New York Islanders: Breaking down insane, jaw-dropping Mat Barzal goal

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Mathew Barzal pulled off the unthinkable on Saturday night.

You know you did something pretty damn incredible when you appear on CNN, and that was the case for New York Islanders forward Mat Barzal who has truly gone viral in the wake of scoring an absolutely insane, jaw-dropping goal on Saturday.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, and I don’t even know how that is even possible at this point, then please get your priorities straightened out immediately, head to or social media and watch this goal by Barzal because it was truly something special.

Yes, it came against the Buffalo Sabres who seem determined to entrench themselves as the biggest laughing stock in all of sports, let alone the NHL, but Barzal could have scored this goal against a beer league team and it would still have been incredible.

That’s just how amazing it was.

So, let us set the scene for you. With the Islanders a goal down in the second period after Jacob Bryson had recorded his first career NHL goal to give the Sabres the lead, Mat Barzal decided to take matters into his own hands at 3:51 in the middle frame.

Mathew Barzal (13)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Mat Barzal produced an absolute moment of magic for New York Islanders

Reacting well to get across to the loose puck, Barzal shrugged off Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with ridiculous ease, I mean that is a play that Ristolainen probably won’t ever want to see again given how easily he was knocked off the puck. In blunt terms, he was turned into a pretzel by Barzal.

With Ristolainen dealt with, Barzal then had the presence of mind to cool the jets, stop, drag the puck between his legs and then slip the puck past Carter Hutton to produce what is no doubt a Goal of the Year contender.

It was just an insane move, an insane goal and it is further proof that Barzal can do filthy things when he has the puck on his stick. He’s just an incredibly skilled hockey player and it was also an important goal given that the New York Islanders proceeded to take control of the contest, eventually winning the game 5-2 to improve to 14-6-4 on the year.

Let’s give some more attention to the goal itself, though, because it deserves all the coverage and the hype it is currently getting, and perhaps a whole lot more. For starters, very few skaters are able to beat Mathew Barzal in a foot race, and Rasmus Ristolainen was probably doomed from the get-go given that Barzal was a good step or two ahead.

But we all know that Barzal boasts an abundance of speed, so what was most impressive about this goal was his ability to just brush off Ristolainen as if it was nothing, despite the fact that the defenseman is certainly larger and bigger than the Islanders forward.

Then, with Ristolainen out of the way and despite travelling at blistering speed, Barzal was able to slow right down, retain control of the puck on his stick and then move it between his legs before pulling off the unthinkable. Trust me when I say that there’s very few players on the planet who are capable of pulling off that kind of move.

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We perhaps shouldn’t be that surprised given that Mat Barzal is one of the most naturally gifted talents in the entire National Hockey League, but this move and this goal was just on a whole other level and it is one of those highlight-reel plays that will be shown over and over again. And rightly so, because it was a breathtaking moment of magic from a player who is capable of producing sublime moments on multiple occasions throughout the course of a season, moments that can go viral and even appear on CNN.