Joel Embiid Should be Considered an MVP Candidate
It is only January and a lot of people are talking about either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the MVP, but what about Joel Embiid?
The New York Islanders have been a surprise so far in the 2018-2019 season. They don't have John Tavares around anymore because he left for the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency this past summer. New York also got rid of Doug Weight as head coach and Garth Snow as general manager over the summer.
They brought in Barry Trotz as the new coach because Trotz decided to leave the Washington Capitals even though they won the Stanley Cup last season. Barry Trotz has the Islanders off to a 15-12-4 record with 34 points so far this season. They currently sit in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.
New York is currently two points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third spot in the Metropolitan Division and they are four points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the east.
They are currently playing games at both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. It is a tough task for a team to play home games at different arenas throughout the regular season.
The New York Islanders are overachieving this season. I thought they were going to finish in last in the Metropolitan Division and it may not be the case this season. They are in the thick of the playoff race and they could very well be until the end of the season.
New York is currently ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils, and the Philadelphia Flyers in the division. I think that all of those teams have better rosters than the Islanders. Lou Lamoriello is the current general manager of this hockey team.
Mathew Barzal leads the team with 27 points (four goals and 23 assists). His plus/minus is -9. Josh Bailey has scored seven goals and recorded 18 assists so far this season. His plus/minus is 10. Anders Lee has scored 11 goals and recorded 12 assists so far this season. His plus/minus is 3.
Brock Nelson has scored 10 goals and recorded 10 assists so far this season. His plus/minus is 9. Jordan Eberle is having a down season with six goals and seven assists. His plus/minus is -12.
Scott Mayfield has the most points for a defenseman on the team with 13 (three goals and 10 assists). His plus/minus is 5. Anthony Beauviller has scored 10 goals so far this season.
Thomas Greiss's record so far this season is 11-6-1 with a .916 save percentage and a 2.59 GAA, along with one shutout. Robin Lehner's record so far this season is 4-6-3 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.66 GAA, along with one shutout.
They will continue to play hard because of who is coaching this team. The New York Islanders will continue to be a tough team to beat. They don't have enough on the roster to win a playoff series, but New York could make things interesting.