15-29-44 in 47 games
Most often seen: on John Tavares' wing (save for that playoff series)
Contract status: signed through 2013-14, $3M salary in 2012-13 ($3.13M cap hit)
Obligatory YouTube video of: scoring the Isles' first home playoff goal of the decade
Thoughts on 2012-13: Ho, hum. Just another great year for Matt Moulson. Yawn. No one really seems to notice.
It's funny that we're at the point now where Moulson is simply expected to put up big numbers on the first line by all of us locally and he goes and does it. There's no fanfare nationally, though. He's not involved in any of the Olympic chatter for Team Canada despite being a three-time 30-goal scorer -- although their forward depth is insane -- and he hasn't been to an All-Star Game because in the four years that he has been on Long Island he was passed up twice and twice the game wasn't even scheduled.
Maybe it's that he's seen as the Robin to John Tavares' Batman and largely stays out of the spotlight. Maybe it's that laid back personality that doesn't attract attention. Whatever it is, Moulson had arguably his best and most interesting season this year and it was over shadowed, fairly, by John Tavares' chase for the Hart Trophy.
For his first three seasons on Long Island, Moulson punched in a lot of rebounds and was the recipient of some dazzling passes from John Tavares. The duo put up tons of points, with Moulson generally scoring the goals and Tavares generally getting the assists. Then, things changed this year when Tavares became more of a sniper through a combination of luck and skill and his shooting percentage went up a full 7%. Tavares potted 28 goals in 48 games, after having 31 in 82 the year prior.
The interesting thing is that Moulson responded just fine to this, and maybe helped it along. Moulson scored at a slightly slower pace in the shortened season; .32 goals per game down from .44 the prior year. Part of that is due to a lower shooting percentage and possibly bad luck. But in turn, he started setting up his teammates a lot more. Moulson had 29 assists during the half-season, after having 33 in the last full season. Some of that is surely to do with Tavares increased accuracy, but some of it has to be due to Moulson setting up his teammates more. It's also something that I don't think any of us really saw coming. Tavares was the setup guy and Moulson generally was the finisher. That changed this year, and it's a welcome surprise. Moulson is more versatile than we thought.
In the playoffs, the pair was split for the first time since Moulson joined Tavares on Long Island. It'll be interested to see if that was a one-off or something that will remain into next season.
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.