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Play Of The Day: Mathew Barzal’s Backhand Beauty vs. the Rangers

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The Islanders rookie put up five points in the Garden, including this work of art.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers
Mathew Barzal pretends like he’s trying

The first thing you need to understand is I would never gloat about the Islanders walking into Madison Square Garden on a Saturday afternoon and whooping the Rangers 7-2. Seven to two. I would never put into question my objectivity, my integrity, seven to two, since I take that stuff very seriously. Seven to two. Seven on one side, two on the other. Seven to two.

You see, you reach a point in your life where it's time to grow up. Seven to two. You realize that it's like immature or whatever to still “hate” another team. Siete to dos. I’m an Islanders fan - I can be content supporting my team. Sept to deux.

This is why I implore all of you to remember, seven to two, that it’s not nice to brag. семь to два. Try to keep it classy. Sju to två. If any of your relatives are Rangers fans, don’t point and laugh. Seitsemän to kaksi. I understand that might be difficult, so no need to strain yourself. Sedm to dva. That’s Czech for “seven to two,” so it would be messed up if I didn’t include it in Slovak as well: sedem to dva. They’re pretty similar, as you’d expect. Here’s how you say it in Chinese: 七 to 二 (Sounds like “chee, err”). You can say “seven to two” in a whole bunch of different languages.

Now I’m going to tell you something right now, and this will probably be the most important thing you will ever hear in your life: seven to two.

No seriously now, enough with all that. Obviously it's great to go into MSG, the World's Most Self-Congratulatory Famous Arena Just Ask Al Trautwig He'll Tell You, and wipe the floor with the Rangers. But it's very important to show good sportsmanship. Because seven to two. Seven goals for us and only two for them.

Today's Play of the Day goes to Mathew Barzal's backhand beauty early in the second period.

Wow, you gotta be kidding me with that one, Matty.

Barzal was the best player on the ice in this game by a long shot. He finished with two goals and three assists for his second 5-point game of his rookie season. This kid is just incredible.

This play was largely due to an uncharacteristically great pass from Jaroslav Halak, who started a perfectly-executed breakout for the Islanders. I’m probably not the only one whose heart rate picks up anytime I see Halak venturing out of his crease. He has made some brutal mistakes playing the puck. But this was a great reversal to Mayfield, particularly because the Rangers were forechecking aggressively on the right side of the ice, expecting Staal’s dump-in to wind around the boards.

From there, Mayfield moves it up to Eberle, who makes a fantastic pass to Barzal. This was one of two phenomenal breakout passes Eberle - who had four assists on the day - completed to Barzal from the half wall in the defensive zone that led directly to Islanders goals. In fact the breakout was crisp and well-executed all game long, easily the best it’s looked this season.

Of course I can’t talk about this game without throwing some love at Anthony Beauvillier. The kid had three points (2 goals and 1 assist) of his own, and made that line with Barzal and Eberle look faster than it ever has with Ladd playing on the left side. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs if Doug Weight sticks with this combination moving forward.

Here are all seven goals the Islanders scored in this game.

As you can see I wasn’t lying about that. The Islanders scored seven goals. The Rangers scored two.

Seven to two.