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Islanders' Barry Trotz is Jack Adams Award finalist as NHL's top coach

The Lightning's Jon Cooper and the Blues' Craig Berube are the other finalists.

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz laughs with his

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz laughs with his players during practice at Northwell Health Ice Center on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.  Credit: James Escher

Cal Clutterbuck couldn’t imagine the Islanders’ Barry Trotz not being a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach.

The league announced on Friday that Trotz, the Lightning’s Jon Cooper and the Blues’ Craig Berube were the top vote-getters in balloting by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. The winner will be revealed at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 19.

“I don’t think there’s any argument against it,” Clutterbuck said before the Islanders’ 1-0 overtime loss to the Hurricanes in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Friday night at Barclays Center.

“Without the Stanley Cup validation, people always argue against it. Having been in this room and spending a year with him, I think, without a doubt, he deserves to be in the conversation. Probably, in most guys’ opinion, he deserves to win it. He’s really good at what he does.”

Trotz, then with the Capitals, won the Adams in 2016. He led that franchise to its first Cup last season before joining the Islanders.

Al Arbour, in 1979, is the lone Islanders coach to earn the Adams.

Trotz declined to comment on the subject.

“No, no, no, no,” he said. “Privately you can ask me that, maybe. I don’t like talking about myself. Let’s talk about Washington-Carolina, that series. Or we can talk about this series.”  

Mini road trip

The Islanders treated Friday night’s Game 1 — just as they will Sunday afternoon’s Game 2 at Barclays Center — like a mini road trip, staying at a nearby hotel. The team also is scheduled to practice in Brooklyn on Saturday.

The team’s morning skate was at the arena on Friday. For regular-season home games at Barclays Center, the Islanders held their morning skates at their practice facility in East Meadow before the players and coaching staff commuted to Brooklyn.

“There’s less distractions and you never know what can happen with the train or traffic,” left wing Anthony Beauvillier said. “It’s good. Everyone’s together and it feels like we’re on the road. It’s always fun to be on the road.”  

Isles files

Jordan Eberle had his goal streak snapped at four games, falling one game short of tying the franchise playoff record . . . Trotz sounded as if he might consider a lineup change for Game 2. “Maybe some movement in a line or something,” he said. “I don’t think we have to change a whole lot.” . . . Trotz said Johnny Boychuk (lower body) is “making great progress” but was not overly optimistic that the defenseman will be available this series.

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