Thursday, October 04, 2018
The Skinny on the New Coach
In addition to being the season opener, tonight's game marks the first game behind the Isles' bench for head coach Barry Trotz.
With tonight's game, every coach in Nashville Predators history has also coached for the Isles (Trotz and Peter Laviolette).
Speaking of Laviolette, he was the last Islander coach to be a winner on Opening Night in his first game as Isles coach (3-2 in Tampa Bay on 10/5/2001).
Since then, three other men have taken the Isles' reigns on Opening Night: Steve Stirling (2003), Ted Nolan (2006) and Scott Gordon (2008). All three were beaten in their Isles debut but both Stirling and Nolan led the Isles to a playoff berth in their first season.
Not counting Al Arbour's "1,500" game, new Isles coaches are 7-10-2 in the first game of their stints (Arbour lost both of his others).
This is the 11th time the Isles will start a season with a new coach. The only coach besides Laviolette to win his debut in a Season Opener was Lorne Henning- a 2-1 win over Florida on January 21, 1995.
Lou Lamoriello will try to do something tonight that Bill Torrey, Don Maloney, Mike Milbury and Garth Snow were unable to do - win their first game as an Isles GM. Maloney's first game, in October 1992, was against Lamoriello's Devils.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick