New York Islanders 3 Things Learnt In Win Over Toronto Maple Leafs
Mathew Barzal: Shooter
Mathew Barzal is seen as a pass first guy. He’s a playmaker, not a shooter. Not anymore.
In the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs Mathew Barzal picked up a natural hat-trick. That was the first time a New York Islanders player had scored a hat-trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs since Mike Bossy back in March of 1986.
What was impressive about the feat (outside of the fact that he scored three goals) was that they all came in a different way.
The first was a deflection at the top of the crease. The second was a one-timer on the power play. And the third was him entering the zone with a full head of steam and ripped a wrist shot through Garret Sparks.
The hat-trick marked Barzal’s eighth, ninth, and tenth goal of the season and fifth in two days. With the five goals in two night, Barzal went from being on pace for 12 goals to now being on pace for 22 (a return that would match his total from last season).
Again, Mathew Barzal isn’t known as a shoot first guy. And that probably won’t ever change. But what Barzal needs to do is learn when to be selfish and take the opportunities that present themselves.
Against the Toronto Maple Leafs, it seems that he’s learnt that lesson and is applying it.