For 40 minutes last night, instead of Spy vs. Spy it was Trotz vs. Trotz. Once again the Capitals found in their former coach’s new team a near-mirror image of themselves.
Except: what the Islanders lacked in talent (or as Trotz called the Capitals, “more exotic”), they made up in positional discipline and timely goaltending. They did The Trotz way better than the Capitals did The Trotz. It was scoreless through 40 minutes until Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck broke the seal with two goals in the span of a couple of minutes. But even before that, the Islanders were the better team.
Yada yada the Islanders are in first place on the 19th day of January, the Year Of Our Bossy 2019.
- About last night (the Isles are in first place, FYI. Had we mentioned that yet?): [LHH | Newsday | Isles | NHL | Japers’ Rink | AP]
- All your factoids in The Skinny, including when the Isles were last in first place on this date. (It may be more recent than you think.) [NYI Skinny]
- It got a wee bit dusty behind the Islanders bench as the Capitals aired a video tribute to Barry Trotz and the staff during the first period. The video left out the “you’ll have to go through the f#$%ing Island first” line. [NHL]
- But obviously Trotz, though he reminisced and talked to lots of old friends in D.C., was all dialed in on the Islanders for last night’s game. (The win put them in first place.) [Newsday]
- Aaaaand Trotz knows the blueprint he used with the Capitals, so he’s aiming to do it again (with less internal resistance, frankly) with the Islanders. [Newsday]
- ICYMI: Lou Lamoriello has brought “chills” back to the Islanders fan base. (Except I don’t know. Really, it’s Trotz.) [Post]
- ICYMI 2: Arthur Staple unpacks the implications if Ilya Sorokin really wants to come over to North America next season. (Personally, I’m of the view that the Isles waited for him, he can wait for the Islanders. Ignore Bobrovsky, re-sign Lehner, ride Greiss as 1B for the final year of his deal, and then welcome Sorokin after his KHL contract expires in a year.) [Athletic]
- With that topic on the mind, it’s worth revisiting Carey’s article about how goalies should fit into your cap share. [Cap Space]
- Lots of Bridgeport notes as the Sound Tigers head into a busy weekend. [Soundin’ Off]
- The Sound Tigers faced their first slump since the beginning of the season, but they’re hoping to have Sebastian Aho back, and he’s hoping to play in the All-Star Game. [CT Post]
- While we’re all in some shock and awe, Trotz helpfully reminded us that first place is “fleeting,” among other thoughts...
"It’s one of those games where we forged a little bit of an identity… We stayed to it, we didn’t deviate. We talk about being a really good team and not just a group of players." #Isles pic.twitter.com/3O3BQnIFTc— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 19, 2019
The #Isles have won six straight road games after Friday night's 2-0 win at Washington.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) January 19, 2019
Per #NHL, this is the fifth time in team history it has won six or more consecutive road games. The other times: 8-0-0 in 1980-81, 7-0-0 in 2013-14, 6-0-0 in 1981-82, 6-0-0 in 2001-02.
Per #NHL, Through 47 games, #Isles lead league with 119 goals against (incl. 3 shootout deciders). At same point last season, Isles had allowed a league-high 173.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) January 19, 2019
For comparison, #Caps went from 21st in league in GA season before Barry Trotz arrived to 7th in his first DC season
Last night’s NHL scores include Columbus losing to allow the Isles to take first, and the Leafs losing to a team that hadn’t won in seven, LOL.
- Travis Hamonic had a pretty serious health scare with his eight-month-old daughter, but it appears they are out of the woods. Much love and sympathy. [Sun]
- Patrik Berglund spoke to Sweden’s Hockey Pulse about his sudden departure from the Sabres, says it’s all on him, and clearly he’s dealing with some mental health/quality of life challenges. [NHL | Die By The Blade]
- David Perron’s rebound from a healthy scratch has coincided with a resurgence by the Blues. [NHL]
- The 20 Best Quotes of 2018-19 so far begin with a Anders Lee quote that may or may not have been a little shade on that other #91 guy. [TSN]
- Day-amn, when Craig Button is calling you dysfunctional... [Sports Daily / TSN on the Stars]
- Around the NHL, young goalies are getting up to speed more quickly. (Or maybe they’re just finally being trusted like their peers at other positions.) [NHL]
- Speaking of which, how good is Carter Hart? [Broad Street Hockey]
- Ryan Johansen is suspended for two games. [NHL]
- The former NCAA players who now coach the Stars and Smurfs are maintaining their bond. [NHL]