One of the criticisms of the New York Islanders over the last few years is that they are boring. Yes, they win a lot but they do it in a way that isn’t fun (to people who aren’t Islander fans). Well, Mathew Barzal seems to take that personally.
Yesterday, the NHL on Twitter sent out Mat Barzal’s top 10 plays from the 2021 season and I challenge you to find one boring play in the bunch.
Here, take a look for yourself:
Every single one of these 10 plays were highlight-worthy. Barzal, who now has four NHL seasons under his belt, is by far the most dynamic player on the New York Islanders. Last season, he put up 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) in 55 games.
Unfortunately, he has gotten the John Tavares treatment during his Islanders career, especially last season. For the entirety of the playoffs, and even during the end of the regular season, Leo Komarov was stapled to his left wing.
How anyone can expect Barzal to reach elite level point production with lugging Komarov around is beyond me. For reference, before Anders Lee got hurt, Barzal was at 23 points in 27 games played.
This season, Barzal is expected to play with Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri on his side. Unless there is a Vladimir Tarasenko trade coming, I don’t see how that isn’t the Islanders top line for the start of the season.
Neither Lee or Palmieri are stars but they’re solid goal scorers who you can pencil in for roughly 55 goals between the two of them. The point? Barzal projects to be the lone “dynamic” player again in 2021-2022.
Unless Oliver Wahlstrom becomes a 30+ goal scorer overnight, which based on how slowly the Islanders bring along youngsters under Barry Trotz I’d find that hard to believe, then it’ll be the Barzal show once again for the Islanders offense.
Once again for good measure, we have to watch that Buffalo goal.