Well, all I gotta say is shame on me, because while there is plenty of season to go, and standings position can still change wildly in the Metro, I really never gave the Islanders a chance to even be IN this thing, much less hold the lead position in their division.
Obviously because Big Bad Johnny T went to the Leafs, which pushed Barzal, a very good player, to a position where I felt he would be exposed as a 1C.
But the Isles this season are NOT about having the most elite players
For 40 minutes last night, instead of Spy vs. Spy it was Trotz vs. Trotz. Once again the Capitals found in their former coach’s new team a near-mirror image of themselves.
Except: what the Islanders lacked in talent (or as Trotz called the Capitals, “more exotic”), they made up in positional discipline and timely goaltending. They did The Trotz way better than the Capitals did The Trotz. It was scoreless through 40 minutes until Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck broke the seal with two goals