June 21, 2018. This quite possibly may be the most colossal day in three decades for the New York Islanders organization, as they landed the coach who won the Stanley Cup on two weeks prior in Barry Trotz.
In the span of less than two years, Trotz and company have changed the entire look of the organization. The Islanders have had an absurd record of 60-30-8 in regular season games since Trotz has taken over the team. It’s been well-known that the Islanders went from the worst defensive team in 2017-18 to the best defensive team in the NHL during the 2018-19 season with the same personnel on the blue line.
Trotz’s defensive system and work he’s been highly credited and deservingly so. But one massive underlier is the lack of credit the Islanders players can occasionally receive, as each and every player has bought into playing the “Islander way” and knowing and acknowledging their roles.
Even other teams take notice of how well disciplined and hardworking the Islanders are. After defeating the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night rising star Rasmus Dahlin was in awe of his opposition.
Rasmus Dahlin tells me “the Islanders are such a strong, disciplined team. They are big and they defended us well”
— SabresBuzz (@SabresBuzz) November 3, 2019
Another major factor Trotz brings to the organization is the players are 100% ready to compete and focused on winning each and every night. The Islanders have an astonishing record of 14-1-1 in back to back games since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, a statistic that truly is remarkable considering they’re playing the best athletes in the sport and still able to win on a back to back by having his players well prepared for the struggles of an NHL season.
New York Islanders captain Anders Lee is a major contributor both on and off the ice for the team. Being chosen as the captain of the entire team is no small feat, and Lee takes his role very seriously. Without the passion and drive he brings to both the rink and to the locker room, the team would be different to say the least. Especially with a different captain leading the team.
Knowing the prior success Barry Trotz previously had with the Washington Capitals it allows the players to easily buy into the teams overall system and play exactly like Trotz asks. The trust between the players and coaching staff is something unimaginable from Islander fans who have seen the suffering of the Capuano and Weight coaching eras.