Dan Rosen Previews NHL Playoffs

The NHL playoffs begin Wednesday, and the Islanders – thanks to Barry Trotz – could make life pretty tough on the Penguins

Taz and the Moose
April 10, 2019 - 10:38 am
Barry Trotz Islanders

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Dan Rosen dropped by CBS Sports Radio to preview the NHL playoffs, which begin Wednesday.

Rosen believes that the Islanders have a good chance of beating the Penguins in their opening-round series.

“I think they can,” Rosen said on Taz & The Moose. “Honestly, I really do. I think the way the Islanders played defense and their goaltending, they make it so hard on teams. They were the best defensive team in the league this season. They dropped their goals against from one year to the next by over 100. It’s an insane number. I think they’re one of six teams in NHL history that’s ever done that – to allow 100 fewer goals from one season to the next – and that’s a lot on Barry Trotz. That’s what he brought to this team: a defensive structure, a defensive mindset, understanding that if you keep the puck out of the net, you’ll have a chance.”

Trotz, of course, led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup title last season. He became head coach of the Islanders (48-27-7) a few weeks later and has led them to their best season since 1984.

Defense has been their calling card.

“Their net was wide open last year, and this year it was pretty well slammed shut,” Rosen said. “They make it hard on you, and they’re going to make it hard on the Penguins. They don’t allow a lot in the middle of the ice, they don’t allow you to enter the zone cleanly, they will tie up sticks and bodies in front of the net, they’ll win puck battles in the corners – they’ll do all of these little grinding things that teams that play good defense have to do to win. 

“The only fear is that if they allow the Penguins (to score) on the power play, that could be the difference in the series because the Penguins can light you up on the power play,” Rosen continued. “The Islanders are not going to necessarily be able to outscore them. If it gets into a high-scoring game, they’re not going to be able to win that game. But if it’s low-scoring, as most Islander games have been this season, then the Islanders have a really good shot in that series. Trotz has been amazing.”

Click below to listen to Rosen’s interview in its entirety.