Islanders coach Barry Trotz looks on during practice before the second...

Islanders coach Barry Trotz looks on during practice before the second round of the NHL playoffs on Thursday, April 25, 2019. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Barry Trotz was prepared to answer plenty of questions about the Capitals if his former team was the Islanders’ second-round playoff opponent a year after he coached them to the Stanley Cup.

Instead, the Hurricanes ousted the defending champions with a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 7 in Washington on Wednesday night and will be the Islanders’ opponent for Game 1 on Friday night at Barclays Center.

The Capitals’ loss kept Trotz from being prescient when he told his former team on Nov. 26 in the visitors’ dressing room at Barclays Center they could repeat as Cup champions but would have to come through the Island to do it.

“I was ready for it,” Trotz said after Thursday’s practice in East Meadow. “At the same time, it’s a good thing not to have to keep answering the same question, which I was only going to answer once anyway and then be done.”

Trotz has insisted he did not have a rooting interest in the Capitals-Hurricanes’ series. Still, he acknowledged he was “sad” for his former team after they were eliminated.

“I thought about the good stuff,” Trotz said of watching Game 7. “I didn’t think abut the bad stuff. I had a special bond with that group. That’s undeniable. I’ll always have a special bond. I was sad for the players and the group of people I worked with because they are friends and we are attached forever. At the same time, I’m just looking forward to playing anybody and it happens to be Carolina.”

Back to back

The Nets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs on Tuesday but a basketball conflict is part of the reason Games 6 and 7, if necessary, of the Islanders-Hurricanes’ series will be played on back-to-back days.

Game 6 is scheduled for May 7 in North Carolina and Game 7 will be May 8 at Barclays Center. The Liberty are facing the Chinese national women’s basketball team in an exhibition game at Barclays Center on May 9 and the arena is hosting an Ashanti concert on May 10.

Jack Adams finalists

Trotz is expected to be among the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach as voted upon by the league’s Broadcasters’ Association when they are announced on Friday.

Trotz, then with the Capitals, won the award in 2016.

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

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