The New York Islanders head to Washington to square off against the Capitals. And Mathew Barzal returns to the scene of his horrendous mental mistake from last season.
If you don’t remember what the New York Islanders rookie did last season, let me set the scene. It was the Islanders second game of the 2016-17 NHL season and just like tonight, they were headed to Washington for a road game.
On that night, Mathew Barzal would play his first regular-season NHL game. He sat out two nights in the Islanders season opener against the New York Rangers for fellow rookie Anthony Beauvillier.
With three minutes into the first period, Barzal takes a slashing penalty on Evgeny Kuznetsov. As the Islanders kill the penalty the unthinkable happens.
Barzal, stepping out of the box as his penalty ends, plays the puck as its coming across the penalty box door. The only problem is that Barzal wasn’t yet out of the box. And had to serve a second penalty for interference.
He’d eventually get another shot in the lineup some eleven days later against the Habs. But it wasn’t enough to convince Garth Snow to keep him around for the season. Even though recently acquired free agent P.A. Parenteau was waived from the team before the season started to make room for Barzal (and Beauvillier).
Barzal would spend the rest of the season in the WHL. Where he was ridiculously dominant.
There’s no way he makes the same mistake now.
Keys To The Game
Matt O’Leary: I’m looking to see if the power play continues its hot streak or comes back to earth.
David Lazar: The Islanders capped off October with a big win against the Golden Knights. To keep up the success, the Islanders will need to keep Washington’s stars contained, especially Alex Ovechkin.
Billy Lewis: November has been a true month of horrors for the Islanders in the past. The Capitals have struggled a bit this year, so I’m looking for the Isles to carry the momentum from Monday night and jump out early tonight.
Rebbeca Attard: The Islanders need to minimize turnovers and keep Tavares and the power play rolling. I’m also looking forward to see the Boychuk vs Ovechkin matchup.
Andrew Tessler: One power play goal and no shorties allowed and isles get the win.
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