Here’s how New York Islanders head coach has fared in Game 7’s and what wisdom he can impart on his players before the game.
Here we are. The New York Islanders are one game away from advancing to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1993. If they win tonight, this will be the furthest they’ve ever been in the postseason for 27 years.
A number of fans weren’t around or were too young to remember the run in 1993, so this is the most successful version of the Islanders they know. A large part of the team’s recent success is due to the man behind the bench: Barry Trotz.
His leadership and direction have the Islanders in the postseason in back-to-back years when they shouldn’t have been anywhere near the playoffs.
As the Isles gear up for Game 7, they’ll once again follow the leadership and direction from their coach. How has Trotz done in Game 7’s?
History in Game 7
In 136 playoff games over his NHL coaching career, Barry Trotz has only gone to Game 7 on four occasions. Twice in 2014-15, once in 2016-17, and once again in 2017-18. His record, 2-2.
New York Islanders | 1st-round | Won 2-1: I’m sure you all remember that game. With everything on the line and the chance to get a huge first-round win, the Isles choked.
Barry Trotz’s Capitals held the Islanders to eleven shots in the entire game. Johnny Boychuk had 45 percent of the team’s shots on goal with five. John Tavares had none.
It was a masterclass in defending the slot and neutral zone and capitalizing on the advantages presented.
New York Rangers | 2nd-round | Lost 2-1: The Capitals held a 3-1 series lead going into Game 5 and the New York Rangers, coached by Alain Vigneault, fought back to win the next two games and then Game 7 by a score of 2-1 in overtime.
Lundqvist stopped 35 of 36 shots for a 0.972SV% that night. Holtby was perfectly fine, stopping 37 of 39 shots for a 0.949SV%.
The winning goal, scored by Derek Stepan, came after the Capitals iced the puck and lost the ensuing faceoff. Sound familiar?
Pittsburgh Penguins | 2nd-round | Lost 2-0: Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 29 shots he faced that night as the Penguins once again eliminated the Washington Capitals from the playoffs.
The two Penguins goals in this game came off turnovers by the Capitals. Again, sound familiar?
Tampa Bay Lightning | Conference Finals | Won 4-0: The Capitals were disciplined and effective. They gave up only one power-play opportunity to the Lightning who’s PP was effective 29.1 percent of the time in the playoffs prior to Game 7.
The Bolts didn’t capitalize on that opportunity nor on any of their 29 shots in the game with Holby shutting them out.
The Capitals, on the other hand, took advantage of their opportunities. Ovie scored on a vintage one-timer in the opening minute and Andre Burakovsky put up a pair of goals after a Dan Girardi mistake and then catching Tampa on a bad change for a breakaway.
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To win Game 7 tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers Barry Trotz will know he has to rally his players and keep them calm and centered on the game plan. Offensive zone turnovers and untimely icings are all it takes to turn this game.
He knows this because he’s been there before.