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Training Camp Day 1: ‘Starting Point’, Initial Line Combos, D Pairings & More

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New York Islanders

The New York Islanders kicked off training camp on Thursday morning, a three-group system, at Northwell Ice Center in East Meadow, NY.

Before the start of training camp, we were given a few updates.

2022 fourth-round pick Isaiah George, along with Colin Adams and Otto Koivula are not ready for the start of camp.

Defenseman Bode Wilde, who was loaned out last season due to his vaccination status, will not be participating at camp and it is to be determined on where he will continue his development.

It was the first training camp for the New York Islanders with Lane Lambert at the helm, who was hired back in late May following the firing of future Hall of Fame head coach Barry Trotz.

“I think it was both what we expected. Certainly, it was difficult, and it was supposed to be difficult,” Lambert said. “They’ve done a great job of preparing themselves, you know, through the summer, every player here, but it’s, you know, it’s a different animal when you get out there competing against each other [on the] first-day training camp.”

I asked Lambert what it was like to run his first training camp, given that this is his first season as an NHL head coach.

“It was good. It was about what I expected,” Lambert said. “Our staff has done a great job of preparing for it. You know, there were no surprises.”

READ MORE: Barzal on Contract Extension, ‘My Heart’s Here’

It was a tough skate, shared fourth-year NHLer Noah Dobson.

“It was good. I mean…tough skate. Kind of what you expect coming in,” fourth-year NHLer Noah Dobson said. “I thought was good a good first day, and continue to build and get better each day.”

Mathew Barzal weighed in on day one.

“I thought Lane Lambert did a great job. He was high-paced and lot, a lot of chatter, a lot of positivity,” Barzal shared. “And you can see he’s already emphasizing being aggressive and going full speed and taking pucks to the net. So I think that’s the thing that’s kind of lost a little bit and trying to get back to scoring more goals.”

So did the major New York Islanders acquisition of the summer, defenseman Alexander Romanov.

“It’s just pretty hard honestly. It’s so hard especially first part. Just coaches want us to be in shape before for exhibition games, before the season starts, so that’s why it’s not easy right now, and everybody tried to practice as hard as they can, you know?”

Although there were line combinations and defensive pairings, Lane Lambert shared that it was a starting point but that not too much stock should be taken after just one on-ice session.

“We’ll view it as a starting point right now. And then as we move forward, we’ll see what sticks, and certainly, you know, we put some combinations together to see what would happen, but it’s a starting point for us.”

Here are a few of the forward combinations from today:

Parise-Barzal-Holmstrom

Bailey-Nelson-Palmieri

Lee-Pageau-Wahlstrom

Dufour-Cizikas-Johnston

Defensively, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock skated with one another, and Alexander Romanov and Noah Dobson were also a pair. Robin Salo skated with Scott Mayfield.

It was great to be back on the ice, in the locker room as we inch closer to the start of the 2022 NHL regular season. The Islanders are back on the ice for day two on Friday.

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