There’s a big difference between expectations and reality.
This is especially true when it comes to hopes for September prospects in relation to their season-long performances heading into the homestretch.
Exhibit A is Mathew Barzal, the Islanders’ peripatetic freshman.
In training camp last fall, the kid from British Columbia could have been auditioning for a remake of the "Invisible Man." Barzal was an unknown center, who had been rejected a year earlier by the big club. Now he’s the National Hockey League’s leading candidate for the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year.