Oliver Wahlstrom scored another goal last night in the New York Islanders 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. If you remember from Sunday, Barry Trotz seemed to "discredit" Oliver Wahlstrom for his goal in the mind of some.
After last night's performance, Barry Trotz gave Oliver Wahlstrom credit while also pointing out that there is more that he can do.
He begins to talk about Wahlstrom at the 5:30 mark of the press conference. My takeaway is this: no, Barry Trotz doesn't hate Oliver Wahlstro. Actually, it's quite the opposite. He knows that there is more in the tank than what he is showing and he is trying to get it out of him.
That doesn't say that this plan is without flaw. For instance, I think scratching him was a mistake but Barry Trotz is spot on about his play in the neutral zone. He does have to get more consistent in that area in order for him to reach his full potential.
I think that Barry Trotz is harder on the young guys because they're still moldable. They aren't finished developing and he can continue to groom them in a way to improve their game. For the veterans, they already are known commodities. You know what you're getting from them, guys like Josh Bailey and Kyle Palmieri who at times have struggled immensely at times, don't have much more room for change.
Plus, everyone handles coaching different. Just like there's not one way for a student to learn in school there's not one way for a hockey player to grow their game and it's up to the coach to determine how to get the most out of their guy.
He has him with JG Pageau and Zach Parise, two veterans who play the game the right way. If Wahlstrom's a sponge and can soak everything up that they are doing and doing well then Trotz did his job. Eventually, Trotz will be without a choice and will have to put Wahlstrom on the top line. But do we have to rush the development process?
Excuse me if I'm going to give the two-time Jack Adams award winner, Stanley Cup Champion, and third winningest coach in the sport's history the benefit of the doubt on this one.
I get that the fans are coming from a place of love with Oliver Wahlstrom. I get it, I love Wahlstrom's game and think that he has a chance to be a very, very good player on this team for the foreseeable future. What I don't get is the mischaracterization of what Barry Trotz is trying to do for his player. and for me, that's the frustrating part.