Barry Trotz Made the Isles a Better Team

(trans. from French)

The New York Islanders currently sit on top of the Metropolitain Division with 17 and a great 8-4-1 record. With the departure of John Tavares, captain and main face of this franchise, many predicted a grimmer story for this team.

However, those predictions did not take into account a factor whose impact was much tougher to predict: Barry Trotz. In only a few weeks, he made the Islanders a better team and, especially, a much more defensively responsible one.

"Barry is quite a coach", Brock Nelson says. "His personal record speaks for itself. He won the Stanley Cup last year with the Caps. He knows how to win. He has a simple message: he wants hard work and complete respect for the system. When we play our structure, we win".

Matthew Barzal adds: "He’s got a structure, he’s intense and he analyzes each little tiny detail. We believe in our system and our team".

On his third season with the Isles, Anthony Beauvillier already has a third coach. He briefly worked with Jack Capuano on his rookie season and Doug Weight during his two last seasons. But he sees Trotz’s hiring as a game-changer.

"It’s different… we’re talking about very different coaches. I don’t want to take anything from Doug, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. But Trotz is a really structured guy and an unbelievable sense for small details. Also, there’s never a grey zone with Barry. Either you play the system, either you don’t. We know what to do".

"Confidence makes such a difference", the Quebec-born adds. "We were all excited with the coming of Barry, but also Lou Lamoriello’s. They changed the whole team culture. We believe in our system and we know what to do to win. And boy I tell you, keeping our leads, it’s quite enjoyable."

On a personal note, Beauvilier also felt a change in mentality with Lou Lamoriello now sitting in the GM’s chair. He switched number 72 for 18.

"Lou doesn't like high numbers. So I came to the training camp and they told me I now had number 18. I have no connection with this number whatsoever. They never asked me whether I wanted it. I didn’t ask questions. I prefer to pick up my fights carefully since I’m still a young player. Worst thing to do was to make an enemy of Lou. Of course, it was a bummer for my family and friends who all bought jerseys with the number 72. I guess in a few years it’ll be forgotten!"

Jean-François Chaumont

Journal de Montréal, Nov. 4, 2018

Original link (French):

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