Tonight is not about Barry Trotz at all. It’s about John Tavares, his decision to come to the Maple Leafs, and a New York Islanders team who would like nothing more than to beat him in the barn he played most of his NHL home games in before coming to Toronto.
But you know what? We’re going to talk down about Barry Trotz for no reason other than that we want to.
If your comeback is “well he’s good in the room” or “just win baby”, my counter is that a coach’s job should be to create the best process possible, while the players’ job is to deliver the results. Statistically, Barry Trotz’ process has been abysmal this year, and yet he’s likely going to get rewarded for it because of the players saving his bacon.
Here are three quick reasons why much of the praise on Trotz is absolutely unwarranted.
Some big numbers: In Corsi For percentage at 5v5 (shot attempts), Trotz and his Islanders 27th in the league at 47.45%. Twenty six teams are better at controlling the rate of play than the Islanders. As terms of actually shooting the puck? They’re doing that 51.9 /60 minute which ranks them (30th) in the league. 30th! Barry “the genius” Trotz has a team that shoots the puck less than everyone except the Anaheim Ducks, who were coached by one of the league’s worst coaches in Randy Carlyle, and then a dude who’s literally never coached. In terms of attempts against, they’re allowing 57.47/60, which is 18th in the league. Slightly below average. None of that is good!
He’s not a goalie whisperer
The Islanders have the best save percentage in the league: 93.86 at 5v5.
Overall, Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss putting up a .930 and .928 save percentage.
Lehner is a career .917%, while Greiss is a career .914%. You really going to say that Trotz is pushing them to be significantly better than they usually are? C’mon. They’re saving his bacon.
No offense, but no offence
123 5v5 goals ranks 17th in the league. By definition, below average. Overall? 23rd in the league with just 179 goals. 14th in the Eastern Conference in goals! 14th! Better than only the Detroit Red Wings! And this is Trotz’ genius coaching scheme? C’mon, man.
“Just win baby” might work, but you can thank the Islanders goaltenders. Barry Trotz has a mediocre roster that is doing a mediocre job getting saved (pardon the pun) by his goalies most nights.
The numbers should speak for themselves and frankly I’m too tired to write any lengthy conclusion.
If you think this is some Leafs homer voodoo: Mike Babcock doesn’t deserve the Jack Adams, but neither does Barry Trotz.
Usually good coaches, Stanley Cup winners, this isn’t the year(s) or the roster(s) that either should win it with. Sorry, Barry. Your great work here is a mirage.