Watch Here: Matthew Barzal Plays Party Pooper As The Islanders Thumped The Maple Leafs

Shug McSween Dec 30, 2018

The New York Islanders are now Matthew Barzal’s team, and Saturday night in Toronto, he showed he’s ready to carry the load. Barzal ended his night with his first hat trick of the season, as he now has five goals in his last two games.

Barzal carried the offence and Robin Lehner took care of the reset as he shut the door Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena. The Swedish tendy stopped all 36 shots he faced, making it look easy at times as the Maple Leafs could never really get anything going.

At the other end of the rink, nothing looked easy in the Maple Leafs blue paint.

Garret Sparks made his second consecutive start as the Leafs released news shortly before the game that Freddie Andersen wouldn’t dress Saturday night with a groin injury. Sparks on a back to back went about as good as you would think, as he battled the puck, lost his positioning a few times, and ran into some bad luck as well, with either tips or weird bounces in front. The Maple Leafs don’t play again until Thursday, so there is a small chance they just wanted to give Anderson an extended break for workload management, and there is a small chance he’s actually hurt and it could be serious.

In case the injury is serious and the fact is the Maple Leafs needed goaltending depth, so earlier Saturday, the team acquired Barrie, ONT native Michael Hutchinson from the Panthers for a late pick. Hutch has some NHL experience and has the ability to keep his team in games.

Which is something that is looking more and more difficult for Garret Sparks.

Sure, Sparks wasn’t given much help Saturday night as the Leafs went 0-for on the power play and finished the night with 15 giveaways, however, it was almost as if the ice was heated up in his crease because he went for a good swim a few times.

The game was hard to watch at times, as the Maple Leafs looked tired, sluggish, and full of turkey.

In case you missed it, Matthew Barzal shit all over Tavares’ night at Scotiabank arena:

Shug McSween

Shug McSween is a veteran here at and has been contributing since day one. A sports nut with a sophisticated opinion, expect McSween to cover any and everything he's passionate about. When he's not busy writing and editing for our crew, McSween likes to get away via fairways and greens. He also contributes to The Hockey Writers, and

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