Islanders Three Stars of the Weeks: Thomas Greiss Is A Wall
Third Star: Mathew Barzal
Stats: 1 Goal, 2 Assists
Teams don’t win if their best players don’t perform. The Islanders best player, Mathew Barzal, has taken center stage once again for the Islanders.
This week, he has a goal and two assists. The lone goal coming against the Florida Panthers after Barzal waited for a Panthers defenseman and for Bobrovsky to over commit before going backhand. Something 2018-19 Mathew Barzal would have never done.
The pass-first player would have opted to find an open teammate rather than try to take the chance on his own. His “shoot more” mentality this season has paid off so far. he registered eight shots on goal this week, five of them coming against the Florida Panthers.
With 39 shots on net in 16 games, Barzal is on pace for 200 over the full season. That’s a 21 shot increase from last season. Barzal will likely never be among the top volume shooters in the league like Alex Ovechkin, but what he’s done to increase his shot volumes so far is working.
It’s adding a whole new dimension to his game and making him much more dangerous on the ice. That increased shot volume is not just increasing his shot quantity but his goal totals.
He already has seven goals to his name, putting him on pace for 36 by the end of the season. His career-high is 22 from his Calder-Trophy winning rookie campaign.
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Barzal is only 22-years-old and is in his third year in the NHL. It’s wild to think that he hasn’t even peaked as a player yet. He’s already incredible and he’s still getting better.