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Islanders: Top 3 Mathew Barzal highlights from 2019-20 season

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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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) /

Pure Speed

Before Mathew Barzal surprised everyone at the All-Start game and took Connor McDavid‘s fastest skater crown from him, he was torching the rest of the league with his incredible speed.

On November 20, the Isles were in Brooklyn to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the Isles already up 1-0 halfway through the second period, Adam Pelech collects the puck in the Isles zone and lobs it out to neutral ice.

At first, it looked like a harmless play to force the Blue Jackets out of the zone. But everyone (except for maybe Pelech) forgot about Mathew Barzal who was at the Isles blue line and getting ready to turn on the jets.

By the time Barzal enters the slot he’s already a few strides ahead of Oliver Bjorkstand who looks on helplessly as he hopes his goalie can make a stop. With a nifty forehand-to-backhand, Barzal lifts the puck over a sprawled out Elvis Mrezlikins for a 2-0 lead.

Barzal’s speed is undeniable and was on full display here as he explodes out of the zone and ahead of the Blue Jackets defense for the breakaway goal. Few players have that type of explosive foot speed in the NHL even in an era where the game has never been faster.

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Great play by Pelech to see Barzal getting on his horse. It was an even better play by Barzal to use that incredible explosive skating ability as a weapon.

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