Islanders Mathew Barzal suits up for Game 6

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

New York Islanders star forward Mathew Barzal will play in Game 6 after a scary eye injury in Game 5.

It didn’t look good for New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal when Claude Giroux’s stick struck him under the visor and just under the eye. Giroux even winced after seeing the replay himself.

Barzal left the ice late in the third period clutching his face with a bloody towel and did not return for the overtime period. Today, just as the team hit the ice for Game 6 warm-ups, it was announced that Barzal would play.

Glad He’s There

We weren’t sure if Barzal would play in Game 6. While we heard that he was OK after the game as well as during Alain Vigneault’s pre-game press conference. But Barry Trotz was a little more reserved saying Barzal was “trending in the right direction”.

That could mean anything so we all waited with bated breath for puck drop to see if the Isles star forward would line up.

With the lineup cards in, it was clear that Barzal would in fact play.

While Josh Bailey might be leading the Islanders in points this playoff with a ridiculous 15 points in 14 games, Mathew Barzal isn’t too far behind with his eleven points in 14 games.

He’s the team’s top center and chief playmaker. Teams set up their defense to stop Mathew Barzal first and everyone else second. Having him in the lineup, even with some damage around his eye is better than not having him in the lineup.

With Mathew Barzal in tow, the Islanders can ice a full-strength team. A team that’s only lost three times through three rounds in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs to date as they try to book their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1993.

There’s no question, it’s nice to have Barzal in the lineup.