New York Islanders 3 Things Learned in First Half of 2018-19
We all failed the coaching matters test. None of us considered how good this team could be with top notch coaching. Going into 2018-19 it seemed obvious that the New York Islanders couldn’t be any better than they were in 2017-18. How could they?
Losing a star center and with an influx of bottom six players, there wasn’t a way they got better offensively. Defensively things weren’t any better by losing a healthy Calvin de Haan to free agency and extending Luca Sbisa to what was the worst blue line in the NHL. The goaltending front wasn’t any more positive with the team going with Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss, both of which were terrible in 2017-18.
We didn’t realize how huge of an impact that Barry Trotz and his staff could have on the Islanders lineup. We knew he was a defensive minded coach, and we knew that he had success out in Washington and in Nashville before that. The Islanders would undoubtedly improve under Trotz, but not like this. The Islanders didn’t have the same talent as the Capitals or the later years Predators.
It was going to take a miracle worker in order to transform the New York Islanders blue line virtually overnight. But that’s exactly what Barry Trotz has done with the Islanders. Seemingly overnight he brought the Islanders from the worst goals against in the league to the best.
We and the NHL public have learned that coaching matters and we probably won’t make that same mistake again.