Larry Robinson’s final game behind the bench will come Saturday, when the San Jose Sharks play the L.A. Kings in a battle between two California rivals that won’t qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
With plenty of questions surrounding the current coaching staff in San Jose, Robinson, an associate coach on that staff who will move into a player development/consultant role while living in Florida next season, offered his take on the job Todd McLellan has done and what went wrong this season.
“He’s a great man. Todd’s a great man, he does a great job. I’ve never seen a coaching staff work harder, and put in more hours and prepare a team as well as this group does,” Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News.
“But sometimes it’s just not the hard work, it also comes down to your personnel. It’s just a case of, we’re a good team but, can we compete with the Anaheims and the Chicago Blackhawks? We’ve proven that that we can on any given night. But can we do it over a long series? I don’t know.
“We’ve had problems scoring at times, we’ve had bigger problems defending at times. So obviously, when you don’t make the playoffs, it means you’re not good enough.”
The New York Islanders are down to five defensemen for the remainder of Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Travis Hamonic, 24, left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury and will not return, the Islanders stated via Twitter before the start of the second period.
Hamonic was on the receiving end of a hit along the boards from Rob Scuderi, and slowly made his way back to the bench and off the ice in obvious pain.
In 70 games this season, Hamonic has five goals and 33 points for the Islanders. He also logs big minutes on the blue line, leading the Islanders in ice time at 22:01 per game, according to NHL.com.
Eight seconds after the Pittsburgh Penguins thought they opened the scoring, only to have video review prove inconclusive and confirm a no-goal call on the ice, Casey Cizikas scored for the New York Islanders on a short-handed breakaway.
That gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead over the Penguins before the midway point of the first period in a crucial game for Pittsburgh. That was the score after 20 minutes, despite Pittsburgh coming away with a 17-5 edge in shots. A win in any fashion over New York in Game 81 of the season would secure a playoff spot for the struggling Penguins.
Here’s the explanation for the Pittsburgh no-goal call from the NHL:
At 7:52 of the first period in the New York Islanders/Pittsburgh Penguins game, the referee initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Islanders net. Video review was inconclusive in determining if Patric Hornqvist’s shot completely crossed the Islanders goal line. Therefore the on-ice decision stands – no goal Pittsburgh.