Anthony Beauvillier has been a consistent source of offensive production for the Islanders throughout the postseason.
In fact, the left winger has notched at least one point in all but three of the Islanders’ 11 games since arriving in the Toronto bubble. The 23-year-old Beauvillier entered Thursday in a six-way tie for the second-most goals this postseason with seven, joining big names such as the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, Colorado’s Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon, and the Stars’ Joe Pavelski and Denis Gurianov.
Beauvillier came up big for the Islanders again in Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime loss, recording arguably the most crucial goal in their comeback to force OT. Roughly halfway through the third period, Beauvillier capitalized on an odd-man rush and wristed the puck right under Flyers goaltender Carter Hart’s arm to bring the Islanders within one goal.
It provided enough momentum for them to tie the game at three on a Jean-Gabriel Pageau goal before ultimately falling short.
“I think it’s more mental, it’s confidence,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said of the difference in Beauvillier this postseason. “Most young players judge their worth when they first come into the league almost purely on stats. ‘Did I score enough goals?’ Where Anthony has grown is he understands that he can contribute in so many different ways, even if it’s not on the score sheet.
“What happens is he ends up having a more complete game, more productive and he’s not in his own head regarding production. I think that’s one of the things that a lot of young players have to get over so they can have success in this very demanding league. I think that’s where his growth has been.”
During the Islanders’ 2018-19 playoff run, Beauvillier registered just one goal and one assist in eight games after garnering 18 goals and 10 assists in the regular season. Beauvillier went on to blossom this past regular season for a career-high 18 goals and 21 assists, which seemingly carried over into the postseason.
His seven goals this postseason are the most by an Islanders player in a single playoff year since Ray Ferraro (13) and Steve Thomas (9) in 1993. With both Anders Lee and Pageau also contributing five or more goals, it marks the first postseason in which three Islanders players each have five or more goals since 1993.
“He’s always had the talent, he’s always had the speed, all that,” Trotz said. “It’s just understanding the mental approach to the day in and day out grind and production or non-production that happens in the National Hockey League.”