Islanders rookie forward Mathew Barzal said he his holding himself accountable after head coach Doug Weight benched him for the final seven minutes of Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.
"I'll own up to it," Barzal told Newsday's Brian Heyman after Monday's practice. "I didn't have a great game. I didn't deserve to be out there late in the game. He made a good coaching move. I've got to hold myself accountable. I'm not going to sit here and pout and be upset that I wasn't out there. I know I've got to play better."
Weight said a crucial turnover and sloppy play in the third period led to his decision to bench the 20-year-old Barzal, who was not on the ice when goaltender Jaroslav Halak surrendered the game-winning goal to Matthew Tkachuk or for the Islanders' late press.
This is it folks. This is the play that got Mathew Barzal benched.- James Duffston (@TwoTurtleDuffs) February 12, 2018
Remember this when he demands a trade before his entry level deal is over and Doug Weight is still the coach. pic.twitter.com/X9G6nrCk1A
"It's who's going to score for us," Weight said. "So he just threw the puck away three times on the last power play, and we had meetings between periods showing him what's going on and what we have to exploit. ... That's not a teaching tool. That's not a young guy, we're going to really teach him a lesson; he's going to be a pro for 20 years."
Weight complimented Barzal, who has 16 goals and 43 points so far this season, after the game and said he has had "a tremendous year.
"Because the kid sat down for 30 seconds," Weight said, "this is going to become a [big thing]? I'm done talking about it."