New York Islanders: Three Reasons They’ll Beat Columbus Blue Jackets
Barzal Is On Fire
We know Barzal is a good player. He made that abundantly clear by winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year two years ago. But his sophomore season where he scored 23 fewer points than his rookie year put a small dent in that narrative. He was good. But how good.
Over his last three games this season, Mathew Barzal has five points to his name. Three goals and two assists. Over those three games, Barzal has been that dominant player he was just two years ago.
Amongst the other forwards on the Islanders roster Barzal ranks first in shots-for, expected goals-for, scoring chances-for, and high-danger chances. All at even-strength.
(All numbers from NaturalStatTrick.com)
Barzal is the Islanders best player, and when he’s on his game he can absolutely take over. It took him less than 20 minutes to put the Islanders on the board against the Winnipeg Jets, take the lead, and effectively win the game.
When Barzal is in that kind of form, there are very few players that can stop him. When he’s in that kind of form the Islanders typically win.
With Barzal leading the line offensively, and Barry Trotz’s system putting up a defensive wall it’s hard for good teams to get through let alone a significantly weakened Columbus Blue Jackets team.