Jordan Eberle Is The Fuel That The New York Islanders Needed

Jordan Eberle was hot at the right time and helped power the New York Islanders to another victory last night. With last night’s victory, the Islanders managed to sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the first period of play, Eberle dominated. In the two videos below, you’ll see Eberle and Mathew Barzal capitalize on a 2-on-1. Barzal and Eberle skate through the neutral zone and go straight to Matt Murray. Once they get to Murray, Barzal throws the puck to Eberle and Eberle wrists the puck past Murray. In the second video, you’ll see Eberle try his luck once again. He tries to put a backhand shot past Murray, but the puck sails a bit too high. While it wasn’t a goal, it was a great scoring chance for Eberle. 

Eberle’s Impact On The Series

Not only did Eberle’s goal help the Islanders best the Pittsburgh Penguins on enemy ice, but he’s been pivotal to the Islanders success in each game during the series. In each game, Eberle has tallied a goal at even strength. 

What’s even more remarkable is that on April 10th, Eberle scored his first playoff goal ever. Yep, first playoff goal. Prior to April 10th, Eberle played in quite a few playoff games. He had played in 13 playoff games with the Edmonton Oilers, but he wasn’t able to light up the lamp in those appearances in an Oilers uniform. You would have thought with the talent (Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and etc) that Eberle had in Edmonton, that he would have had success in scoring goals in the post-season, but that wasn’t the case.

I guess Eberle just needed to wear a different blue/orange/white sweater. It appears that’s all the 28-year-old right-winger needed. 

Barzal/Eberle

It’s also evident that Eberle’s strong play has a lot to do with his line-mate, Mathew Barzal. Like Eberle, Barzal had a great series. Not only did Barzal help set up Eberle on his goal in the first period of last night’s affair, but he also helped set up eight of Eberle’s goals during the regular season. The Islanders’ top line of Anders Lee, Barzal and Eberle is working well and if general manager Lou Lamoriello can re-sign Lee and Eberle in the off-season, they could potentially replicate the same success or do even more damage next year.

Aside from Eberle and Barzal being a great combo, Barzal also showed off his vision, skating and speed last night as he tried to put a goal on the score sheet in the first period. In the video below, you’ll see Barzal cause a breakup in the Islanders zone. Then he skates from zone-to-zone unharmed. He weaves around traffic and takes a backhand shot against Murray. Unfortunately for Barzal, Murray read him well and shut him down, but it was an extraordinary sequence by Barzal. If Barzal continues to play just like that in the next round, the Islanders could keep their opponents up at night.

The Isles Can Prevail Yet Again

With Eberle and Barzal driving the ship, the Islanders can prevail yet again in round two. While we don’t know exactly who they’ll face, the duo was dominant against the Pittsburgh Penguins and there is no question that they can’t replicate their success again in round two. Watch out for these two.

stats from hockey-reference

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

 

Author: Josh Tessler

Josh Tessler is the Editor and Founder of Puck77. Josh was born in Montreal, Quebec, but has spent most of his childhood and adult-life in the United States. From an early age, Josh had a passion for hockey. He spent a lot of time watching hockey with his grandfather, Sidney Schwartz. His favorite player growing up was Ray Bourque and he’s chosen to honor Bourque by using his number “77” in the blog’s name. Prior to Puck77, Josh wrote for FanSided’s Editor in Leaf (Toronto Maple Leafs blog), SB Nation’s Amazin’ Avenue (New York Mets blog) and Clark University’s The Scarlet. @JoshTessler_ - Twitter