New York Islanders rookie sensation Mat Barzal has been a great playmaker this season. He’s been a past first player most of the season. Not today. Scoring a hat-trick.
New York Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal has been on fire all year. Before tonight’s game, the rookie had 32 points through 35 games. Good for fourth on the team.
He had nine goals and 24 assists. After today’s early game versus the Winnipeg Jets, his goal totals jumped up to 12 with a hat-trick. And more importantly, he’s taken the rookie scoring lead from Vancouver Canuck’s rookie Brock Boeser.
It wasn’t all just Barzal who stole the show tonight. Jaroslav Halak made a solid performance as he stopped 38 of 40 shots.
The Barzal Show
Barzal got his first two goals of the night in the first period. Number one was thanks to a heads-up play from Jordan Eberle who saw a streaking Barzal in the slot, who made no mistake. Remember this play for later.
At that point, it was 2-0 for the New York Islanders in the first period. The Isles were dominant in the opening frame. Something we just aren’t used to. And then Barzal took it upon himself to make it 3-1.
Finding some space along the wing, he makes a looping run towards the net and tosses it at the feet of Jets goalkeeper Steve Mason. From below the goal line. And it goes in
It’s not a goal that you’d expect to go in, but with a scramble going on in front of the netminder it was a smart play by Barzal to try his luck. Get it on net and good things generally happen. As they did today. Two goals in twenty minutes. Plenty of time for the hat trick.
In the third, Jordan Eberle finds Mat Barzal again alone in the slot and he makes no mistake for his third on the night and 12th on the season.
We’ve been complaining about the goaltending all season long. It just hasn’t been good enough. Today that wasn’t the case. Jaroslav Halak was excellent for the New York Islanders. Stopping 38 shots on the day.
That gives him a 0.950 SV% on the day. Way above the 0.905 SV% he’s averaged this season. More of that and the New York Islanders should be able to string together some wins and create some space with the rest of the division.
The New York Islanders put on a great performance on the day. They scored five goals, continuing their league-leading scoring. They allowed fewer than three goals, something the Isles have had a hard time doing recently. And Mat Barzal continues his way towards a Calder. Win-Win-Win.