The New York Islanders have made their name as one of the stingiest clubs in the league under head coach Barry Trotz. But on Tuesday night, Peter Laviolette’s Nashville Predators threw that reputation to the curb, piling up eight goals on the Isles on just 24 shots.
There was plenty about the tilt to be miffed about, from New York’s perspective — Trotz’s squad built up a 3-1 lead only to get buried by seven straight goals scored by seven different players. A burn-the-tape kind of night, if there ever was one.
But for the Isles’ coach, it was the decision-making from his counterpart on the other bench that was among the most irksome moments, particularly as the blowout win wound down.
With two Islanders in the box for questionable displays of physicality as the game reached its final five minutes — the score already 8-3 — the Predators sent out their top power-play unit of Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, pushing for a ninth tally.
Days after the lopsided loss, Trotz remained unamused by Laviolette’s decision.
“I’ll see Peter maybe in the summer and we’ll discuss that a little bit. I wasn’t a big fan of that,” Trotz said Thursday, according to Newsday’s Andrew Gross. “It’s 8-3 and you’re putting your guys blasting pucks and you’re putting guys at risk. That’s fine. Everybody has their own way of doing it. I probably wouldn’t have done it that way.
“It tells me a lot about him.”
New York sits second in the Metropolitan with a 22-8-2 record following the loss to Nashville, while the Predators are fighting to stay in the wild-card race out West.
The two clubs and their veteran coaches won’t have to wait long for a rematch — they’ll meet Feb. 13 at Bridgestone Arena.