Being back at Nassau Coliseum brought back memories of the 2015 NHL playoffs to Islanders coach Barry Trotz and defenseman Ryan Pulock, who were on opposite sides of the Capitals’ seven-game, first-round victory that marked the end of the Islanders’ first tenure at the venerable barn.
“It was the most physical series that I’d been involved in as a coach,” said Trotz, in his first season behind the Islanders’ bench after four seasons in Washington.
The Islanders, who won Game 1, 4-1, in Washington, forced a seventh game with a 3-1 win in Game 6 at the Coliseum.
“I know the fans had a big effect on that,” Trotz said. “The fans stood the second half of the game.”
“I was sitting in a suite and the building was shaking,” added Pulock, then in his first full season in the organization and yet to make his NHL debut. “It was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Goalie Robin Lehner served as Thomas Greiss’ backup after making 35 saves in Thursday night’s 2-1 shootout loss at Boston and has gotten back-to-back starts just once — Nov. 8-10 — since returning from a one-game absence for back spasms.
“I liked Robin’s game, that’s a good sign,” Trotz said. “The first thing you look for in a goaltender is that they start getting some rhythm and they put a couple of games together and you let them run with it. He’s trending in the right way.”
Trotz said the Islanders will continue to hold their morning skates at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, which is within a mile of the Coliseum. “They’ve done a tremendous job at the Coliseum but what we’ve got (at the practice facility) still is the best,” Trotz said…Forwards Ross Johnston and Stephen Gionta and defenseman Luca Sbisa were the healthy scratches...There was a moment of silence for President George H.W. Bush.