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NHL notebook

Islanders fire coach Barry Trotz after team misses playoffs

The Islanders went 152-102-34 in the regular season and 28-21 in the playoffs under coach Barry Trotz.Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Barry Trotz was fired as coach of the Islanders Monday, with general manager Lou Lamoriello saying he felt the team needed a new voice.

Trotz lost his job after four seasons with the Islanders and the first without a playoff appearance. The 59-year-old who ranks among the most successful coaches in NHL history and won the Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018 guided the Islanders to the Eastern Conference final each of the previous two years before losing to eventual champion Tampa Bay.

Lamoriello declined to explain why he thought “a new voice” was necessary.

“I’d rather not get into any of the reasons because that’s my job upon the information that I have and I experienced to make these type of decisions,” the 79-year-old longtime hockey executive said on a conference call. “Those are not questions that I will answer as far as what I thought. It’s obviously that I thought quite a bit to make this type of a decision.”

A series of events outside Trotz’s control contributed to the Islanders missing the playoffs this year. While their new arena was being finished, they opened the season on a 13-game road trip and were hit with a string of coronavirus-related absences and injuries that derailed their season.

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Lamoriello said the choice to move on from Trotz was not made primarily about what happened this past season. He said, “This is certainly a business decision as far as hockey and winning.”

Trotz had one year remaining on his contract, which would have put him in the same situation he was in with the Capitals. They decided in the summer of 2018 not to rework Trotz’s contract despite the championship and granted him his release.

Quick saves Kings

Jonathan Quick made 31 saves with and without his glove during a masterful performance, Carl Grundstrom scored two third-period goals and the Kings rebounded to even their first-round series with a 4-0 victory over the Oilers in Game 4 at Los Angeles Sunday night.

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After Trevor Moore and Troy Stecher scored in the first period, Quick earned his 10th career playoff shutout while the Kings firmly shut down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Los Angeles earned its first playoff victory on home ice since the club raised the Cup for the second time in 2014.

Jonathan Quick was perfect in his Game 4 shutout of the Oilers.Ronald Martinez/Getty

“We played the game that got us here,” Quick said after his 48th career playoff victory. “We got pucks deep, forechecked, blocked shots, pucks to the net, rebounds. We played the way we’ve been successful.”

Mike Smith stopped 42 shots for the Oilers, but McDavid, Draisaitl and Evander Kane all struggled for consistent scoring chances after two games of dominance — and much of the credit should be directed to Quick, who got chased during Edmonton’s eight-goal avalanche in Game 3.

He returned to play flawlessly behind a patchwork LA blue line missing stalwarts Drew Doughty and Sean Walker because of injuries.