For a few weeks now New York Islanders fans have been asking more of Mathew Barzal. Through the Isles eight-game losing skid (not counting the three OTLs) their top playmaker was essentially MIA.
Between the Isles eight-loss run from Nov. 7 to Nov. 26, Barzal had three points to his name. Two helpers in the Isles 5-2 loss in Minnesota and a goal in the team's 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Now, since the Isles started putting up points in the standings over their four-game point streak, Barzal has one goal and five helpers. It seems that the way Barzal goes is the way the Islanders go.
But that's not really fair on Barzal now, is it?
New York Islanders unfairly go the way Mathew Barzal goes
The Islanders scored a total of seven goals in their eight straight losses. Barzal had points on three of those goals. Meaning without Barzal, the Islanders scored four goals in eight games. So while yes, the Islanders go the way Barzal does, it's unfair to put it all on him, right?
Sure, this level of production is what the Islanders both want and expect from Barzal, but the success of the team should not be linked so directly to the production of one player. At least not in this system. That's the problem with the Isles putting up points with Barzal scoring. Because without him playing a point-per-game pace they don't do well.
The Islanders need their depth to step up and be a factor on the score sheet for the Islanders. Last night was a good start. Bellows, Wahlstrom and Pageau without Barzal even being on the ice. But if the Islanders are to continue winning they'll need more goals from the likes of Zach Parise (0), Kyle Palmieri (1), Beauvillier (3), an even not noted goal scorer Josh Bailey (1).
The Islanders were built to be a deep squad with goals from just about everywhere. So far that hasn't been the case and it desperately needs to be.