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Forgive Barry Trotz if he can’t describe exactly how the Islanders were able to kill off a four-minute penalty, at the end of regulation and the start of the first overtime, with their season on the line Tuesday night.

“I’m blanking on it because I almost had a heart attack when we took a four-minute penalty at that time of the game,” Trotz said Wednesday.

“But a lot of it was a lot of commitment.”

Trotz could smile about it a day later, after the Islanders had pulled out a 2-1 win in double overtime of Game 5 against the Lightning. But it was no laughing matter Tuesday night when Anthony Beauvillier went to the box for a high-sticking penalty with 1:23 left in the third period.

The Islanders were able to kill it off, though, allowing just two shots on goal during the four-minute penalty.

“It was just real good reads, the penalty killers being prepared and then huge sacrifice when we needed it,” said Trotz, who credited associate coach Lane Lambert with m aking a slight adjustment on the kill. “We took away a couple of their options. They still got some almost looks that could have been very dangerous. It’s just the preparation that went into it, the commitment that went into it, and you’re going to need a save or two and all that happened.

“You talk about pressure moments, big moments where you could be out of a series, guys rallied around that penalty, around Beau, because Beau is a big part of what we do, and got it done.”

Brayden Point’s status for Game 6 remains up in the air. The dangerous Lightning center missed Games 3 and 5 — both Islanders wins — with an injury, but coach Jon Cooper said his availability would not be determined by the status of the series.

“In this situation … I’m hoping it’s not the last time we’re going to see Pointer, and we might be able to see him as early as [Thursday] night,” Cooper said. “I don’t have the answer for that. We put the player first, and then we just go from there.”

Point has tallied three goals and four assists in three games this series.

Semyon Varlamov turned into a popular GIF on Tuesday night when he belly-flopped into the Islanders’ celebration, but Trotz said the goalie’s show of emotion was not uncharacteristic.

“He’s a guy that loves to have fun,” Trotz said. “He’s a guy that takes his craft very seriously. It’s not out of character, that’s a man showing emotion.”

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One year later, Islanders UBS Arena a gleaming light for the future of the organization

One year later, Islanders’ UBS Arena a gleaming light for the future of the organization

  • By: Rob Taub

A year ago today, a shovel was put in the ground.

It symbolized a new beginning. A long-awaited moment. And overall, a monumental afternoon for the New York Islanders organization.

After years of trying and failed attempts for an arena, the Isles finally broke ground on their future home next to Belmont Park.

“We celebrate this historic day with our loyal fans and thank Governor Cuomo, who has championed the Belmont Park Arena project from the start,” co-owner Jon Ledecky said during the festivities. “The Islanders also thank the elected officials and our community for their support in helping reach this franchise milestone.”

A historic occasion indeed, now exactly one year later, UBS Arena — for which the Islanders’ new home was named back in July — has become the shining light for the future of the franchise.

The building, which is slated to be ready for the beginning of the 2021-22 season, is nearly halfway done, with work expected to begin on the inside at the start of the new year, that according Ledecky and Oak View CEO Tim Leiweke. But it isn’t just the rapid construction pace of the building that has brought a new found hope for the organization.

NHL Free Agency doesn’t commence until October 9th, and with their new home on the horizon, Ledecky said yesterday on a Zoom chat with fans that the Islanders are now a “top-center discussion when it comes to free agents” along with the excellent practice facility just a short drive down the road in East Meadow, Northwell Ice Center. That’s a huge change from where the franchise was not even two or three years ago.

The building though is the real selling point.

UBS Arena will be the newest building in the league and already has become the attraction to which g.m. Lou Lamoriello can point out to big-time names who might consider playing on Long Island.

“The players walk into the bowl, walk around and go, ‘My God, this place is beautiful,’” was how Leiweke sees what the future may hold. “I see it happening with the Rams and Chargers in Los Angeles. I see it happening with Raiders in Las Vegas. I think that’s gonna happen to the Islanders. So, Lou [Lamoriello] has a better time keeping players and recruiting players. Barry [Trotz] has a better time creating that culture and that brand and that style that he wants to play. It feeds off one another.”

For the franchise, their new digs also plays into the success the team has now established on the ice recently. The Isles are coming off their first Conference Finals appearance in 27 years and two consecutive playoff seasons to boot. That UBS Arena will house a “win-now” team with the current GM of the year (Lamoriello) and arguably the best coach in the NHL (Trotz) at the helm, has only made the build-up to the opening much more exciting.

Even just a month ago, the team announced the demand for season tickets has already exceeded expectations, with just 20% remaining.

And then there’s the fan base.

You couldn’t find one supporter of this team that doesn’t have a glimmer in their eye every time the word Belmont is uttered. The fans have embraced that enthusiasm and continue to marvel at the fact that they will soon be able to have the home they’ve dreamt about for so long.

“I think that’s the legacy — the Islanders have deserved a home for 30 years,” Ledecky told the media earlier this month. “And the fans really have been patient, and now they’ve got a new home. “We’re trying to set an example and we’re trying to have an organization of excellence. I think [UBS] shared our vision that the Islanders are a community treasure.”

In the time since groundbreaking, UBS Arena has already transformed the Islanders as a franchise. But really it’s only the beginning of what’s coming.

NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman said a year ago, “This will go down as one of the great days in the history of the New York Islanders because this is the day that assures everybody who has anything to do with the Islanders, who cares anything about the Islanders, who’s passionate about the Islanders as Islander fans are, this is the future of this franchise right here on Long Island,” were Commissioner Gary Bettman’s words a year ago.

He was spot on. The future of the franchise on Long Island has never been in better shape.

And it’s UBS Arena which has become the gleaming light.











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