BOSTON – The Patriots’ Super Bowl victory parade crawled past the Islanders’ downtown hotel on Tuesday and, for coach Barry Trotz, it rekindled some warm memories of the Capitals' Stanley Cup parade in Washington just before his joining the Islanders.
And, just perhaps, it further whet the appetite for the Islanders’ players to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
“If you’ve been a part of it, it brings some good memories, to see how a city can rally around a sports team,” Trotz said. “The players want to feel that, too. If you see all that stuff, if it helps you in your mindset of achieving some of those goals, that’s a good thing.
“We saw the masses heading to the park and having fun and the signs and the banners, all the ticker tape,” Trotz added.
About 20 Patriots players, led by Super Bowl MVP Justin Edelman and all wearing Bruins jerseys, and owner Robert Kraft were honored on the ice at TD Garden before the Islanders' 3-1 loss on Tuesday night. Edelman spiked the puck used for the ceremonial faceoff.
Tuesday’s parade did impact the Islanders slightly, as they wound up calling off their planned morning skate at the arena. Instead, they conducted their pre-game meetings at the hotel.
“The bus company said it was going to have a tough time getting us in,” said Trotz, who rooted for the Patriots because, as a coach, he’s impressed with how they’ve maintained their level of excellence.
The Islanders received a four-minute, five-on-four power-play at 11:41 of the third period when Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was simultaneously called for tripping Jordan Eberle and slashing Anthony Beauvillier’s stick.
Except the Islanders thought they should have received a two-minute, five-on-three man advantage because they argued it was defenseman Charlie McAvoy of Long Beach who slashed Beauvillier’s stick. Video replays strongly supported the Islanders’ assertion.
“We thought there was two different players but the referee said it was one player and I’m not so sure of it,” Trotz said. “They said they were absolutely certain it was the same guy.”
This two-game swing to Boston and Thursday to New Jersey marks the Islanders’ annual dads' and mentors’ trip. Such outings are common across the NHL, with some teams also having trips for mothers and siblings, and Trotz has been around them since his first season in the league coaching the expansion Predators in 1998-99.
“It’s a great format,” Trotz said. “When I was in Nashville, we were probably the first to do it on the level of a full-blown dads’ trip, in ’98. Credit to [GM] David Poile and the Nashville organization. It’s become a tradition throughout the NHL. It brings you back to your growing up.”
Defenseman Luca Sbisa and forwards Ross Johnston and Tom Kuhnhackl remained the healthy scratches…Tuesday started a stretch of seven of 10 games on the road for the Islanders.