Do you remember that feeling? The one that you got after having a terrible start to the school year, being dirt poor and thinking that the holidays were going to suck, only to wake up to presents when you least expected them? No, only me?!
The Islander sail into the final weekend of the preseason 4-0-2 and looking like they have a bit of SWAG to their walk. Don’t get me wrong, I have been an Isles fan for longer than most readers of this blog have been alive, so I understand what disappointing seasons look like. My pillow still has the tears of the Di Pietro/Millbury years. I cannot believe that ass clown still has a job in hockey. Given what he did to the Isles, even if you are not a fan of the team, you would have to agree. Go ahead, argue that point. I double-dog dare ya!
But I digress. The Isle were 20goddamn8th in the NHL on the power play. 28th, how freaking pathetic is that. Despite the Tavares contract situation, the arena situation, the Capuano situation and the browbeating treatment of a goalie that shined in the 2016 WHOC, that stat is key to the Islanders poor showing last year. You can score as 5 on 5 many goals as you want, but you gotta stop the puck and rack up some PPGs.
To that end, ladies and gents, I present Matthew Barzal. In Seattle I had a chance to watch this kid develop into a great player and I was stoked to watch him jump from the Seattle Thunderbirds to Isles last year. After a couple of forgettable games he was sent back. For once I agreed with Cappy and Snow. There he was crowned season MVP, Playoff MVP and lifted a cup. All that wouldn’t mean squat if hadn’t matured. He is a more complete player now and could be the key to the PP scoring this season.
Matthew Barzal with a gorgeous goal showing off his speed 🔥💨 pic.twitter.com/ZwDQHolCrU
— Bar South N Celly™ (@BarSouthNCelly) September 26, 2017
If this goal, assisted by none other than Mr. Islander himself is any indication, this is going to be a fun team to watch! While we are on the subject of Islanders and fun. Ryan Pulock is killing it! By “it” I mean the glass behind the goal. In an annual event, he loaded his cannon and fired a shot heard by passersby a few blocks away. Meanwhile the Zammi driver sulked into a corner, pissed that he was disturbed from sipping coffee and sharpening skates and shooting the shit about the KHL season. Pulock has is a lock (pun intended) on the power play according to Weight.
Take a peek at the result of that shot:
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 24, 2017
With the likes of those two on the power play, line mates Josh Ho-Sang and Brock Nelson hooking up like Lennon and McCartney for 5 on 5 goals and the addition of Jordan Eberle, this new Isle team is wheeling and dealing.
Oh yeah, did I mention that the past few outings of Halak and Greiss have been pretty good too. In the case of Greiss he blanked the Devils. Stopping 25 shots in a 3-0 win. Can’t wait for the season to start so that I can either eat some crow or continue to be amazed. For those following along. The Isles square off against the Flyers tonight.
*Breezers – English – def: What old guys call hockey shorts.