Barry Trotz became the fourth coach in NHL history to reach 1,600 regular-season games as the Islanders topped the Coyotes, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. He trails only Scotty Bowman (2,141), Joel Quenneville (1,636) and Islanders Hall of Famer Al Arbour (1,607), whom Trotz will tie in the first game next season.
“I’m just thankful to be in this position and have this many games,” said Trotz, 56, in his 20th NHL season. “We’ll see when I’m done how important that is.”
Trotz cited his first regular-season game, his first playoff game and his last playoff game — his Capitals won the Stanley Cup on June 7, 2018 — as games that stand out to him.
Earlier this month, Trotz became the fourth coach in NHL history with 800 wins after Bowman (1,244), Quenneville (890) and Ken Hitchcock (847).
C Tanner Fritz energized the Coliseum crowd with a 44-second penalty-kill shift in the third period. Fritz muscled the puck up ice along the right boards, then helped keep it in the Coyotes’ zone before leaving for the bench. The crowd responded with a loud “Let’s Go Islanders” chant in appreciation.
“I was just trying to catch my breath,” Fritz said. “It was unbelievable. Great crowd. It was fun to be a part of.”
The Isles were 0-for-1 with one shot on the power play and are 1-for-37 over 16 games. “It doesn’t help that our fans boo us 30 seconds into the power play,” Trotz said. “I mean, c’mon. Our guys are human.” . . . The crowd of 13,917 was the Isles’ 11th sellout in 19 games at the Coliseum. Two home games remain.