Trotz’s Islanders Hitting Stride Heading into Final Four
The New York Islanders defeated the Boston Bruins 6-2 in Game 6 in the conference semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. For the second year in a row, Islanders Head Coach, Barry Trotz has taken his team to the Final Four of the NHL. Trotz won the Cup as the Head Coach of the Washington Capitals in 2018.
After a contract snub by Washington, Barry Trotz left for Long Island. He took over a team that had been floundering for years, mired in bad contracts, low attendance and a bad facility or a basketball facility...your choice of disasters. But there were new owners, there was an agreement to build a new building and most of all, there was a new GM, well not really new to being a GM, actually a Hall of Fame GM, Lou Lamoriello.
New owners, new building, Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz was enough to make a disheartened fanbase believe again. A fanbase that has watched those 4 consecutive Stanley Cup banners from 1980 to 1983 hanging in the “old barn” for decades with little to add to them. Islander fans wanted playoff hockey again. They didn’t want to go to Brooklyn to see their team. They wanted a winning team in their Nassau Coliseum and the new owners, Scott Malkin and John Ledecky have been hands on in delivering that.
There have been signs of life in the past but nothing like the last 3 seasons have been under Barry Trotz. The Islanders new facility on the property of Belmont Park will be the nicest facility in the NHL when it is finished in the fall. For now, the Islanders will continue this playoff run in the Nassau Coliseum or the “old barn,” whichever you prefer.
Barry Trotz has the Islanders playing their best hockey in the midst of the playoffs. That’s his plan all year. Both goalies are fighting for minutes. Rookie, Illya Sorokin was between the pipes for the Penguins series victory. Trotz, relying on his keen sense, put Semyon Varlomov in goal for this series. People may have questioned the move when he did it, then again, not many people question Barry. Mollie Walker, who covers the NHL for the New York Post, was on the Drive with Charlie and Dan last week. She talked about the Islanders culture and how the players will run through a wall for Barry Trotz.
They ran through Pittsburgh and tonight, finished off Boston. Now they face Tampa Bay in a rematch of last year’s Conference Final. This should be fun!