Barry Trotz certainly knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup, having coached the Capitals to their long-awaited first NHL title in 2018.
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello also knows a thing or three about hoisting the Cup, and the Hall of Fame executive’s wealth of experience and history of success — three championships and five Finals appearances with the Devils — makes him an invaluable sounding board as the Islanders face a seventh game Saturday night after leading 3-1 in their second-round playoff series against the Flyers.
“Lou’s always there for a resource. He’s outstanding there,” Trotz said Friday. “He understands our games and in a lot of our meetings we ask for his input because of his years of knowledge and success in this game. So he’s a resource.
“You as a coach, or as an organization, you want people … like we have people like [former Devils coach] Jacques Lemaire in our organization as a great resource. Lou is a great resource. This game is hard enough that you need some people that have gone through it a little bit, 100 percent.”
Defenseman Andy Greene, who played for Lamoriello with the Devils, added: “He’s always around. I guess he doesn’t address us as a team, but as you’re walking by him and passing him in different areas, it’s just words of encouragement. … It’s just a lot of positive messages.”
Trotz remained noncommittal regarding whether he will stick with goalie Semyon Varlamov or switch to Thomas Greiss for Game 7.
“Both of them are really good options for me. We’re blessed with two really good goaltenders,” he said.
Scott Mayfield’s stick snapped just ahead of the Flyers’ double-OT winner by Ivan Provorov, and the Islanders defenseman got caught between getting off the ice and remaining in the defensive play without a stick as the Flyers gained the offensive zone.
“I think it’s easy to sit there or stand behind the bench or sit behind a computer or watching a TV screen and make a judgment what a player should do in the situation,” Trotz said. “He’d just broke his stick, we’re in double-overtime, he probably played 30 minutes, and he’s looking at his first glance he’s seeing maybe a possible 3-on-1. They have to make that decision right then and there.
“So I think he was hoping in that case that he would have the opportunity to keep them to the outside a little bit more to get our back-pressure into the fold. We actually did that, but they were able to slip the puck through the middle to Provorov. We needed a block there and a big play and maybe it doesn’t go into the back of the net. Scotty had to make that quick decision, but when you’re out there, the game is going a lot quicker than it looks on TV. I wish at some point, we could get a fan behind the bench during a National Hockey League game and see how fast it’s happening for players and their decision-making. It’s astounding.”