The message was difficult to hear, but Anthony Beauvillier said he heard it.
Coach Barry Trotz made Beauvillier a healthy scratch for Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Devils and said before Thursday night’s game against the Bruins at UBS Arena: "There’s another level to him that maybe he doesn’t even see yet. We see it. But he needs to see it.''
Beauvillier snapped a 15-game point drought with his power-play goal in the Islanders’ 3-1 win.
"I think sometimes you need some of these hard lessons on the way to understand it,'' Trotz said before the game. "I’m a Beau fan. He needs to have another level for us, as well as some of our other veterans. I’m not just pointing at him.
"He can be a difference-maker for us. You saw it in the playoffs. He scored one of the biggest goals in recent history for the Islanders. He’s been able to elevate his game."
Beauvillier scored the overtime winner in Game 6 against the Lightning on June 23 in what turned out to be the Islanders’ last-ever game at Nassau Coliseum.
Said Beauvillier, "I’ve been trying to find my game lately, but the last few games have been good. It’s definitely a wake-up call."
Beauvillier has four goals and four assists in 23 games. "It’s hard to hear when you’re being sat down," he said. "I’m trying to see the positive in it now and I’m happy with my last two games and I’m trending forward here."
Trotz said while there’s disappointment that COVID-19 rates again are rising and the NHL and NHL Players’ Association were forced to implement tighter protocol restrictions at team facilities and on the road in hotels through at least Jan. 7, the organization has done everything possible to combat the virus.
All Islanders are vaccinated, but the team had to issue a statement correcting Trotz, who had said the whole team had received a booster shot. "That statement is not true," the Islanders said. "The organization has offered the booster shot to the entire team and will continue to educate and recommend that everyone consider receiving [it]."
Defenseman Robin Salo’s power-play assist was his first career NHL point . . . Cal Clutterbuck had his seventh career two-goal game and first since Jan. 20, 2019 . . . With Mathew Barzal (COVID-19) moved to non-roster status, Austin Czarnik logged 8:28 with one shot after being recalled from AHL Bridgeport. Czarnik had a goal and two assists in the last two games of his initial four-game call-up from Dec. 4-9. Said Trotz, "He’s got an opportunity to come back and show you can continue to do it."