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Editorials

Trust Islanders coach Barry Trotz’s feel for his team

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 27: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders speaks with a linesman prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Coliseum on February 27, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 27: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders speaks with a linesman prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Coliseum on February 27, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders coach Trotz just displayed what makes him an exceptional coach. Despite the analytics that demonstrates that Leo Komarov should not play on the first line, Coach Trot’s feel for his team tells him otherwise.

Like all outstanding coaches, he was right (at least for Thursday night). Coach calls it “heart and guts”. Those are intangibles that never show up on a stat sheet and only the finest of coaches have the intuitive feel for their teams and the game to push the right buttons and get the most out of their teams. Coach Trotz has proven himself to be in that elite group.

Embrace Komarov on the New York Islanders top line

Whether this decision remains the right one, we Islander fans need to embrace it. Coach Trotz said that he is finished tinkering with the lines and is going with the lineup he put on the ice on Thursday for the stretch run.

Although I have been critical of some of the line pairings in the past, I am ready to rally behind my players and my team as we strive for five. These are our Islanders, and they need to know the fans support them, especially Uncle Leo. We’ll have plenty of time in the off-season to do a post-mortem (especially if we fall short of the Cup) but for now, it’s all hand on deck.

Continuity is key

Continuity is key now. We need our lines and our defensive pairings to get a feel for each other and blend their talents in a way that only repetition can accomplish. Who and where our guys line up is far less important than getting familiar with their linemates- that is especially true for newcomers, Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri who, I expect, is about to break out in a big way.

Our GM has given us all the physical talent for a serious push. Our coach is elite as is our goaltending. All we need now is for our continuity to get us on a roll. It’s no secret that teams that are on a roll entering the playoffs stand a pretty good chance of going deep. I

t’s up to us, as Islander fans, to do our part by supporting everyone up and down the roster. If you don’t think the players feel our energy (positive and negative) you are mistaken. I for one am going to cheer a bit louder tonight for Uncle Leo.

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