Often times we hear, the offense goes as Mathew Barzal goes for the New York Islanders. It makes sense, usually when your best player is playing well so is the rest of the team. That couldn’t be more true for the Islanders.
In the playoffs, he has five goals in his last six games as the Islanders have a record of 4-2 over that six-game stretch. I wanted to take a look and see just how true it was that the Islanders were better off when Barzal found the back of the net.
In the regular season this year, the Islanders record was 9-2-4 in games that Barzal scored a goal. That’s a points percentage of .733, pretty impressive.
Has this always been the case though? In fact, it has. In the Barry Trotz era, the Isles have a fantastic record when Barzal scores a goal. During the 2019-2020: season they went 12-4-2 for a points percentage of .722.
The previous year, 2018-2019, they were 10-3-1 points percentage of .750. So in the Barry Trotz era that’s a 31-9-7 record or a .734 points percentage.
So when people say that the team goes as Mat Barzal goes, they’re really not using a cliche. It’s the truth. This offense is just in a different form when their best player is on his game and putting pucks in the net.
When looking at these two rosters, clearly the Lightning have more talent. There’s no way you can argue otherwise. But, if the team is to have any shot in this series they need their lone star, Mat Barzal to play like a star.
So far he has, which is a good thing since he’s heating up at the right time. But in the remainder of this series, however far it goes, just know that one of the biggest reasons for their success or lack thereof is Mat Barzal.
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Sure, that’s a lot of pressure on the kid but so far he’s been up to the test. Keep a close eye on him for the remainder of the team’s playoff run.