Islanders game-day updates: Morning skate audio and Trotz on the Wings and Isles COVID woes

The Red Wings face the New York Islanders tonight, and news broke during the Islanders’ morning skate that Mathew Barzal will miss the game due to COVID protocols.

The Islanders posted audio clips of coach Barry Trotz and forward Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Scott Mayfield…

🎥 Clutterbuck & Mayfield Pregame Availability 🎥— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 14, 2021

🎥 Trotz Pregame Availability 🎥— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 14, 2021

And coach Trotz said this about the Red Wings-Islanders match-up to NYI Hockey Now’s Christian Anderson

Tuesday’s news hasn’t changed much of the Islanders’ approach to their meeting at Little Ceasers Arean with the Detroit Red Wings.

“Mat’s been really good on the power play for us. Our power play has been getting some traction and rhythm,” Trotz said. “We’ll miss him there, but a good option in a guy like (Brock Nelson) and (Anthony Beauvillier) maybe Possibly going in there. They’re good options, but Barzy has done a real good job. In terms of gameplan, it doesn’t change a whole lot. Detroit plays a certain way. The only thing that’s really different from them is Tyler Bertuzzi is in tonight versus he wasn’t in against us last time. … Other than that it won’t change the gameplan. We’re still going to have to play the way we play just with the guys that are available.”

While’s Cory Wright noted how COVID has decimated the Islanders’ roster:

Barzal leads the Islanders with 17 points (5G, 12A) and is currently riding a six-game point streak (1G, 8A). The center has been remarkably durable during his NHL career, only missing one game since the start of the 2017-18 regular season, as the Islanders were resting players ahead of the last year’s playoffs. 

Trotz said the Islanders will miss Barzal’s presence on the power play, but will have to find a way to win without the center. 

“Mat’s been really good on the power play for us and our power play is getting a little bit of traction and rhythm. We’ll miss him there,” Trotz said. “In terms of game plan, it doesn’t change a whole lot… we’re still going to have to play the way we play, just with the guys who are available.”

Barzal is the ninth Islander to enter protocol this season after Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows, Zdeno Chara, Casey Cizikas, Andy Greene, Ross Johnston, Anders Lee and Adam Pelech.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.