Looking at Mathew Barzal through 13 games so far this season, he has yet to find the back of the net in the 2022-23 regular season. Yet, the NY Islanders' star center has 14 points in that span, all coming on assists thus far. Barzal's 14 points in 13 games matches his career-best start from the 2020-21 season when he scored six goals and 14 points in the same span.
Monday night's game against the Flames was possibly Barzal's best performance as he was on the ice for and contributed to three of the four Islander goals, tallying three helpers. His three points in the single contest are the most he's accrued so far this season. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Barzal's big night comes from the timing of his helpers.
The Islanders were trailing 1-0 on a first-period goal by the Flames' Mikael Backlund about halfway through the first period. Just about a minute later, however, Barzal started a rush and helped finish it by feeding Sebastian Aho to tie things at one. He then started a rush in the third period with a new-look line featuring Brock Nelson and Anders Lee, tallying the secondary assist but largely creating the scoring chance. And in overtime, the Islanders were in a 4on3 situation and Barzal registered yet another primary assist on Noah Dobson's OT winner. His two primary assists both help open and close the scoring in Monday night's contest.
Currently, Barzal is leading all Islander skaters with a 58.33 CF%, a 59.04 xGF%, and 56.82 HDCF%. Barzal is scoring at about an 88-point pace over an 82-game stretch currently tied for the team lead in points (14) with Nelson. Yet, Barzal has not scored a goal for himself. However, JFresh's analytics suggest that Barzal should be scoring at a higher clip than he is with a league lowest goals above expected at a minus-3.
It's been an excellent start for the Islanders No.1 center who signed an eight year, $73.2 million contract that starts next season. Despite not scoring himself, the analytics suggest he's been more unlucky than anything else and the scoring should fix itself sooner rather than later. Regardless, Lamberts new system appears to be working in Barzal's favor. After only reaching the point per game plateau once in his rookie season scoring 85 points in 82 games, it appears Barzal will finally return to that mark if health and consistincy persist his game.