Sportlogiq Standout: Mathew Barzal
Selected by: Kenny Matheson – Media Content Analyst
Metrics: Offensive Zone Possession Time, Zone Exits, Zone Entries
My standout from this weekend goes to none other than Mathew Barzal. His overtime goal led the Islanders to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Capitals on Sunday to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Barzal’s game-winner was exactly what you would expect from him, a clean Zone Entry with speed then beating John Carlson to the net, and making a good move on Braden Holtby to tuck it in on the backhand.
Barzal led the league in OZ Possession Time this season, averaging 1:19 per game along with finishing 2nd in zone entries (7.5 per game) and 3rd in Zone Exits (10.3 per game) so it’s no surprise that he led the game in all three but what really stood out to me was just how much the offence ran through him in the game.
At 2:08 of OZ Possession Time, Barzal not only set his highest mark of the postseason but he’s now only one of two players to have a number over 2 minutes in a game in the postseason. The other being Patrick Kane.
The Islanders spent 9:54 with possession in the OZ in the game meaning when they had the puck there it was on Barzal’s stick 21.5% of the time. That’s over 1/5th of their OZ possession time!
Then we get to his 14 Zone Exits and 13 Zone Entries. Both impressive marks especially considering his 13 Zone Entries were the third highest mark we’ve seen in the playoffs. But what’s even more ridiculous to me is that the Islanders had 42 Zone Entries so 30.9% of them were once again Barzal.
Barzal’s ability to create offence from his own zone is just so impressive. He uses his skating ability to rush the puck from one end of the ice to the other and then has the patience to control the puck in the offensive zone, waiting for the right play to open up.
The Islanders offence is driven by Barzal’s skill and it was on full display in Game 3. He sparked their offence and completed a really impressive night with a big overtime winner.
Follow us on Twitter @Sportlogiq to stay up-to-date with our latest news.