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Islanders: Three keys to getting Mathew Barzal back on track

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 14: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders skates against the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden on January 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 14: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders skates against the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden on January 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal (13). (Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

New York Islanders Mathew Barzal hasn’t been at his best for a while now. How can he fix that to get to where he needs to be?

Mathew Barzal has been quiet of late. The New York Islanders star center has a single point over his last five games. And sadly the way Barzal goes, so do the Islanders.

The team has enough depth to pull out wins here are there even if Barzal is on a cold streak, but it’s typically a more labored victory without number 13 pulling the strings in the offensive zone. So it’s no coincidence that the Islanders have gone 2-2-1 over their last five games.

Getting Barzal up to his usual self has to be one of the New York Islanders top priorities at the moment.

I know that strong defensive play is the hallmark of a Barry Trotz system and it’s what has brought the Islanders so much success since he arrived. But, it’s also true that without offense you can’t win games.

So how does Mathew Barzal get back to his best?

Shoot

Mathew barzal is averaging less than two shots on goal per game over his last eight outings. That’s just not enough. Barzal is at his most effective when he’s getting more pucks on the net.

Truth be told that goes for just about every player in the NHL. The more pucks on the net the more they produce. Usually.

A certain portion of this can be attributed to linemates. They clearly aren’t helping in creating shooting lanes for Barzal to shoot at. (More on his linemates in a second).

But at a certain point, it’s up to Barzal to find a way to goal. He certainly has enough of the puck during the game to get these pucks on the net, even if they are from relatively lower scoring areas.

Shoot for a rebound and perhaps Loe, who’s crashing to the net can get out past the goalie. The point is to get more shots on net it sounds simple because it really is just that simple.

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