After the New York Islanders win over the New Jersey Devils, Barry Trotz was critical of Mathew Barzal’s play in overtime.
The New York Islanders were able to end their losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The Isles outplayed the Devils in the first and most of the third period but a late second goal sent the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Islanders possessed the puck almost the entire way. Finally, after the Isles knocked the puck away from the Devils, Mathew Barzal was sent in on a breakaway and he put the game on ice.
Obviously, it wasn’t the perfect game, but the Islanders came away with a win. In years past we would’ve heard coaches sing the praise of the team even in an ugly win. Not Barry Trotz.
Not only was Trotz critical of the team, but he was also critical of the guy who ended it. While speaking with the media postgame he dropped this doozy of a quote:
He’s essentially saying that Barzal isn’t good enough away from the puck just yet, and it’s hard to disagree with him. I don’t necessarily see this as a knock on Barzal, I actually think Trotz loves Barzal, he just wants more out of him.
Barzal isn’t a perfect player, and Trotz is pointing out what he needs to work on. After yesterday’s win Barzy has 19 points in 21 games, a pace of 74 points over a full season. Yes, that’s a bit of a dip from his 85 point rookie season but it’s still effective.
At 21, Mathew still is a developing player and it’s hard to be upset with Barry Trotz leading the way in his development. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m much more confident in Trotz leading the development of these guys over Doug Weight or Jack Capuano in years past.
No way is this kid a finished product just yet, and I love that Trotz isn’t babying Barzal. Trotz tells it like it is, and Barzal will be better because of it.