New York Islanders Three Goals for Mathew Barzal In 2019-20
Force the Coaches Hand
Mathew Barzal is supposed to be the Islanders best offensive talent. In both of his seasons at the NHL level, Barzal lead the team in points.
His combination of skill, speed, and shiftyness, make him one of the more dynamic and electric players in the league. But at times during the season, coach Barry Trotz didn’t play Barzal in 5on3 situations.
Barzal was on the ice for 11:20 of the Islanders total 18:13. That works out to be roughly 62 percent usage rate at 5on3. A good portion, but when you compare him to a similar player, like Carolina Hurricanes Sebastian Aho, you see Barzal can be given more.
Aho was on the ice for 89 percent of the Hurricanes 5on3 time.
Trotz just didn’t trust Barzal enough to put his star forward on the ice in a 5on3 situation. In a game against the Flyers last season, the Islanders had a full 90-second 5on3 power play. Barzal didn’t jump over the boards once. Not once.
That has to change.
Goal: Convince Barry Trotz to play 5on3.
Perhaps it’s being more effective on the power play. Maybe it’s being more responsible with the puck (more on that in the next slide). Whatever it is, Mathew Barzal has to do it. He needs to be the first player over the boards when the ice opens up with two opponents in the penalty box.