Connect with us

Sports

It isn’t Barry Trotz, it’s Lou Lamoriello

Published

on

Barry Trotz away yet again.
Image: Getty Images

There’s no question that Barry Trotz has a shelf life with any team he coaches. His high-intensity defensive style is never going to be something players are going to want to do year-after-year, especially now when more and more teams are crashing in goals left and right. He was in Nashville forever, but definitely overstayed his welcome. He even won a Cup in D.C., and then was allowed to walk out the second the parade was over. And now he’s out as the New York Islanders coach.

In his last two exits, his contract demands got in the way as well. But when you specialize in maxing the talent on hand and even surpassing what that talent should do, you’re more than entitled to think you should be compensated heavily.

And the funny thing about this season is that it’s actually not all that bad, depending on how you look at it. The Islanders had one less regulation win than the Capitals. They had the same amount of regulation wins as Vegas, and three more than Dallas. And they got those even though their first 13 games were on the road thanks to their arena not being ready. On top of that, the roster was completely torn apart in the winter by COVID. Two players played 80 games or more, and one of them was Zach Parise, so that doesn’t count.

Missing the playoffs by 16 points looks bad, and it is in a lot of ways, but some of that is due to only getting one overtime win, another two wins in the shootout, and losing seven other games after 60 minutes. They didn’t get enough games to overtime to pick up an extra point here and there, but they won enough games in 60 minutes to compete for a playoff spot. Results in OT or in a shootout have nothing to do with structure or coaching. It’s just luck. Split those OT results, get a handful of more games to OT, and the Isles would have been around 94 points or so. Which is usually enough to compete for a playoff spot.

No, the Islanders didn’t score much, 22nd in the league in goals per game. That’s kind of Trotz’s thing. Their metrics weren’t good either, bottom-10 in attempts and expected goals per 60 minutes. But look at this roster. How was it ever going to score enough in a league where the emphasis is becoming more and more on scoring than preventing? No one on this team cracked more than 60 points. Some of that is a backup from Mathew Barzal in his career arc. But Barzal is the only top-line player on this team.

No, the fault lies in the front office, where Emperor Palpatine cosplayer Lou Lamoriello lives. The Islanders have either refused to bring in more talent, or let the talent they have on hand simply walk. Devon Toews, who has produced 57 points from the blue line for the Avs this year, was thrown overboard for cap reasons. Jordan Eberle was parachuted to Seattle. And Lou has failed to replace either.

Look who does get long-term contracts from Lamoriello, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas, Ross Johnston. These are all fourth-liners, and while some might have some use like Cizikas, you’re also supposed to be able to find these types of players in the back of your closet anytime you want. And they certainly aren’t worth prioritizing over top six players.

The “scorers” that Lou wanted to keep around fall into the category of “former Devils.” You don’t want former New Jersey Devils when your problem is offense, skill, and flair. You don’t shop at Walmart for Trader Joe’s stuff. Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are fine. They’re basically standard middle-six wingers. But again, they’re not the types of players you worry about when Barzal has no one to pass to. Parise has smelled funny and had weird chunks for years, which is why the Minnesota Wild were only too happy to pay his buyout to get him out of town.

Lou hasn’t produced anything through the draft either. He’s had four whacks at it, and the only two players to appear for the Isles are Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson, and only Dobson is a thing that would be considered anything above something you’d find in an alley with a handmade sign saying, “All yours.”

Sure, maybe it could be argued that Trotz was something of an impediment to Anthony Beauvillier making a leap. Brock Nelson and Anders Lee are what they are at this point, which are solid second-line players. But Trotz was either not given or stripped of any puck-mover on the blue line. Toews was that guy, and he’s currently having ya-ha time in Denver, while Lou used that money that should have gone to Toews to secure his plugs and ogres. The Isles can’t transition the puck up the ice quickly, if Trotz ever wanted to. Lamoriello’s best skill is bitching about having to pay any player more than a couple bowls of gruel.

Lamoriello still thinks this is a league where if you amass enough grunts and just drill them properly and get them to play a very focused, boring style, they can win. And some playoff results might have skewed his view, as the Isles went to back-to-back conference finals. But the league is moving away from that. Look at the top of the standings, and you’ll see teams laden with weapons. The Isles keep showing up to knifey-spoony with the latter half of that matchup.

Whether Trotz can thrive in this league is more debatable than most think. What Trotz does is get superb goaltending thanks to his goalie coach MItch Korn. That alone can raise a team’s fortunes if they’re a limited bunch. There are those teams out there. But again, this is a league that is becoming more scoring-focused. That wave may break and roll back, but if it doesn’t, there’s a definite ceiling to what Trotz can do with his glorified trapping system. And there’s a short window before players want something more entertaining.

But Trotz definitely did all he could on the Island. And the Islanders are still being steered by a guy trying to win the 2007 Stanley Cup.

This Article was first live here.

Sports

“I did well but this is a team sport” – Manchester United superstar makes honest admission on his team’s underwhelming 2021-22 campaign

Published

on

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has expressed his thoughts on the Red Devils’ underwhelming 2021-22 season.

The Old Trafford outfit brought an end to their 2021-22 campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday. Ralf Rangnick’s side failed to find a breakthrough, while Wilfried Zaha scored the winner for the hosts.

The loss, however, did not prove to be costly for Manchester United as Brighton & Hove Albion beat West Ham United 3-1 at home. The Hammers’ defeat at the Amex Stadium saw the Red Devils remain sixth in the points table.

Manchester United have thus secured UEFA Europa League football for next season. Nevertheless, it has been an underwhelming season for the English giants, who failed to impress in any of the competitions they took part in.

Reflecting on the campaign, De Gea explained that he worked hard to help the Red Devils. However, the Spain international is aware that football is a team sport and his individual performances do not matter. He told MUTV:

“I’ve been working hard, to be honest, in the summer, to get here and show my level and help the team. I think I did well but this is a team sport, so it doesn’t matter what I did.”

De Gea: “The best thing that happened today is the season has finished.” [@ShamoonHafez]

De Gea will be hopeful that Erik ten Hag’s arrival will mark the beginning of a new era for the Old Trafford outfit. The Dutch tactician will replace Rangnick ahead of the 2022-23 season.


David de Gea was a bright spot for Manchester United in 2021-22

The Red Devils will be hopeful of returning to their best under Erik ten Hag next season. Meanwhile, David de Gea’s performances are one of the few positives they can take from the 2021-22 campaign.

De Gea made 46 appearances across all competitions for Manchester United. The goalkeeper kept 10 clean sheets during the process and played a key role in the club finishing sixth in the table.

De Gea: “The best thing that happened today is the season has finished.” [@ShamoonHafez]

Having impressed in goal for the Red Devils this term, De Gea is expected to remain their first-choice goalkeeper next season. Ten Hag is likely to make major changes to the squad, but the Spaniard’s place in the team will probably remain in tact.

Backup goalkeeper Dean Henderson, though, could be on his way out of Old Trafford this season as he seeks regular action. Newcastle United are said to be on the verge of completing the 25-year-old’s signing.


Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading

Sports

Rangers cut series deficit in half with Game 3 win over Hurricanes

Published

on

The New York Rangers are back in their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Carolina Hurricanes by virtue of a 3-1 home victory on Sunday. The Rangers now trail in the best-of-seven set 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Center Mika Zibanejad paced the offense in the win with two points on one goal and one assist. He opened the game’s scoring by lighting the lamp in the first period on a power play goal and helped stretch the lead to 2-0 in the second frame with an assist to Chris Kreider.

After Nico Niederreiter scored midway through the second period to make it 2-1, it remained a one-score contest until Tyler Motte put in an empty-netter with less than two minutes remaining in the third.

Igor Shesterkin was a brick wall in net for New York, tallying 43 saves.

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading

Sports

Premier League title decided in five minutes of chaos

Published

on

Manchester City had been here before, losing at home and risking throwing away the title.

Would the leaders choke like never before in the Premier League?

The prospect of a first-ever changing of the lead on the final day was growing with Villa leading 2-0 at the stunned Etihad Stadium as challenger Liverpool chased a win over Wolverhampton.

READ MORE: Aussie Olympic champion seizes epic world record

THE MOLE: Why Cowboys gun won’t win prestigious award

READ MORE: Red Bull tensions explode over ‘unfair’ call

Just like when a comeback was conjured up in 2012 to win its first Premier League title with two stoppage-time goals, City produced another rousing recovery.

This time it took three goals — all scored in five minutes from the 76th minute — to turn it around against Villa to win 3-2 and successfully defend the title by a single point.

Even when City was losing, Liverpool was still in second place because it was only drawing 1-1 with Wolves at Anfield.

Watch football’s biggest superstars in the UEFA Champions League final, streaming ad free, live and on demand only on Stan Sport. Start your seven day free trial here!

But the importance of llkay Gündoğan’s second goal in the 81st minute was magnified moments later when Mohamed Salah sent Liverpool in front against Wolves before Andy Robertson sealed a 3-1 win for Liverpool.

“We came back from the dead today and won the game,” captain Fernandinho said after his final game for City. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

Relief, followed by pure bliss.

No wonder thousands of City fans flooded onto the field at the final whistle, defying new orders against pitch invasions. Soon the stadium was cloaked in blue smoke.

Once the field was cleared, the Premier League trophy could be handed to City for the sixth time in 11 seasons. That looked unlikely when Matty Cash headed Villa in front in the 37th minute and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho extended the lead in the 69th.

It took İlkay Gündoğan’s header to begin the comeback in the 76th and Rodri equalised two minutes later by striking from the edge of the penalty area, placing the ball through a tight gap into the bottom corner. When Gündoğan tapped in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross in the 81st, the comeback was complete.

“Sometimes it’s nice to live these kind of situations,” Pep Guardiola said after winning his fourth Premier League title since taking charge of City in 2016. “We live it for the future. I had a feeling that it will help us to be stronger next season.”

Liverpool — the only team to disrupt City’s run of titles since 2018 with its 2020 success — had to settle for second place. Jürgen Klopp’s FA Cup and League Cup winners are, however, still on for a possible treble with the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday.

“I can imagine it was much worse for the people at home watching on their tellies,” Klopp said. “When Aston Villa is 2-0 up and you think, ‘Wow, it could really be’. I was not really aware of it.”

Liverpool was being held 1-1 when City was trailing and only went in front after the eventual champions took the lead in the final 10 minutes of the season.

The great rivals could only be separated by a single point in the final standings.

“The season was so close, so tight,” Klopp said. “What I learned in life is, if you keep going, you get the reward. Not today but we will get it. It’s up to us to keep going.”

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RETURN

Tottenham will be back in the Champions League next season after a two-season absence thanks to a 5-0 rout of last-place Norwich clinching fourth place.

Son Heung-min netted twice to finish the season as joint-top league scorer with Salah on 23 goals. There was also a double from Dejan Kulusevski, who has helped to engineer the north London club’s upturn since joining in January on an 18-month loan from Juventus. Harry Kane, who was denied a move to Manchester City ahead of this season, headed in his 17th and final goal of the league campaign.

Tottenham heads into the offseason trying to keep coach Antonio Conte, the architect of the resurgence since being hired in November.

EUROPA LEAGUE SPOTS

There will be no return to European football’s top-tier competition for Arsenal after five seasons away after a collapse that was corrected on the final day by beating Everton 5-1 to finish fifth.

Manchester United will join Arsenal in the Europa League under new manager Erik ten Hag despite losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace. West Ham wasted the chance to dislodge United from sixth place after losing 3-1 at Brighton so this season’s Europa League semifinalists will drop into the Europa Conference League.

RELEGATED

Dropping out of the Premier League after six seasons is Burnley after a 2-1 loss to Newcastle. Leeds capped its recovery under American coach Jesse Marsch by beating Brentford 2-1 to avoid relegation.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

This Article was first live here.

Continue Reading

Trending