Is it fair for Islanders to sit Oliver Wahlstrom against Maple Leafs?
Barry Trotz made one change to the New York Islanders lineup after the team's 4-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Oliver Wahlstrom was made a healthy scratch with Kieffer Bellows stepping into the lineup.
If you missed the Arizona win you might ask yourself why is Wahlstrom sitting this one out? What could he have done now? It was a turnover. A particularly bad one too.
New York Islanders make Oliver Wahlstrom healthy scratch
Wahlstrom was in the dog house way before today's game. He didn't see the ice in the third period last night against the Coyotes after that bad turnover. You can see the play here:
Again. That was a bad turnover. Totally unforced and Barry Trotz was not having it by stapling the youngster to the bench for the remainder of the game. And maybe you thought that would be the only discipline he'd receive for the ill-advised play.
The answer was no. Wahlstrom would sit for another 60 minutes (at least) by missing this game against the Leafs. We've seen vets make these mistakes before and not miss a shift. But this is how Trotz operates with young players like Wahlstrom.
Barry Trotz is trying to work these mistakes out of Wahlstrom's game now with this strong response. Is it fair? Maybe for a play like this. Sure. That was a bad mistake to make that could have cost the team a goal. You can't have that.
But then again, Wahlstrom already sat for 20 minutes. The team was already playing with a short bench for a full period. Isn't that punishment enough? Isn't the message sent by then? Another 60 minutes to think about that particular mistake seems like overkill. No?
But Barry's ways have worked. Specifically with Wahlstrom. He made the young forward sit through eight rounds of the shootout in order to send him a message that he had to be better. Message received as Wahlstrom scored the shootout winner when Trotz finally let him out.
So again, fair discipline? Maybe not. but We'll see what happens once Wahlstrom returns. If he comes back a stronger player it will have been worth it.