first of their two consecutive Stanley Cups.
Since Beauvillier became an everyday player it has become clear that he is at his best when he uses his speed to make plays. Whether it is chasing down loose pucks or creating separation with his skates, his ability to pressure opposing defenses with his speed and I.Q is what makes him a valuable asset.
Hower, Beauvillier’s individual play dictates the success of his line, so when he struggles to create opportunities, the chances are few and far between.
It’s a waiting game to see how a new contract plays out for Beauvillier. The Islanders are going to need more consistency from Anthony Beauvillier this upcoming season regardless of the terms.
It’s a necessity that he gets over the 20-goal, 40 point plateau for sure as the Islanders look to go even farther in 2022. That will only happen if Beauvillier can find his game at a higher rate.