Cole Bardreau can play in the NHL.
The New York Islanders rookie has shown that during his emergency callup, playing disciplined on a lower line and generating breakaways based off his smart play.
After hitting a post and a stick on great backhand moves on previous breakaways, during his seventh NHL game he finally struck paydirt — and in memorable style.
That was on a penalty shot against Craig Anderson, a penalty shot Bardreau earned with a smart read and interception in the neutral zone that caused the Senators to haul him down in pursuit.
The goal gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead, and held up as the game winner as the Islanders closed in on their 10th consecutive victory. It also made Bardreau a part of truly rare NHL history, history he now shares with former Flyer and Top 10 All-Time Names member Ilkka Sinisalo.
Asked Cole Bardreau who he's calling first.— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) November 6, 2019
"Mom. Definitely Mom." #Isles
Cole Bardreau said he thought he was going to give himself a heart attack on his penalty-shot celebration because he tensed up so much. Celebration for first NHL was years in the making, through many hardships. Figures he's going to get some grief from teammates about the celly.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 6, 2019
Bardreau had a long and winding path to his NHL debut, delayed by a couple of serious and unrelated injuries and spending some six seasons in the minor pros after finishing up at NCAA Cornell. Now at age 26 he’s not lighting it up but he’s proving he belongs, and giving the Islanders something to think about once their lengthy injury list starts to shrink.