It feels as though the New York Islanders have sat around and watched the other Metropolitan Division improve this offseason. The Islanders will have to hope they see a second-year jump with head coach Barry Trotz.
The New York Islanders overachieved greatly in 2018-2019 under the leadership of Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello. They finished a point behind the first-place Washington Capitals with 103 points and swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Isles are Trotz’s third head coaching stop behind the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals. Throughout his tenure, Trotz’s second year has seen more success than his first season.
Trotz took over an expansion Predators team and led them to a 28 win, 63 point campaign. The following season, though they still won 28 games the Preds finished with 70 points.
In Washington, Trotz won 45 games and finished with 101 points his first year with the Capitals. The second season the Capitals ended with 120 points and the President’s trophy. Can the Isles get the Barry-bounce in year two?
Preview of What’s To Come For Isles?
Last season the Islanders finished with 48 wins. It was Trotz’s most successful first season with the most wins (48) and points (103).
The Islanders and their fans hope the second season under Trotz will have a similar arch. Though that Capitals team had more talent, the Isles still have enough talent to be good.
As a team, the Islanders will be more comfortable with Trotz’s system. Fans saw in year one how much a system change can help with the Isles going from worst to first in goals allowed. In year two, I would expect the Isles to be better offensively as well.
They should also be better on the special teams as well. With the hiring of Jim Hillier from the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Isles meager 29th ranked power play from last year should be better. If anything at least league average.
After the Islanders astonishing 2018-2019 success, it may be difficult to expect an improvement in year two. Trotz has shown that he can maximize talent, and should have fans and players believe year two could be even better.