Editorials

Islanders highlights: Top 5 goals of the 2019-20 season so far

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 11: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders celebrates is goal at 9:33 of the third period against the Boston Bruins at the Barclays Center on January 11, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 11: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders celebrates is goal at 9:33 of the third period against the Boston Bruins at the Barclays Center on January 11, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The 2019-20 NHL season isn’t over yet, but while we wait, let’s look at the New York Islanders top five goals so far this season.

It’s been over a month since the hockey season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a tight playoff race for the New York Islanders, this last month was supposed to be high drama. Instead, we all sit and wait, and hope hockey can come back to complete the season.

So, while we sit and wait and hope that the 2019-20 season can continue I thought about looking back at some highlights from what we’ve seen so far in 2019-20.

First, the top goals of the season.

5. Cole Bardreau’s First

Injuries and surgeries had a massive impact on Cole Bardreau‘s life and hockey career. He sustained a cervical fracture in his neck, two MCL tears, injuries to his knee and arm, and a broken hand.

He was never drafted and had never played in the NHL until the Islanders called him up in mid-October for an injured Casey Cizikas. Bardreau proved to be a tenacious presence on the ice and covered Cizikas’s position well.

On November 5th, against the Ottawa Senators Bardreau was taken down on a clear breakaway. Penalty shot.

After five years in the AHL, after the countless injuries, and after finally getting to the NHL, Bardreau got his chance to get his first goal. And he converted.

4. Barzal against Florida

We’ve known about Mathew Barzal‘s play-making skills since he entered the league in 2016-17. But what Barry Trotz and the Isles coaching staff wanted from Barzal in 2019-20 was the Calder Trophy winner to work on his goal-scoring game. He needed to be a bit more selfish.

On November 9, 2019, against the Florida Panthers Barzal found himself with the puck on the doorstep. But Aaron Ekblad was blocking Barzal ‘s shooting lane. Instead of looking for a passing option, Barzal waited out Ekblad and beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a backhand for the power-play goal.

https://twitter.com/Sportsnet/status/1193236131367792641

3. Barzal breakaway vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Before winning the league’s fastest skater competition at the 2020 NHL All-Star game in January, Mathew Barzal showed off his incredible speed against the Colombus Blue Jackets.

Thanks to a heads-up play from Adam Pelech who floats the puck behind the Blue Jackets defense, Barzal turns on the afterburners and beats both defenders before stuffing a backhand past Elvis Merzlikins.

2. Brock Nelson OT winner vs Pittsburgh

With a 3-3 tie and going into overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 21, the Islanders had already secured a franchise-record 16-game point streak. But getting the second point against a divisional rival was vital.

Two days prior, Brock Nelson was the hero in OT against the same Penguins team. And on this day, he’d be the hero once again with a highlight-reel goal.

Brock pulls the puck through defender Marcus Pettersson before sliding it through Matt Murray for the back-to-back OT game-winner.

1. Barzal between the legs vs. Dallas

There’s nothing better than a between the legs goal. We all remember Marek Malik‘s shootout winner for the Rangers back in 2005. That was during a shootout, how about during live play with defenders?

On February 4, Matt Barzal showed he too can score with his stick between his legs.

With the puck bouncing off the back-plate behind Ben Bishop‘s goal, Mathew Barzal did the unthinkable by getting his stick between his legs and netting a ridiculous goal.

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