The message from Barry Trotz was loud and clear on Saturday when he announced that Anthony Beauvillier would be scratched for the New York Islanders when they face the New Jersey Devils.
Beauvillier skated was on the ice for the team’s optional skate at Northwell Health Ice Center and had been benched for the first 10 minutes of the second period in New York’s 4-3 loss to Nashville on Thursday. Beauvillier has had no points in his last 13 games for the Islanders.
“Internal competition is good. It’s very easy to get complacent when you’re in,” Trotz said after the team’s morning skate. “You’ve got get to your identity, you’ve got to produce and you have to be productive. If (the players) want to read into it I don’t have any problem with that. That should be something that is read into day in and day out.”
The decision to sit Anthony Beauvillier is one of the strongest messages that Trotz has sent to the more seasoned players in the lineup this year. The 24-year-old caught ire Trotz on Thursday when he skated off the ice as Nashville was charging into the offensive zone and scored.
That was what Trotz called the “final straw” for him when it came to Beauvillier.
Anthony Beauvillier is far from the only Islanders regular that could find themselves in Trotz’s crosshairs. Kyle Palmieri has had just one goal and seven points in 22 games this season and Zach Parise is still looking for his first goal in blue and orange.
Josh Bailey, who has been a polarizing figure among Islanders fans, has one goal in 17 games this season.
Trotz’s decision also comes on the same day that the Isles get Casey Cizikas and Brock Nelson back into the lineup. Both were activated by the club and Trotz confirmed they would play against New Jersey.
How they will be inserted remains a mystery, with Trotz telling reporters that who plays where and for how long would be determined by play.
“We have two centermen coming back that haven’t played for a while,” Trotz said. “There’s going to be an element of rust. They should be excited, but there was going to be an element of rust I would think for a period or two. Hopefully, the adrenaline and the excitement of being back in the lineup will get them through that. I’m going to start at a certain place and where it ends up I will have no idea. It will be based on how they’re playing.”