Last night was a good night for Oliver Wahlstrom. Yes, the New York Islanders lost their 10th game in a row but on an individual win basis, Wahlstrom netted two power play goals for the Isles who going into the night just had five on the season.
Wahlstrom's been a stud on the power play through his 72 career games in the league. Of his 19 goals, eight of them have come on the man advantage. Last night we saw a nice connection from Oliver Wahlstrom and Mathew Barzal.
This was a nice play from Barzal who was able to be patient and throw a perfect feed to Wahlstrom on his off side. It worked wonders and after Barzy picked up an assist on both Wahlstrom goals it got a lot of people thinking about what Wahlstrom would look like with Barzal full time.
What do the numbers say?
I went to check how much time these two have played together and it's genuinely not much. Over 62 games since the start of 2020, Mathew Barzal and Oliver Wahlstrom have spent just 56:01 of playing time together at 5v5.
Here's a look at some of the numbers via Natural Stat Trick:
It's obviously a small sample size but it might be worth a shot for a team that is struggling so much offensively. Over this 10 game losing streak, the Islanders have just 11 goals three of which came last night. Goal scoring has been a major problem for this team outside of a six goal performance against Montreal earlier in the year, this offense has been mostly ineffective.
The top line has been Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Josh Bailey, why not flip Bailey and Wahlstrom and give the player with the better scoring upside a look with the best playmaker on the team in Mat Barzal?
After last night Barry Trotz may not have a choice. I know both goals came on the man advantage but there might just be something to this duo.