Dobson Stays In
Why does he need to make this decision?
Noah Dobson barely played in Game 4. Like, less than usual. So far in the playoffs, Dobson has avenged 13:37 per game. But in Game 4 the Islanders sophomore defenseman was out there for 7:36 of total time (6:22 at 5on5). My reaction to hearing the ice-time on our Patreon post-game show was…well, take a look:
We already knew that the leash for rookies/young players is short under Barry Trotz. So seeing Dobson end the game with the least amount of ice-time on the team isn’t necessarily a surprise. But having him out there for less than eight minutes total is pretty crazy.
Consider, Dobson didn’t see the ice after Brayden Point’s goal in the third period. That’s about 16 minutes of game time that Noah Dobson sat on the bench.
What does Barry do?
In my opinion, Dobson didn’t do anything to merit the benching, it was more of Barry shortening his bench and letting his vets control the game than anything else. But if Trotz doesn’t trust Dobson, would he put in a veteran instead?
After all, the Islanders have trade deadline acquisition Brayden Coburn on the taxi squad. Coburn knows what Tampa likes to do (and maybe how to stop it), he was with them just last season when they won the Cup.
Barry also has veteran blueliner Thomas Hickey on the roster.
I don’t think he goes with either option. Trotz trusts Dobson more than either Coburn and Hickey. The Isles coach may not trust Dobson to protect a lead but he knows that the young blueliner can help offensively. It would surprise me to see him deviate from Dobson for Game 5.