Tag:

Mathew Barzal

Feb 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Feb 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders lost a productive member of last year's playoff team on the first day of NHL free agency.

Valtteri Filppula, the team's third-line center, has left the Island to return to the Detroit Red Wings.

Filppula signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Red Wings, coming back to the city that drafted him. Filppula played eight years in Detroit and won a Stanley Cup in his first stint with the team.

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Mathew Barzal, Valtteri Filppula
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Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Apr 14, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Islanders surprised many by re-signing winger Jordan Eberle last week to a five-year, $27.5 million contract. Although Eberle's numbers took a dip last season, he was important during the playoffs and fills an important void as a top-six winger.

Eberle took a slight pay cut to re-sign and has said that he enjoys playing on Long Island. Still, the deal came as a bit of a shocker to some fans, who are still waiting on clarity regarding the futures of captain Anders Lee and Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner.

Don't worry, Isles fans. There is likely still enough money to bring back Lee and Lehner. The team has $22 million in cap space, with only Lee, Lehner, a few depth pieces and restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier and Michael Dal Colle to sign. There should be enough room to at least sign Lee and Lehner and the RFAs.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Robin Lehner, Thomas Hickey
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The Islanders face free agency 00:01:46
Lou Lamoriello, Anders Lee, Robin Lehner, and Barry Trotz look ahead to an offseason of change and growth for the New York Islanders.

The Islanders cleaned out their lockers on Monday and officially closed out their 2018-19 season, which saw them reach the second-round of the playoffs only to be swept by the Carolina Hurricanes. 

While the team lost John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, the Islanders still exceeded expectations behind first-year head coach Barry Trotz and first-year team president Lou Lamoriello. 

Lamoriello and Trotz both addressed the media on Monday on what lies ahead for the franchise. Center Mathew Barzal, captain Anders Lee and goalie Robin Lehner, the latter of whom are free agents, also discussed the future of the team as well as what could be in store for their own futures. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner
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May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
May 3, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Barry Trotz couldn't find the right buttons to push as the Islanders were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs Friday evening.

Different line combinations, a goaltender swap early in the second period and the threat of elimination weren't enough as the Hurricanes defeated the Islanders 5-2 and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2008-09.

Several teams have won 4-0 and then lost 0-4 in consecutive playoff series. However, the only team to do that in the first two rounds of a postseason since the NHL expanded the first round to best-of-seven in 1986-87 was the Sabres in 1993 when they swept the Bruins and then were swept by the Canadiens (per Elias Sports Bureau.)

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner
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Canes complete sweep of Isles 00:02:01
Head coaches Barry Trotz and Rod Brind'Amour comment on the Hurricanes sweep of the Islanders.

Four up, four down. That's how it went for the Islanders in the playoffs as after they swept the Penguins in the first round, they just couldn't make enough plays to pull out a victory against the Hurricanes. The Isles dropped Game 4 Friday night, 5-2, and were swept out of the postseason.  >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Friday's game...

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Isles ready for game 3 00:00:50
Lee, Barzal and Bailey comment on game three against the Carolina Hurricanes. Facing adversity could be helpful in the long run.

The Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes square off on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series as New York heads down to Carolina in an 0-2 hole. Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee talk about the adversity the team faces in a critical Game 3. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal
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Trotz ready for critical game 3 00:00:42
Ahead of Game 3 on the road, Barry Trotz and the Isles aren't panicked.

There was a lot of talk about reality by the Islanders Sunday after Game 2 in Brooklyn. There was Barry Trotz, whose players generally carry the same poise he presents behind the bench, talking about how his team played a fairly complete game.

"That's the cruel reality sometimes is that you play really well and you don't get the result," he said.

Then there was Robin Lehner, the outstanding goaltender who summed up the game in this way: "We're not going to put excuses on hitting posts and bars and stuff, but the reality is I think we were the better team, and they just scored one more than us."

Tags: Brock Nelson, Carolina Hurricanes, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Robin Lehner
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Isles fall to Hurricanes, 2-1 00:00:45
Barry Trotz and Robin Lehner discuss missed scoring opportunities as the Islanders fell to the Hurricanes on Sunday in Brooklyn, 2-1.

The Islanders allowed two third-period goals and lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Sunday at Barclays Center in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, falling in a 2-0 series deficit. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Sunday's game

1) Leading 1-0 heading into the third period, Robin Lehner and the Islanders allowed two goals in a 48-second span. Warren Foegele tied it 17 seconds into the period for Carolina, and Nino Niederreiter deflected a shot in front of Lehner into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

2) After outscoring the Penguins 14-7 in a four-game sweep, the Islanders have managed just one goal through the first two games of the conference semis.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Mathew Barzal
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Apr 26, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) and defenseman Nick Led (2) defend the net as Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) skates with the puck during the third period in game one of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Apr 26, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) and defenseman Nick Led (2) defend the net as Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) skates with the puck during the third period in game one of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

The Islanders were locked in a scoreless duel that stretched into overtime, but they fell to the Hurricanes at home Friday night, 1-0, in Game 1 of the second round. >> Box score

Five Takeaways from Friday's game

1) Jordan Staal scored the game's only goal 4:04 into overtime to give the Hurricanes the win and hand the Isles their first loss of the postseason. Nino Niederreiter had a bank pass off the end boards around the net to Staal, whose shot went off Robin Lehner's left skate as he was trying to close the post and went in.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock
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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield and center Valtteri Filppula high-five after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield and center Valtteri Filppula high-five after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

After waiting for more than a week, the Islanders finally found out late Wednesday night that they'll play the Hurricanes -- the Bunch of Jerks -- in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And because Carolina upset Washington in Game 7 on the road, the first road win by a team in the series, the Isles will get home-ice advantage in the second round, with Game 1 in Brooklyn on Friday night.

Will the well-rested Islanders be rusty Friday night having not played since last Tuesday? Or will they be able to pounce on a Hurricanes squad tired and beat up after a grueling seven-game series?

Let's take a look at how the Islanders and Hurricanes match up heading into the second round of the postseason.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Carolina Hurricanes, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The 2-0 series lead the Islanders are taking into Sunday's Game 3 matinee in Pittsburgh is well-earned. They were the better team throughout two games at the raucous Coliseum. And in Game 2 they clearly had the Penguins rattled, despite the fact that the Pens' core has been through it all over the years in the postseason.

But in the NHL playoffs, no lead is safe, and Barry Trotz knows that as well as anybody. Just last year, when he was with Washington, the division-winning Captials fell behind 2-0 in the first tround against Columbus after dropping the first two games in overtime. They needed double-overtime to take Game 3 and eventually winning four straight to take the series before winning the Stanley Cup.

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock
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Islanders take 2-0 series lead 00:00:40
New York Islanders have taken a 2-0 series lead and are ready to bring all of the momentum from the Nassau Coliseum to Pittsburgh.

The Islanders had every reason to crack after allowing the opening goal following five missed power-play opportunities.

However, it was New York that kept its composure and erased a one-goal deficit en route to a 3-1 victory and commanding 2-0 series lead against Pittsburgh.

The Islanders are supposed to be the inexperienced team after missing the previous two postseasons, but never flinched while facing adversity.

Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 12, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (18) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period of game two of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

This is everything the Islanders could have hoped for.

They made a charge at the end of the season to secure home-ice advantage in the first round of the NHL playoffs, and they've made it count. They used two third-period goals to take Game 2 from the Penguins Friday night, 3-1, in front of a raucous Coliseum crowd and take a 2-0 series lead into Sunday's Game 3 in Pittsburgh.

The Islanders have their first 2-0 lead in a series since 1983, when they won their fourth straight Stanley Cup. 

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner
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Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates after the game with right wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the gam against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates after the game with right wing Josh Bailey (12) and center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the gam against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The opening game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins had it all.

It went to overtime, featured three ties, nine penalties -- including a boarding call on the Islanders' Anders Lee that resulted in a potential injury for Penguins defenseman Erik Gudbranson -- and a whole bunch of after-the-whistle pushing and shoving. Meanwhile, the teams traded seven goals, the last of which might remain a viral sensation until the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June.

Anyone ready for a few more of these?

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Islanders talk ahead of playoffs 00:01:12
New York Islanders clinched home ice against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Anders Lee knows fans will rock the Nassau Coliseum

The Penguins have their longtime stars and the championship pedigree, but the Islanders have been up for every challenge this season, and what they may lack in individual talent is made up for in commitment and chemistry.

With that in mind, here's a look at how the Islanders and Penguins match up heading into the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

FORWARDS

Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Pittsburgh Penguins, Robin Lehner, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Thomas Greiss, Tom Kuhnhackl, Valtteri Filppula
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Mar 30, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Mar 30, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the goal by New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders and their fans had every reason to revel in this moment.

For this isn't some ho-hum achievement, not for a team which missed the playoffs for two seasons after winning a round in 2016 and saw its star player and captain John Tavares leave in free agency, leaving everybody wondering how the Isles would pick up the pieces.

Nine months later, here the Islanders stand with an 'X' next to their name in the standings, punching their ticket to the playoffs at the Coliseum Saturday night with a 5-1 win over a Sabres team which represented the ideal opponent to face in such a clinching scenario, a woeful club offering little resistance. This is the first time the Islanders have clinched a playoff spot in March since 1990, and it's their first time clinching a berth at home in 17 years.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Mathew Barzal, Matt Martin, Robin Lehner, Buffalo Sabres
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Mar 28, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) in the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports (James Carey Lauder)
Mar 28, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) in the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports (James Carey Lauder)

The Islanders used a three-goal rally in the third period, including two goals within 33 seconds with less than two minutes left, to secure a huge 5-4 win in Winnipeg Thursday night. Now at 97 points and closer to clinching a playoff berth, the Isles overcame three separate two-goal deficits. Casey Cizikas tied the game with 1:46 remaining for his 20th goal of the season, and Jordan Eberle, who scored twice in the third, netted the winner with 1:13 left.  Robin Lehner stopped 33 of 37 shots.

With the comeback win, the Islanders' magic number dropped to two, meaning they can clinch a playoff berth Saturday night at the Coliseum. >> Box score


First period:

  • :13 WPG Adam Lowry; Assists: Brandon Tanev, Nathan Beaulieu
  • 6:11 WPG Adam Lowry; Assists: Jacob Trouba, Brandon Tanev
  • 10:19 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Jordan Eberle
Tags: Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal
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Mar 14, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) skates away as the New York Islanders celebrate a goal during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Mar 14, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) skates away as the New York Islanders celebrate a goal during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Anders Lee scored with 2:57 left to give the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens Thursday night. Mathew Barzal set up the winner by stealing the puck in the Isles' zone and feeding Lee on a two-on-one. Thomas Greiss made 33 saves as the Isles earned their fourth win in the last five games. >> Box score


First period:

  • N/A
Tags: Adam Pelech, Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Montreal Canadiens, Thomas Greiss
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Mathew Barzal collected his 100th career assist in this one, but the Islanders couldn't hold off the Flyers in a 5-2 loss at the Coliseum. >> Box Score


First Period

  • 6:30 NYI Scott Mayfield; Assists: Nick Leddy, Mathew Barzal
  • 15:20 PHI Ryan Hartman; Assists: Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere
  • 19:56 PHI James van Riemsdyk; Assists: Jakub Voracek, Travis Sanheim
Tags: Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Philadelphia Flyers, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

This Islanders season has already been far better than anyone within or outside the organization could have imagined. In the wake of John Tavares' departure, the Isles have bought into Barry Trotz's style and Lou Lamoriello's shrewd signing of Robin Lehner has paid major dividends. Lehner appears to be in a good place after battling substance addiction and a bipolar diagnosis, and he's been stellar on the ice as part of a goaltending duo with Thomas Greiss.

Lamoriello made the controversial decision not to make any acquisitions at the NHL trade deadline, and it wasn't looking like a smart move when the Isles went through some recent stumbles. The Isles rebounded with two straight wins against the basement-dwelling Senators, putting them back in a tie with Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead and eight points clear of ninth place in the Eastern Conference. But Trotz conceded after Thursday's win that his team is "still scuffling a little bit."

There's plenty of work to do over the final month of the regular season if the Islanders want to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2015-16, and they'll have to step their game up against better competition.

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Michael dal Colle, Nick Leddy, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) stops a shot by Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot (72) during the shootout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 5, 2019; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) stops a shot by Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot (72) during the shootout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Both the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators got what they wanted out of their game against each other Tuesday night. But each team will be looking for even more Thursday night, when Ottawa hosts New York in the back end of a home-and-home set.

The Islanders earned a 5-4 shootout win at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, when they squandered a two-goal third-period lead and survived an injury to starting goalie Robin Lehner but escaped with the victory after Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal scored on the team's only attempts in the shootout.

Tags: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Ottawa Senators, Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss
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Isles win, Trotz's 800th win 00:01:17
The Isles beat the Senators 5-4 in a shootout to stop their losing streak. It was also Barry Trotz's 800th career win.

The Islanders entered the third period with a solid 4-2 lead at the Coliseum, but the Senators scored two unanswered goals to tie it up by the end of regulation. And after an overtime period that saw the puck stay out of both nets, Thomas Greiss locked down the net in the shootout while Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal buried their penalty shots to come away with the win. >> Box score


First period:

  • 8:22 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Josh Bailey
Tags: Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Ottawa Senators, Thomas Greiss
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

By bringing in one of the top sports executives ever and the most recent Stanley Cup-winning coach, the Islanders have turned the page on the John Tavares era and approach Monday's NHL trade deadline atop the Metropolitan Division.

But if the Isles' want to make a Stanley Cup run, Lou Lamoriello will have to bring in at least one skilled forward who can score before the NHL trade deadline passes Monday at 3 p.m. 

Matt Duchene is no longer an option after Columbus acquired him from Ottawa on Friday. Plenty of good options remain on the market, some who will cost more in assets than others. Here's a look at players who can help the Islanders down the stretch and in the playoffs:

Tags: Ilya Kovalchuk, Kevin Hayes, Mathew Barzal, Mats Zuccarello
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New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri moves into position against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Staples Center. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri moves into position against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Staples Center. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

Henrik Lundqvist was not the only New York area athlete to impress at the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday. 

Islanders' Mathew Barzal scored two goals and finished the day with four assists while Devils' Kyle Palmieri also had a goal and an assist in the two games they both played for Team Metropolitan, which won the 3-on-3 style tournament with a 10-5 victory over the Central. 

Barzal and Palmieri both scored in the first period of the NHL All-Star Game final, with Barzal setting the tone with a wrister 22 seconds into the game.

Tags: Kyle Palmieri, Mathew Barzal
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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

Henrik Lundqvist was not the only New York area athlete to impress at the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday. 

Islanders' Mathew Barzal scored two goals and finished the day with four assists while Devils' Kyle Palmieri also had a goal and an assist in the two games they both played for Team Metropolitan, which won the 3-on-3 style tournament with a 10-5 victory over the Central. 

Barzal and Palmieri both scored in the first period of the NHL All-Star Game final, with Barzal setting the tone with a wrister 22 seconds into the game. 

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares battles for the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares battles for the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

John Tavares controversially left the Islanders in the offseason to sign a seven-year, $77 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, his hometown team.

But at the All-Star break, his Maple Leafs trail the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings by one point.

"They're having a tremendous season. Obviously, it's a complete 180 on the defensive side," Tavares said, according to Newsday's Mark Herrmann. "Goaltending has been a big part of that, but just not giving up a whole lot defensively and it's leading to a lot of success, a lot of wins."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal, Toronto Maple Leafs
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Jan 22, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat (12) tries to score against the New York Islanders during the second period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Jan 22, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat (12) tries to score against the New York Islanders during the second period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Islanders were unable to hold onto two separate one-goal leads as they fall to the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout, 3-2, to end a five-game winning streak. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:19 NYI Valtteri Filppula
Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Mathew Barzal
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Isles beat Rangers 4-3 00:01:13
The Islanders have been on a hot streak, while the Rangers are faltering. Tonight proved no different as the Isles won 4-3.

Josh Bailey buried the game-winner with less than two minutes left in a 4-3 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:38 NYR Ryan Strome (Power Play); Assists: Jimmy Vesey, Filip Chytil
  • 2:31 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Johnny Boychuk
  • 8:51 NYI Jordan Eberle (Power Play); Assists: Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal
Tags: Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews celebrates his game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during overtime at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Devon Toews celebrates his game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during overtime at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders rookie defenseman Devon Toews scored his first-career NHL goal 1:48 into overtime to give New York a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday at Nassau Coliseum.

"It's pretty special to get your first NHL goal in overtime," Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said, according to Newsday's Andrew Gross.

The 24-year-old Toews, a former fourth-round pick who had spent 130 games with AHL Bridgeport before making his debut on Dec. 23, took a shot from the right face-off circle that Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia initially stopped. But Toews picked up the rebound and shot the puck between Delia's legs for the winner.

Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Mathew Barzal
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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Islanders young star C Mathew Barzal has been selected to represent his team in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. 

Barzal, who will play in his first career All-Star Game, has been the center of the Isles' success on the offensive end this season. He leads the team with 36 points, and has a team-high 26 assists as well.

This selection comes a few days after being named the Player of the Week in the NHL. He had six points with five goals and one assist last week that came on a hat-trick last Saturday against the Maple Leafs. 

The San Jose Sharks' SAP Center will be the location for the All-Star Game that will take place on January 26.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the puck in front of goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the puck in front of goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Islanders bid farewell to their three-game winning streak after allowing three goals in the third period to the Vegas Golden Knights in a 4-2 loss. >> Box score


First period:

  • 18:30 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Josh Bailey
  • 19:38 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Jordan Eberle, Ryan Pulock

Second period:

  • 8:48 VGK Brandon Pirri (Power play); Assists: Nate Schmidt, Cody Eakin

Third period:

  • 6:22 VGK William Karlsson; Assists: Shea Theodore, Nate Schmidt
  • 7:25 VGK Paul Stastny; Assists: Reilly Smith, Nick Holden
  • 1945 VGK Nate Schmidt (Empty net); Unassisted
Tags: Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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Dec 6, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)
Dec 6, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)

DETROIT -- Gustav Nyquist may not be in the Detroit Red Wings future plans, but he's a big part of their present.

Nyquist, a right winger, has five goals and 10 assists in his last six games and is tied with Dylan Larkin for the team lead in points with 26 (seven goals and 19 assists).

Detroit (13-12-4) hosts the New York Islanders (13-11-3) at Little Caesars Arena at Saturday night. The Islanders are 1-3-1 in their past five games and have only scored eight goals in that span.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the puck in front of goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the puck in front of goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Devils managed to force overtime with just seconds left in the third period, but Mathew Barzal put home the golden goal in a 4-3 loss at The Rock on Friday night. >> Box Score


First period:

  • 7:24 NYI Jordan Eberle; Assists: Anthony Beauvillier
Tags: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Taylor Hall
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Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) battles for the puck against New Jersey Devils left wing Marcus Johansson (90) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2018; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) battles for the puck against New Jersey Devils left wing Marcus Johansson (90) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Devils managed to force overtime with just seconds left in the third period, but Mathew Barzal put home the golden goal in a 4-3 loss at The Rock on Friday night. >> Box Score


First period:

  • 7:24 NYI Jordan Eberle; Assists: Anthony Beauvillier
Tags: Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Taylor Hall
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain...

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) and New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) fight for the puck during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Three months ago almost every NHL preview did not have the Rangers and Islanders as two teams that would be fighting for the lead in the Metropolitan Division, but as we approach their first matchup Thursday night, it appears that neither team read, watched or listened those predictions -- the Isles and Rangers are tied for second place with 20 points, trailing only the Columbus Blue Jackets by two points for the division lead. 

Both teams have taken very different paths to get to this point. 

Let's start with the Islanders, who appear to have moved on from losing former captain John Tavares. The stability that Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have brought to the organization cannot be quantified. While this team is not the most talented, it does not get outworked, plays a much better defensive structure and is keeping the puck out of its own net. Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner have provided stability between the pipes and the duo of Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have proven that they are not a product of their former captain. 

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Mika Zibanejad, Neal Pionk, Thomas Greiss
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Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) shoots against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher (51) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Tom Kuhnhackl led the Islanders with two goals in their 5-2 win over the Canucks at home on Tuesday night. >> Box score


First period:

  • 2:48 VAN Brendan Leipsic; Assists: Bo Horvat, Michael Del Zotto
  • 5:11 NYI Tom Kuhnhackl; Assists: Leo Komarow, Valtteri Filppula
  • 5:56 NYI Josh Bailey; Assists: Mathew Barzal
  • 14:50 NYI Jordan Eberle; Assists: Brock Nelson, Andrew Ladd
Tags: Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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Nov 10, 2018; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Juho Lammikko (91) skates with the puck around New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) as goaltender Robin Lehner (40) looks on in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)
Nov 10, 2018; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Juho Lammikko (91) skates with the puck around New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) as goaltender Robin Lehner (40) looks on in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Mayer)

Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Panthers went on to defeat the Islanders on Saturday, 4-2. >> Box score


First period:

  • 6:20 FL Denis Malgin; Assists: Jared McCann, Nick Bjugstad
  • 7:27 NYI Mathew Barzal; Assists: Anders Lee
Tags: Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Islanders may have lost C John Tavares, but new head coach Barry Trotz doesn't believe it will kill their offensive output. 

Yes, Tavares accounted for 82 points last season, but Trotz thinks he has the personnel to find offensive success this upcoming season. 

"This team can score, with John Tavares or without John Tavares," Trotz told The Athletic's Arthur Staple in a Q&A session. "The area it's failed in maybe the last year and a half is on the defensive end. Just looking at the trends over the last four years, it's clear that's an area we need to fix. ...With the John Tavares situation, we look forward, we can't look back. Guys are up to the challenge. John's a fantastic player, face of the franchise and it's a hole you can't fill with one guy. It's collectively with the group."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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Nick Leddy (L) Johnny Boychuk (55) Josh Bailey (12) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Nick Leddy (L) Johnny Boychuk (55) Josh Bailey (12) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Islanders Josh Bailey and Johnny Boychuk are sick of hearing the team doesn't have any hope next season. And more importantly, those who believe the team will lack leadership with the exit of captain John Tavares, must think again. 

These two Islanders veterans find themselves in position to take the torch, if you will, from Tavares and lead the pack. These past five seasons have been Tavares' team, but now, it is up to the collective group to work together. 

Tavares may be gone, but that doesn't mean the Islanders should be deemed out of the running already. 

Tags: John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Scott Thompson
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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

After winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, 21-year-old Islanders forward Mathew Barzal can be the new face of the franchise with John Tavares out of the picture.

"He's a driven, driven guy to be the best player he can be," Russ Farwell, the VP of hockey operation for Barzal's junior hockey team, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, told Newsday's Andrew Gross. "He's totally focused on his game. He's a very confident guy, too. He was a really highly touted minor player, so being the show or being the guy wasn't foreign to him. His whole life, everybody has pointed to him."

Tags: John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Anders Lee (27) Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Isles Country was devastated to see John Tavares decide to take his talents home and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. And though fans may see only darkness ahead for the Islanders, NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire believes there to be light at the end of the tunnel. 

After analyzing the process Tavares took during his interview period that led up to his ultimate decision, McGuire understood why Tavares decided to fulfill his "childhood dream" to play for the Leafs instead of the organization that drafted him first overall back in 2009. 

"I'm not surprised," McGuire told SNY. "When you grow up in a Canadian city and you grew up dreaming about playing for that team whether it'd be Montreal or Vancouver or Toronto, that's a hard thing to not want to foresee or go through. So I understood that part of it after the fact."

Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Mathew Barzal, Scott Thompson
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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) controls the puck during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) controls the puck during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

It may have been anticipated, but Islanders C Mathew Barzal was announced the 2018 Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie last season. 

Barzal blew out the competition for the award, which was announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Wednesday night. He received 160 first-place votes with the Canucks' Brock Boeser the closest in that category with two votes. 

The reason Barzal was the favorite for the Calder Trophy was due to his production in his rookie season. He totaled 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) over a full 82-game season. 

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Islanders electric rookie C Mathew Barzal has been the favorite to win the Calder Trophy, and it may finally become a reality on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

The 21-year-old is among three finalsts for the award that includes Canucks RW Brock Boeser and Coyotes C Clayton Keller. Barzal, though, blew away both candidates in scoring this season with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) over a full 82-game season. 

If Barzal wins the award, he will be the fifth Islander to do so. Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, and Bryan Berard held the Calder Trophy at the end of their rookie seasons. 

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Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Rookie year is in the books for Islanders C Mathew Barzal, and it was certainly a success. Barzal led all rookies in points (85) last season, making him the frontrunner for the Calder Trophy. 

Unfortunately, though, the Islanders didn't make the playoffs, which means Barzal shipped back to his home of Coquitlam, British Columbia to get his offseason training regimen under way. HIs training, at first, is more of a recovery as he and Sportcore Performance owner Rob Williams focus on making sure every little muscle is in tact before starting the real workouts. 

"Nothing too heavy, a lot of core work," Barzal told New York Hockey Journal's Leo Scaglione Jr. "I'm making sure everything is moving right and working well. Your groins and little muscles take a beating all year, so I strengthen my legs again and get them back to feeling good and strong."

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New York Islanders center Matthew Barzal shoots the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Matthew Barzal shoots the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders forward Mathew Barzal is among three finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy that honors the NHL's top rookie.

The 20-year-old Barzal is considered the favorite for the award after scoring 22 goals, 63 assists and 85 points in 82 games for New York this season.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

It was a shocker to say the least when the final score at Barclays Center read 4-1 in favor of the Islanders over the defending Stanley Cup-champion Penguins on Tuesday night. And Isles fans can thank Mathew Barzal for the offensive production.

The dynamic rookie continued his Calder Trophy-worthy season with his 20th goal and an assist for two more points, marking 75 on the season. That total is third most in Islanders rookie history.

Barzal said his confidence this season has been the same since the beginning up until now, and head coach Doug Weight loves hearing that from his budding star. 

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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Feb 22, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) talks to right wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Feb 22, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) talks to right wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The New York Islanders' 2017-18 season is speeding down an icy highway in a blizzard with no brakes, as a 15-24-8 record since Dec. 1 has all but assured another season out of the playoffs, sitting home watching other, better teams contend for the Stanley Cup.

  • Surely, big decisions are looming on the horizon for a franchise that can never seem to sustain any sort of consistency or dependability. After beating Florida in the 2016 playoffs, its first series win in two decades, and coming off back-to-back 100-point seasons, this season can only be classified as a severe regression.

  •  
Tags: Anders Lee, John Tavares, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Andy Graziano
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 (Evan Habeeb)
(Evan Habeeb)

With 11 games left, the Islanders know they're season won't see a playoff berth despite not being mathematically out of the race. In turn, head coach Doug Weight is doing a little experiment with his star players. 

Weight wants to see what John Tavares and Mathew Barzal can do on the same line, which is why he is moving Tavares to left wing ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Hurricanes at Barclays Center. However, he warned not to take the move to heart being that Tavares has played center all these years. 

"It doesn't mean he's going to play wing and it doesn't mean he's not a centerman," Weight told Newsday's Andrew Gross. "It's an experiment. Moving forward, it gives them some experience together. I'm excited to see it."

Tags: John Tavares, Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports)

With the Islanders now all but out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference following their recent losing streak, we at Islanders Point Blank thought it would be pertinent to take a look forward at some of what could become of this team in the near future. New York certainly has a lot of issues and decisions to make over the next few months prior to the 2018 NHL Draft.

While we have discussed the coaching and front office ad nauseam (and might be in the future anyway), it would be best suited if some other aspects were analyzed.

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Calvin De Haan, Jaroslav Halak, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Ho-Sang, Mathew Barzal, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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