Barry Trotz already has a pretty tough job, but Andy Greene isn’t making it any easier for him.
The Islanders head coach has a bit of a conundrum facing him as he prepares his team for Game 1 of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Trotz revealed that defenseman Johnny Boychuk is “highly probable” for Game 1 against the Washington Capitals.
It is welcomed news, but forces Trotz to have to decide whether he should put Boychuk back in the lineup or allow Andy Greene to remain in that spot. Greene took over for Boychuk after he was injured by a high hit in the first game of the Qualifying Round.
The veteran defenseman fit in well for Boychuk, slotting in with Nick Leddy through the rest of the series.
“I thought Andy was great,” Leddy said about Greene. “I think me and him gelled pretty well together. I think there were times where you got into some situations. He’s such a smart player, whether it’s off the breakout, making that first play or he was even jumping up in the play. I think we molded well together and I think we did a good job once Johnny went down.”
Greene saw his ice time increase in each game, seeing 16:07 in Game 2 and finishing out the series with 20:34 in Game 4. The 37-year-old had an assist and was a plus-2 in three games for the Islanders.
You’ve got to make the 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 whenever you get the chance. pic.twitter.com/NKxbqu9cg2
— x-New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) August 10, 2020
Greene also added five blocked shots during the series against Florida.
However, as well as Greene has done, the return of Johnny Boychuk could spell the end of his time on the roster for now.
“All the guys you have in your lineup night in and night out, we feel we have really good depth,” Trotz said on Monday. “There’s some really tough decisions. It does make it tougher and the good thing about once start the playoffs everybody just wants to win.
“They’re prepared and if you tap them on the shoulder they’re ready to go.”
Trotz has already made some tough decisions when it comes to the Islanders roster before the team arrived in the bubble in Toronto. That, according to Trotz was tougher than any he has to make now.
“I think it’s probably more getting to the bubble where the decisions I think have been harder,” Trotz said. “Once you got here guys know what is at stake.”
The Islanders face the Capitals in Game 1 on Wednesday day at 3 p.m.
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