You’ll rarely see Barry Trotz get too high or too low as a correspondence of his team’s performances. Yet he was as demonstrative as ever following the Islanders’ 3-0 loss to the expansion Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night at UBS Arena.
“I’m pissed off right now,” Trotz admitted. “Plain and simple.”
The Islanders put together their least impressive, disappointing performance of a woefully underwhelming season against the second-worst team in the Western Conference. They were outshot 31-19, committed 12 turnovers, and showed little desperation despite every game now being a must-win scenario given their standing near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.
“We got outcompeted,” Trotz said. “Their will was a lot stronger than our will. That’s where it ended up. They wanted it more. Words don’t mean anything. It’s actions. It’s concerning anytime we have a game like that.
“To me, it was one of the more disappointing games that I’ve coached as an Islander coach, to be honest with you… I didn’t think our level of desire today was very good.”
The Islanders’ lack of urgency certainly suggests that this is a team that isn’t all too interested in trying to climb out of a 24-point hole that is separating them from third place in the division and a 17-point deficit behind the Boston Bruins — who currently hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
Now Trotz is forced to stew on this for a week as the NHL enters its week-long All-Star break. He isn’t sure if the disappointment will be there for his players, though — which is an indictment of just how big of a letdown they’ve been this season.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll have this [bad] taste in my mouth,” Trotz said. “I can’t speak for the players or anybody else, but I”ll have this taste in my mouth for sure.
“I’m not at liberty to make that judgment, I don’t know how those guys feel. But myself, that’ll ruin a holiday. Put it that way.”
Wednesday night could very well be viewed as the back-breaking moment that destroyed any hope of the Islanders making the playoffs. In need of a major shakeup given the listlessness shown, Trotz might not be as conservative as he usually is when they restart play on Feb. 9 with a four-game road-trip scheduled against the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Buffalo Sabres.
” I’ll let the emotion hopefully go away, I’ll reassess our team,” he said. “We’re going to need more. We’re going on the road, playing good teams, and we have to put in a good effort.”