New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz is back behind the bench for game action tonight after a personal leave of absence from the team for the death of his mother and clearing COVID protocol, reports Newsday’s Andrew Gross.
The team placed Trotz in COVID protocol on January 11, not getting a chance to coach the team after returning from his leave of absence. The last Islanders game Trotz coached was against Buffalo on December 30th, taking his leave of absence the next day.
However, due to a rash of postponements, Trotz has been absent only for the last three of the team’s games. Assistant coach Lane Lambert took over head coaching duties in the process.
With Trotz back at the helm, the Islanders continue a long road back toward a potential playoff spot. By standings points, the team is third-last in the Eastern Conference and 18 points behind Boston for the last wild card spot. However, they have as many as 10 games in hand on some teams, ample room to make up some difference. The eighth-place points percentage in the conference is Washington’s .654, though, and New York’s .467 mark still lags far behind.