Barry Trotz didn’t want to talk about it at first.
The Islanders’ 2-0 victory over the Rangers on Monday night at Madison Square Garden was career win No. 850 for Trotz, breaking a tie with Ken Hitchcock and moving him into third place on the NHL’s all-time list.
Scotty Bowman is the all-time leader with 1,244 wins and Joel Quenneville is No. 2 with 931.
Trotz’s reaction? "We’re on to Pittsburgh," he said.
Pressed on the subject, he finally relented.
"I do feel a little bit out of place because I have the admiration for not only Hitch but some of the people that I’ve passed and some milestones and also some people ahead," Trotz said.
"I look up at those people because I admire what they’ve done for their teams and I really don’t look at myself a whole lot, so that’s why it seems a little bit awkward sometimes."
Semyon Varlamov has two shutouts in his two starts at the Garden this season, becoming the first goalie in Islanders history with two shutouts against the Rangers in one season.
It’s a huge turnaround from how Varlamov fared against the Rangers last season, his first with the Islanders. He
lost all three of his starts, two of them in regulation, and gave up 13 goals on 91 shots.
"I was the total opposite last year," he said. "I’m very happy with the result and the last two games we played here."
Goalie Cory Schneider dressed as Varlamov’s backup, making Ilya Sorokin a healthy scratch . . . The Islanders are supposed to play in Buffalo on Monday and Tuesday, but the Sabres, with nine of their players on the NHL’s COVID protocol list, had two more games postponed Thursday and Saturday against the Capitals . . . The Islanders will play the Penguins on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.