NY Islanders: Top 3 Mathew Barzal moments of the 2022-23 season

Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders
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A day after the now 26-year-old celebrated his birthday, we take a look back at Mathew Barzal's top 3 moments of the 2022-23 regular season. Before the year started, the New York Islanders signed Barzal to a new eight-year contract extension with the organization at $9.15M AAV per season, cementing him as the face of the franchise for seasons to come.

It was a difficult season to evaluate for Barzal. He started the year unable to find the net over the first quarter of the season before going on the best scoring streak of his career. He was also asked to center lines that were in constant flux as injuries mounted in December and January, playing with everyone from Josh Bailey and Oliver Wahlstrom to Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.

NHL New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal
NHL New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

He looked visibly frustrated at times and talked openly about how difficult it was to adapt on the fly and try to find chemistry with teammates when his line was constantly changing. However, everything shifted when GM Lou Lamoriello acquired Bo Horvat at the end of January. Though both were natural centers, there were to pair together to form a top line with Anders Lee. The early returns were good and natural chemistry appeared to be there between Bo and Barzy, but then Barzal's regular season would come to an end when he injured his knee on Feb. 18 in Boston.

As his injury status remained a mystery, the team altered their style of play, found their defensive structure and ended up as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Barzal returned for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes, trying to find his legs, his lungs and chemistry with Horvat and Lee. While the top line struggled as all lines did against the Canes, Barzal scored goals in Games 2 and 5 and there is optimism that a full-season with Horvat will lead to them learning how to best compliment each other and give the Islanders a stable top line next season.

With that, here are the 3 best moments of Mathew Barzal's 2022-23 regular season.


Barzal's first goal of the season didn't happen until November 19th in Dallas in the team's 19th game, but after 19 assists without a goal, he scored his first and second goals of the season with his dad in attendance during the second period on Saturday night. The first goal tied, and the second passed Ziggy Palffy on the club's all-time scoring list.

It’s nice anytime you score, whether it’s your first or your 30th. I was never bothered by it. It didn’t matter to me at all. It’s just about making an impact.
Mathew Barzal

Despite the lack of goal-scoring, Barzal was leading the Isles in points with 21 and was on pace for career highs in assists (82) and points (91) at the time of his first goal(s) of the season.


When the calendar flipped to 2023, the Islanders started the new year on a West Coast trip that started in Seattle and went to Western Canada. Outside of a game in Vancouver, the Islanders struggled to score in a trend that would daunt them throughout the month.

The one exception was Barzal. Barzal scored a goal for the fifth straight game at 4:42 of the second period when Josh Bailey neatly slid a pass to him at the right circle. Barzal stopped it on his backhand and let go a quick wrist shot to cut the Edmonton lead to 2-1.

With the goal, Barzal extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best five games; After not scoring a goal over the first 19 games of the season, he had a team-leading 11 goals over the next 22 games and was tied for 3rd place on the team in goals with Zach Parise.


January was a brutal month for the Islanders to be kind, but it ended on a high note when Barzal scored an OT winner with just 31.5 seconds remaining to give the Islanders a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights and send them into an eight-day All-Star Break on a two-game winning streak

“I think if it went the other way the last two games, this week would have been tough. So for us to kind of put ourselves right back in the mix is huge going into the break.
Mathew Barzal

Two days later, GM Lou Lamoriello traded for Vancouver Canucks All-Star center Bo Horvat. The Islanders were out of a playoff spot at the time of the trade, and we'll never if the Isles winning the final two games before the break played any role in Lamoriello pulling the trigger on the Horvat deal to help a playoff push that ultimately ended up being successful.