Islanders: Barry Trotz When Facing Elimination
By Matt O'Leary
Barry Trotz has been everything the New York Islanders could’ve hoped for and more in his three seasons as the Head Coach. In 206 regular-season games, he holds a 115-67-24 for a .617 points percentage.
That points percentage puts him above legendary coach Al Arbour (who was a .568 points percentage) as the leader for the Isles. With the season on the line, you’d expect him to have the team ready tonight.
What I wanted to look at was how his Islanders teams have done so far in elimination games.
After falling behind 3-0 to the Hurricanes in 2019, they faced elimination on May 3. They scored quick out of the gate, Mat Barzal on the power play gave the Isles a 1-0 lead just 2:30 into the game.
Unfortunately, that lead did not last as Sebastian Aho would tie the game just over two minutes later. Carlina would score five unanswered before Brock Nelson would get one late, but at that point, it was all over.
Carolina only generated 21 shots in the game, but they capitalized on the opportunities they did have scoring on five of them.
After going up 3-1 in the series, the Isles lost back to back overtime games to let Philadelphia back into the series but man did they tighten it up in Game 7. They won a dominant 4-0 game where Thomas Greiss only faced 16 shots.
If you want to look up a Barry Trotz performance, this is it. Unlikely candidates Scott Mayfield and Andy Greene got the Isles off and running in the first period and then Brock Nelson and an empty netter from Anthony Beauvillier would make it 4-0.
In Game 5, after falling behind 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Final, the Islanders found themselves facing elimination. Semyon Varlamov stole the show in this one as he stopped 36 of 37 shots in the 2-1 win.
Jordan Eberle played hero in double overtime as he was able to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy and extend the Islanders season.
The Islanders got on the board early with a goal from Devon Toews but Tampa would be quick to answer just over two minutes later. The score remained tied at one through the second and third period.
In early overtime, Brock Nelson had an unbelievable look on Vasilevskiy but couldn’t get it to go. Instead, at 13:18 it was Anthony Cirelli who would score the game-winner ending the Islanders season.
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Trotz is 2-2 as the Islanders HC but if you want to go back to include his time in Washington, for a seven-year sample size he is 7-5 in elimination games. Let’s hope the two-time Jack Adams award winner has some more tricks up his sleeve.