Nick Leddy has looked like a completely different player since the calendar turned to 2017, and it's paying dividends for the Islanders.
Leddy opened the scoring for the Isles in the first period on Sunday evening, then chipped in two assists, ultimately surpassing the 200 point mark for his career.
In addition, Leddy and his pairing mate Johnny Boychuck played to a +3 rating for the evening, and were on the ice for all five Islanders goals. According to Islanders statistician Eric Hornick, Leddy is averaged just shy of a point per game (4-11-15) in the last 16 games, and has a +9 rating over that span.
Hornick also noted that Leddy's 31 points gives him at least 30 points in each of his three seasons with the Isles. He is the first Islander defensemen with three seasons of at least 30 points since Mark Streit (2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12), and the first to do so in three consecutive seasons since Adrian Aucoin (2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04).
It wasn't so long ago that Islanders fans were bemoaning Leddy's performance, as he and Travis Hamonic were assembling a brutal season paired together. But since Hamonic went down with an injury and Leddy skated alongside some other d-men, his game as completely changed. On January 1, Leddy's even strength Corsi For Percentage was an abysmal 43.8, and his Fenwick For was 43.9. Now, those numbers are both at 46.6. There's obviously still room to move there, but that's a big improvement in just a little over a month.
Leddy's skating well again, using his speed to create offensive chances. And being paired with Boychuk really seems to be a symbiotic relationship. Boychuck's Corsi and Fenwick For are nearly at 50 percent (49.0 and 49.8, respectively), a mark that no regular Islanders defenseman could have even dreamed of back in December. It's really a testament to how the Islanders have been able to improve in their own zone and use their legs and improved passing to break out and carry through the neutral zone better in the Doug Weight era.
With Leddy rejuvenated and chipping in offensively, it could really be a huge coup for this team moving into the stretch run.