New York Islanders: Three thoughts as the regular season nears its end

New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders.
New York Islanders. #13 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Is Barzy ready for the Stanley Cup party?

There is a legitimate case to be had that Mathew Barzal is the most exciting player to watch in the NHL that has never played in a playoff game. Heck, even Connor McDavid helped take the inept Oilers to the playoffs a few seasons ago. Maybe Buffalo’s Jack Eichel is the other name that comes to mind, but that is not Barzy’s fault.

So, that has me wondering. Barzal won the Calder his rookie season and played solid in his first ever NHL all-star game earlier this season. There is no doubt that the hockey world knows who he is. He also plays well against the Rangers, and had a hat-trick vs the Maple Leafs earlier this year.

There is almost little to no doubt that Barzal has done well, or at least played up to standard in most of the big games for the Islanders since he has arrived. While that is encouraging and what makes a star player a star, there is no way of knowing if that will translate to Barzy thriving in the playoffs.

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Entering the season’s last six games, Barzal does indeed lead the Islanders in points, he has not, however, been all that spectacular as of late. He has just one goal since February 16 and has failed to score a point in four of his last games.

While we know all it takes is a break through to get going, he can get scorching hot. We just do not know if he will be able to do it in the playoffs. The larger sample says Barzal will be the star player he is once the playoffs begin. However, the recent sample, and struggles by the Islanders offense in general, say otherwise.

Is Barzal ready to play in his first playoff series, I am torn. I really do not know, but I for sure be thinking about it as the season winds down.