After the New York Islanders 5-4 loss in Game 3 Barry Trotz was asked about Mathew Barzal‘s play in the third game of the series. The Islanders start center picked up his first two points in the series and was more impactful on the night.
Barry responded that while Barzal’s first two games were quiet, he’s “waking up” now. And that’s great. having Barzal show up on the score sheet certainly helped the Islanders put up four goals.
But Barzal isn’t the only one that needs to “wake up”. Linemate Jordan Eberle also needs to smell the coffee (so to speak) and be more of a threat out there.
New York Islanders Jordan Eberle needs to wake up
For yet a third game Jordan Eberle looked lost out there for the Islanders. His D-zone play and passing were suspect from puck drop to the final whistle in the Isles 5-4 loss in Game 3. He just hasn’t been himself in this series or since the end of April.
Since April 22, Eberle has three points in 12 games. He hasn’t been at his best for some time now.
I had hoped an extended break before the start of the playoffs and a series against the Penguins would have been the perfect remedy to get Eberle back.
In 2019, Eberle was so clutch against this Penguins group. In the four-game sweep, Eberle put up four goals and six points. Eberle did pick up a point yesterday. He was credited with a secondary assist on Scott Mayfield‘s second-period goal. But that papers over a less than effective performance yesterday.
Mathew Barzal has awoken from his post-season slumber, it’s time for Jordan Eberle to do the same. Hopefully, with Barzal finally gunning, Eberle can ride that momentum to get himself out of his funk.
The Islanders need Eberle to be at his best. Barzal can’t carry the burden of running the Islanders top line alone. He needs his wingman to help and do some of the lifting in this series.