New York Islanders Pod: Mathew Barzal Hat-Trick vs Toronto Maple Leafs
We all remember February 28th, when the New York Islanders faced the Toronto Maple Leafs on Long Island. But do you remember December 29th?
Do you remember December 29th, 2018? When the New York Islanders traveled to Toronto to play against their former captain John Tavares and his Toronto Maple Leafs?
Do you remember how on July 1 the Toronto Maple Leafs were crowned as the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions before a puck was even dropped? Do you remember the New York Islanders being designated as the bottom feeders of the league on the same day?
On December 29th that changed thanks to Mathew Barzal. December 29th was the night that Mathew Barzal made us all believe.
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If you don’t remember, let me set the scene.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were already one of the better teams in the NHL and the Eastern Conference. Exactly as was predicted when Tavares chose his home town team on July 1. They were cruising through the regular season.
The New York Islanders, not quite the bottom dwellers, were out of a playoff spot with 44 points. Eight teams were ahead of the Islanders in the standings before December 29th. Three teams from the Metro and five from the Atlantic.
Over an eight-minute span in the second period, the New York Islanders – and specifically Mathew Barzal – let everyone know they weren’t going to be bottom dwellers. There was something special going on with the Islanders.
In eight minutes, Mathew Barzal scored a natural hat-trick against the Leafs. In those eight minutes, we all cheered and thought about what could happen. Meanwhile, John Tavares was having a computer meltdown on the bench as he and his teammates couldn’t compute what was happening.
It’s been nine months since that game, let’s get back in the time capsule and relive the moments.
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