Photo Sourced From New York Islanders Instagram
After much anticipation through two rounds, Mathew Barzal finally gets his first playoff goal. This is something the fans had expected to see from him come the first round against the Penguins due to the fact that was number two on the team in regular season goals (17). Although he managed to contribute through a few assists as we had seen in the previous matchup against the Bruins, he was still under performing on getting the puck across the blue line himself.
Barzal’s effort was nothing short of great as he continuously pushed the puck towards the side of the net in order to get it to go in underneath the pad of Bruins’ goaltender Tuuka Rask. The goal couldn’t have come at a better time as the Islanders were scoreless through a large majority of the game until it reached 14:34 into the third. Barzal’s goal tied the game at one and gave New York the chance they needed to try and win the game in overtime. When overtime hit, he found himself close on scoring once more, but Rask came out with a huge save to deny him the winning goal.
What does this one goal mean going forward, well Barzal has no shortage of opportunities and plays in front of the net. Having a goal recorded in the playoffs has the potential to give him more confidence on the ice to be able to rack up a few more for the Islanders. The Bruins are a tough team to play against, but he has shown through multiple games that he has what it takes to help push his team ahead. If his momentum carries forward, I would expect him to be able to grab a few more.
“I thought he had lots of jump in his game, he was dangerous. You know, we had some guys go on tonight and he was one of them,” says Coach Trotz in his interview with NHL Networks, “I thought Barzy’s overall game, I mean he was dangerous all night.”
This being said though, Barzal has been a player who has shown inconsistencies on the ice. Through the regular season he has had high scoring games as well as, played series of games where he has recorded points to only then go on a few game hiatus without anything in the stats. Now being down in the series 2-1 against the Bruins, it is so important for him to convert on every chance he has in front of the net. Having seen two overtime matchups this series already, it really carries fourth the importance of finishing on every scoring chance.
Come tonight, it would be nice to see Barzal get the ball rolling early in the game with a goal or at least an assist of his own that can give the Islanders the boost they need to finish off this playoff series in their favor. This isn’t the time for him to fall back in a scoring rut, quite the opposite as New York needs him in order to go far through this playoffs series.
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