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Islanders Fans Share Their Hot Takes: Agree or Disagree?

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New York Islanders Lane Lambert

On Sunday, we here at NYI Hockey Now asked New York Islanders fans to share their hot takes. You guys did not disappoint.

Thanks to everyone who sent their hot takes in. Please enjoy and remember, these answers are opinions–but mostly facts–but opinions.

Let’s get right to it then:

Wahlstrom was the biggest loss.

Although his sniper-like shot has surely been missed, and I understand that the Islanders need players like that in their lineup, the absence of Adam Pelech for 21 games was their biggest miss.

That absence of Mathew Barzal is second.

Oliver Wahlstrom looked much stronger defensively this season but still needs to become more of a consistent offensive force for his absence to be as critical.

By next year, Romanov will be thought of more highly than Dobson in this organization.

Let’s be honest. Alexander Romanov left much to be desired through a good portion of this season. His physicality was displayed from the get-go, but his decision-making, especially right inside the line, was suspect. Alongside the offensive-minded Noah Dobson, that was a significant issue.

But over the few weeks, Romanov has made stronger decisions, playing more often with Ryan Pulock, which has certainly been helpful.

While Romanov has taken strides defensively, Dobson has taken steps back.

But it’s the NHL, a regular season built on speed and skill, and Dobson brings the offensive touch from the backend. If he can take even a bit of a stride defensively, he will stay ahead of Romanov. But it’s equally important that Romanov becomes more trustworthy defensively and it seems that slowly but surely, he is earning that trust from Islanders head coach Lane Lambert.

Palmieri is better than we give him credit for.

I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Kyle Palmieri has been known as a sniper in this league and a player who can drive to the net. But one thing we have noticed since his return is just how much more he brings to the table.

Palmieri is just five-foot-eleven, but he plays a big game. He knows how to use his body, as he can often be seen angling his body to protect pucks and drive to the net. He’s drawn a few penalties that way recently. Behind the net, he’s also been able to protect the puck and start offensive-zone cycles.

He’s been back in the lineup for 17 games and has 11 points (four goals, seven assists).

Aho’s play this season has been average at worst, and not acquiring a replacement at the deadline is nowhere as big a deal as it’s being made out to be.

I’ve been hard on Sebastian Aho this season. He had a tremendous stretch where he showed that he had the tools to be an effective NHL defenseman for the New York Islanders, but too often, he’s reverted. Playing with Noah Dobson has made him look worse, and that’s where the hysterics come into play.

But like we saw in Saturday’s win over Detroit, Aho’s skating is something this Islanders team lacks. If he could find a way not to take as many penalties and keep his balance a bit better, he could be a stable bottom-six guy.

To your second point, even if Aho hasn’t been as bad as people think, which I do agree with to an extent, there were options on the market to upgrade at the position. While Dobson needs more of a defensive defenseman alongside him, Shayne Gostisbehere seems like a player the Islanders and other teams missed out on–besides Carolina.

IMO Lambert does not get enough credit. he’s had his rookie moments, especially during that rough stretch in Jan, but guys have looked more engaged lately, and they’ve been good despite losing Barzal, and I think he deserves some credit there.

I agree with this one. Lane Lambert came into his first season with people believing that he would be Barry Trotz, just with some offensive flair. But, like any rookie, there’s a learning curve. And for a first-year head coach, filling the role of a future Hall of Famer, working under a Hall of Famer for a New York Islanders team that needed a bounce-back season with little to no improvements made in the offseason, it was anything but an easy task.

Lambert seemed to struggle to get his players to buy into what he was selling and with the roster he had. He only had a few options, especially when players struggled mightily. And then, of course, the injuries piled up.

But since the All-Star break, Lambert has his players inspired a bit more, and since Barzal has gone down, he’s done an A+ job at riling the troops and getting them to play the way they need to on this playoff push.

He has not been scared to bench regulars, scratch regulars, and cut minutes late in games.

It’s been night and day for Lambert.

This team can beat the Bruins in the playoffs.

If the New York Islanders do make the playoffs, anything is possible. The Boston Bruins are an absolute juggernaut, and whoever plays them will have a challenging task. This is definitely a hot take, but one that could very well happen. Linus Ullmark is the clear-cut Vezina winner, but he’s never played in the postseason. And goaltending is critical in the postseason.

However, if the Islanders play the way they played the last time they were in Boston, that series will be over in four.

Sorokin should win the Vezina if the Islanders make the playoffs.

I disagree with this one. Despite being behind the best defense in the sport, Linus Ullmark has posted a 1.89 GAA with a .938 SV%. He’s also scored a goal. On a weaker New York Islanders team, Ilya Sorokin sits with a 2.34 GAA and a. 925 SV%.

Now, if the Islanders make the playoffs, Sorokin should receive Hart votes because, without him, this team is fighting for Connor Bedard rather than a Stanley Cup.

Hurts to say it… We don’t need Clutter.

Cal Clutterbuck has been a staple for the Islanders since coming over from the Minnesota Wild 10 years ago.

But the 35-year-old has not played over 60 games the last three seasons, just 34 this year due to many injuries. There’s been a handful of times this season where Clutterbuck has started a game but couldn’t finish. He’s been a fighter, trying to stay in the lineup.

Right now, he’s out indefinitely, and it’s more than possible that he’ll be out for the rest of the season.

In his absence, 27-year-old Hudson Fasching has shined in his role–albeit not the physical presence Clutterbuck is. Clutterbuck is useful if healthy, but at this point, will he ever be healthy again?