Rarely if ever during his tenure behind the Islanders’ bench has Barry Trotz shown his angry side after a game. But following last night’s loss, it’s easy to see why he’s upset with his team.
Trotz’s skaters were 26.4 seconds away from gaining a point before the Caps’ Justin Schultz wired a shot under the arm of Semyon Varlamov for the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win. It was a gut-punch which hurt even more because minutes earlier the penalty kill did a spectacular job killing off a inexcusable five-minute major taken by Leo Komarov.
“This is a playoff mentality right now,” Trotz said in curt tone after the game. “I’m not sure we have that playoff mentality. And it’s pissing me off.”
Pissed off? Damn straight Barry.
Sunday’s loss in New Jersey wasn’t great. Last night’s was awful.
Forget the mere fact the Capitals were basically without a majority of their impact guys. And forget the mere fact it was once again the first line again who only showed up. These are the types of defeats that can come back to haunt you later on in a season where every point is crucial.
It didn’t help that every game in the East Division last night outside of the Isles, Rangers and Devils tilts was a three-point game. And those are the kind of things that will go on a lot the season.
So, every point counts.
But Trotz’s frustration goes beyond just points in the standings.
There are a ton of guys he’s throwing out there who aren’t making a difference. Josh Bailey has one point in six games. J.G. Pageau only has two. A lot of people will point out to Pageau not having something to work with, and they’re right to a certain degree. But he’s supposed to be the driver of his line and that’s only come in spurts so far. Anthony Beauvillier had just one point before getting hurt. Even the fourth line looks hasn’t been nearly as effective.
Hard to recall when Trotz has ever called out the club’s “Identity Line”. He did last night.
That’s when you know things are going wrong.
“I need more from them,” Trotz stated.
The Islanders have now played six games and have collected just six points out of them. They currently sit seventh in the East and the bright side is no one is running with the East at the moment.
There’s still time to get things turned around and it has to start Thursday night when they play the Capitals again.
If not, were going to see plenty more of Barry Trotz’s angry side and that something neither his player or the fans should want.
Mathew Barzal and Noah Dobson continue to shine even in defeat. They were easily the two best players on the ice last night for the Isles.
Dobson’s night included his first goal of the year.
“Just try to throw a puck on net, got a good bounce, he said. “But, I think just trying to get better each game, learn and keep going on that track.”
Both their starts should have Isles fans very excited.
Trotz said changes were coming for Thursday and that should only mean one thing: PLAY THE KIDS!
Oliver Wahlstrom has yet to appear in the game. So too haven’t Otto Koivula, Dmytro Timashov and Austin Czarnik.
The Isles need a spark and those guys have the chance to provide it.