It was the first time that the New York Islanders would faceoff against John Tavares. All of the talk was about Tavares. Mathew Barzal wasn’t having it.
All we heard going into the game against the Toronto Maple leafs was all about how this was going to affect John Tavares. How facing off against the New York Islanders, a team he captained and spent nine years with would be weird.
The narrative was all around Tavares. And rightly so.
But Mathew Barzal reminded everyone that the Islanders are just fine without John Tavares.
Natural Hat Trick
It took Mathew Barzal eight minutes to score three goals on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second period. The coaching staff and fans have often thought that Barzal needed to shoot more and this was why. The kid can score.
Against the Maple Leafs he did just that; he shot the puck. In doing so he was rightly rewarded scoring three goals in three different ways.
The first goal was simple tip off of a Johnny Boychuk snap from the blueline. Not a ‘shot’ per see but who cares when it goes in.
Next, he tosses in a slap shot on the power play. Something we’ve seen him start showing off against the Ottawa Senators. That’s two in just over two minutes.
Just under six minutes later Barzal got the hat-trick. As he walks into the Toronto zone Barzal fires a wrist shot through the defenseman and by Garret Sparks. Hats must have been flying everywhere on Long Island.
Its been a slower start then he wanted in 2018-19. Before playing the Ottawa Senators Barzal was on pace for 12 goals. With a period to play still against the Leafs he’s on pace for 22 goals.
He also now has back-to-back three point nights and eight points in four nights.
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The talk going into the game was all John Tavares, but the talk after the game swill certainly be all about Mathew Barzal.