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Barry Trotz, Islanders use emotional night to surge into first place in Metro

Are the Islanders for real?  That’s the question that’s been asked over and over again, ad nauseam.  The Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals on Friday night 2-0, after two third period goals from Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck.  The Islanders are now 7-0-0 on the second game of a back-to-back and are 14-3 over their last 17 overall.  They are also in sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan division.

It was an emotional night for all involved, as Barry Trotz, Lane Lambert, and Mitch Korn all were honored with a tribute video.  The three coaches most recently won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals last season, and this was their first trip back to Washington since;

Trotz finally got that first Stanley Cup that eluded him for his first 19 years as Head Coach.  Whether it be in Nashville or Washington, his teams were never able to get over that hump.  Getting over the hump and finally winning the Stanley Cup was a special achievement for the veteran coach, and one can only imagine the kind of emotions he was feeling on Friday night.

He’s now with the Islanders, and is building something similar to what he built in Nashville and Washington.  He has used a “us against the world” approach to this young group of players, and the results have been fantastic.  Just take a look at the game on Friday night.

The Islanders used that motivation and fire to get a win for their coach.  Their last few games have been brilliant, as they’ve stifled each opponent.  Against Washington, they allowed only 19 shots, and Thomas Greiss was perfect on all 19 of them.

It’s a long road ahead for the Islanders as there are still 35 games left in the season.  However, a game like Friday reminds the rest of the NHL that the Islanders aren’t going anywhere.  After some impressive wins over Tampa Bay and Toronto over the past few weeks, this win is just another example of how good this Islanders team can be.

The Islanders play their next game at home against the Anaheim Ducks.  The puck drops at 3 PM on Sunday at Nassau Coliseum.  The stands will be packed as this is the first time the Islanders have been in first place this late in the season since March of 2015.  They may not be perfect, but this Islanders team has most certainly shocked the world.

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