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Islanders: Mathew Barzal Misses Competition

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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During this time of quarantine, New York Islanders forward, Mathew Barzal misses hockey and the competition.

Mathew Barzal is just like us. He misses New York Islanders hockey and just wants some sense of normalcy to return to our lives during these difficult and hectic times. Initially, Barzal stayed on Long Island but after a couple of weeks, he decided to head back to his hometown of Vancouver to be closer to family.

It’s evident from just watching him every night and seeing how he acts, that Barzal is an extrovert. He says in an interview with NHL.com that the hardest thing for him is not being around people.

"“Just being around my teammates and having fun at the rink is my favorite thing in life. Not being able to do that has been tough. I’ve been going crazy.”"

In order to make up for the lack of competition, he’s been taking it out on his own family. He’s “killing” his dad and sister in ping-pong. Couldn’t you just picture poor Mr. Barzal trying to keep up with Mat as Mat just doesn’t let him score. To be a fly on the wall in that basement.

Barzal also has been playing cribbage with his mom. Even while playing cards, Barzal loves the competition. He was celebrating in the kitchen with each win. Inside the athlete’s mind is a strange thing, I guess I just don’t have what it takes to be a pro athlete because I can’t nearly care enough about card games with my mom *ignores lack of physical talent*.

Even in isolation, Barzal has taken up the guitar. His linemate, Jordan Eberle is an avid guitar player. While they chirp each other a lot, Barzal says he has a newfound appreciation for Eberle’s off-ice skills.

"“You don’t just pick up the guitar and become good. It’s something you really have to work at and people that are good, you can tell that they’ve worked at it.”"

Hopefully, the NHL season returns soon, for the sake of the sanity in the Barzal household. Imagine losing every day in ping-pong and cribbage to your 22-year-old son who’s taking it way too seriously. Respect to Mr. and Mrs. Barzal over in Vancouver.

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