Game 7. The New York Islanders will be participating in one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports which is both exciting and petrifying all at the same time. After a dramatic Game 6 victory, it’s going to be just as dramatic if not more so tonight.
Luckily, they have an experienced coach who has dealt with Game 7’s over his 22-year career.
Barry Trotz is 3-2 in his career in decisive Game 7’s, including a 1-0 record as the coach of the New York Islanders. What I wanted to do today was take a look at these five games and see if I notice a theme here.
Last year in the bubble, the Islanders went up 3-1 in their series against the Philadelphia Flyers. After back-to-back overtime losses, they would be forced to go to a Game 7. Right from the jump, the Isles got started early.
They popped in two in the first from Scott Mayfield and Andy Greene and played a shutdown game the rest of the way. They allowed just 16 shots in the game, 16!
Back in 2018, Barry Trotz’s Capitals found themselves down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference final. They won a Game 6 on home ice and then was forced to go on the road to Tampa. 1:02 into the game Alex Ovechkin got the Capitals on the board and they never looked back.
Braden Holtby was excellent stopping all 29 Lightning shots in the shutout. In fact, they held the Lightning to no goals in either Game 6 or Game 7.
The year prior, in 2017, it was the Penguins who once again knocked the Capitals out. Defensively, the Capitals played pretty well only allowing two goals on 28 shots, but offensively they couldn’t do a thing against Marc-Andre Fleury.
Ironically, the Capitals were the much better Corsi team and even had the high danger chances advantage through two periods (8-5) but still, Fleury got the better of them.
This game was a goalie show. The Rangers got 39 shots off on Brayden Holtby, who finished the night with a .949 save percentage while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 of 36 for a .972 save percentage in the game.
While the Rangers got their shots off, ironically the Caps only allowed a 41.2 HDCF% and they also won the Corsi battle that night as well.
Islanders fans remember this 2015 contest well. Barry Trotz ended the Islanders season in a suffocating fashion. The Islanders got 11 shots on goal for the game. That’s it, 11. Braden Holtby didn’t even have to break a sweat.
This was pure domination. The Caps allowed just four high danger chances on the game and had a 71.4 HDCF%. Also, they dominated the SCF% as well with a 61% to 39% advantage over the Islanders.
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A Barry Trotz team has never allowed more than two goals in a Game 7, and in all but one game were able to limit their opponent’s shots. If that’s the formula for tonight, then the Isles should have a chance.