A writer for NHL.com ranked New York Islanders head coach, Barry Trotz 15th out of coaches in the NHL playoffs.
Barry Trotz is nothing short of a miracle worker. When Trotz took the job with the Islanders, one of the first challenges he faced was losing his best player. Within a month of being hired, John Tavares walked out the door.
His second-line center became Brock Nelson, who at the time was underachieving and inconsistent. Outside of Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee, and Josh Bailey he had a ton of question marks with the forward group.
Oh, not to mention, he also inherited the team that allowed the most goals in the league the year prior and his goalie combination was Robin Lehner, who wasn’t offered a contract as an RFA from Buffalo, and Thomas Greiss who was arguably the worst goalie in the league the year prior.
Deadspin wrote an article before the season titled “A 2018-2019 NHL Season Preview of Every Team, From Best To Islanders”. What happened? The Islanders put up 103 points, their highest total since the dynasty era, went from worst to first in goals allowed, they swept Pittsburgh in round one, and Barry Trotz won the Jack Adams award for the second time in his career.
This year, the Isles had a 17 game point streak and finished with 80 points in 68 games, a pace of 96 points over a full season. Since the start of last year, only six teams in the entire NHL have more points than the Islanders.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, NHL.com came out with an article titled “Super 16: Top coaches in Stanley Cup Qualifiers”. 12 writers ranked each coach and they tallied up the results to conclude that Barry Trotz is the third-best coach in the playoffs behind Mike Sullivan and Joel Quenneville.
Personally, I put him one, but I can’t get mad at putting Trotz behind those two prestigious coaches, you could sell me on that and I think third is fair. What really grinds my gears is where one writer, in particular, put him.
Tim Campbell ranked Barry Trotz 15th. Yes, you read that right, 15. Geoff Ward who has 42 career games under his belt is ranked ahead of Barry Trotz. This is nothing against Ward, I think he can be a good coach at this level, but putting him before the 2019 Jack Adams winner?!
This is his complete list:
"1. Dave Tippett; 2. Paul Maurice; 3. Peter DeBoer; 4. Alain Vigneault; 5. Travis Green; 6. Craig Berube; 7. Mike Sullivan; 8. Jared Bednar; 9. Rick Bowness; 10. Geoff Ward; 11. Joel Quenneville; 12. Rick Tocchet; 13. Bruce Cassidy; 14. Jon Cooper; 15. Barry Trotz; 16. Rod Brind’Amour"
What the heck has Paul Maurice ever won? Travis Green has a career points percentage below .500, Bowness has been great this year but he only has 38 games coached for Dallas and has a career points percentage of .341. Yes, .a career .341 head coach is ranked above Trotz.
This list is just mind-numbing. Eight out of the other 11 writers have him in their top three. That didn’t set a lightbulb off that maybe I’m way off base with how I ranked my coaches?
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What else does Barry Trotz have to do? Sometimes there are just no words, and this is one of those instances.