The 2021-22 NHL season was one to forget for the New York Islanders. Besides opening a beautiful new arena, the Islanders faced many hurdles. These hurdles were far too strong to overcome and reach the playoffs.
Is the reasoning for the failed season an excuse or valid cause for concern?
Every team experiences injury but the Islanders had untimely injuries to key players during tough stretches not to mention Covid outbreaks.
New York Islanders Showed Signs of Life
Even with these obstacles, the team showed strong extended periods of play throughout the second half of the season. The standings made it appear returning to the playoffs could be a daunting task, but, at times, this team returned to its playoff-caliber style.
Trotz has a strong, solid defensive system that does not generate a ton of offense. This is a style that is made for tight games and more specifically; the playoff.
Getting back to the playoffs was always the main objective for this veteran squad. From that point, the style and experience would take over, and even the playing field against stronger teams.
Although this season was unsuccessful, it was extremely shocking to see Barry Trotz fired from his position.
Trotz brought respect, stability and a winning culture to an organization that desperately needed it. The team made the playoffs three out of four seasons under Trotz. Additionally, the team made it past the first round all three seasons, which was an accomplishment for this club’s recent history.
Even though Trotz made three playoff trips, two Eastern Conference Finals trips, and won a Jack Adams award in his first season, it was not enough.
Many rumors have gone around about behind-the-scenes problems as a reason for the departure. One thing is for sure, the Islanders let one of the best coaches in the league become available.
This will turn out to become a big mistake. Only time will tell how big of a mistake this will be for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders.
New coach, Lane Lambert, will be comfortable with these players from the start. But will Lambert have much of a different style than his predecessor?
Trotz has begun his interview tour and could not only end up back in the conference but in the division!