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Islanders Mailbag: ‘Seems Like Lambert Has Lost This Team’

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New York Islanders

Despite showing signs of life at practice after two deflating losses, the New York Islanders couldn’t find a way to beat the Ottawa Senators, a team out of the playoff spot on the second of a back-to-back with a goaltender making his NHL debut.

It wasn’t from a lack of trying, as the Islanders registered 48 shots on goal, with 21 shots blocked and another 20 missed. They had 15 shots on five power-play opportunities, capitalizing on the last one to tie the game at two seven minutes into the third.

But again, the Islanders found themselves with a power play in overtime and failed to execute, losing the game in a shootout by a score of 3-2, in which they did not score on two shots.

The New York Islanders did get a point, but they are at the point of the season where they needed to beat up on bad teams, as now the schedule becomes significantly harder.

Let’s get to your questions, comments, and concerns in the latest NYI Hockey Now Islanders mailbag:

Seems like Lambert has lost this team – or message not getting through. @swilley_swanson

New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert has been the subject of ridicule through this three-game losing skid and the struggles of this season.

On Monday, he put the Islanders through a rough practice as he seemed to be doing all he could to spark his team.

One would think that if that kind of leadership on Monday couldn’t spark the team to wake up and go to war for him and the organization, nothing would. Despite playing a better game on Tuesday, the Islanders still didn’t play like a team in desperation mode, and that’s ultra-concerning at this point in the season.

We are still in it with more than a shout. Teams around us dropping points as well. Let’s see how this Penguins home and home plays out. Maybe sneak a win against Boston in between? @IslesMeetupsYYC

If the Islanders aren’t going to beat the bad teams, they will have to find a way to beat the good ones if they are going to be in the postseason. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who they now play twice in a span of three games, have won three of their four games since returning from break. They sit two points ahead of the Islanders with four games in hand, making these games critical.

The Islanders got a point against the Boston Bruins in Boston earlier this season, and they’ll need to do that again.

They let go of one of the best coaches in the NHL……this is the result. @jgivy11

Barry Trotz is a Hall of Fame coach and got the most out of a team that lacked the skill that many of the top teams in the NHL have in their arsenal.

But as you saw last season, under Trotz, this group was a mess, and there were mitigating factors that were out of the Islanders control. Looking at this team this season, it’s hard to think the results would be completely different. Yes, there would be more attention the defense, which has been an issue, but if the Islanders truly fired him because the players in the room needed a new voice, then you fire the coach all day, every day.

That’s not to say that Lambert is the right voice. That’s a different discussion all together.

The amusing thing is that despite another loss, they gained a point on the Caps. @6_isles

Through the Islanders losing streak, they have managed to record two points. The Washington Capitals, who are without Alex Ovechkin for the foreseeable future, lost in regulation Tuesday night. The Islanders gained a point on them, but the Capitals still have one game in hand.

The Islanders play the Capitals three more times this season, and those games are becoming more critical by the day.

Isles looking real good at possibly keeping their 1st rd pick this year. That’s the only thing to root for at this point. @HADbroadcast

Going back to the Bo Horvat trade, the Islanders sent a conditional 2023 first-round selection to the Vancouver Canucks. The conditions of the pick are that if the Islanders land a lottery pick, top-12, they get to keep it, and the Canucks get the Islanders first round pick in 2024.

The Islanders are currently 18th in the NHL, 12th-worst which means if the season were to end today, they would have a .5 percent chance of winning the lottery. But there’s a rule where a team can only move up 10 spots (12 to 16), so if the Islanders did win the lottery, they would pick 2nd overall, which would be protected in this situation.

Would you sell or double down and bring in more help? @Dosange

I’ve been saying this for a while now, but regardless of where the Islanders are at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, I would sell. This team has too many holes to win a Stanley Cup at this given moment, so sell your assets, recoup some draft capital, and if the Islanders make the playoffs, that’s a positive, and you never know what happens when you get there.

Here’s Why Islanders Should Sell Regardless of Standings Situation

But missing out on the ability to recoup assets, especially after moving two first-round picks in a span of six months, would be a major mistake, in my opinion.

Players should be embarrassed that they show no desperation. Especially the 1st period after the supposed rough practice Monday. At minimum should’ve taken 4 points on paper but probably got what they deserved. @salsternyi

That’s the unexplainable and unacceptable part of this losing streak. It’s the lack of desperation. I remember talking with Lambert maybe a week or so ago, and he said something along the lines of “someone has to step up and win a battle,” and we just aren’t seeing that.

Of course these players care, and of course they are trying even if it doesn’t look like it, but the Islanders season is in their hands, it really is, so if they want to make the playoffs, they need to show it on the ice.

Who would you replace Lambert with? @KSRoaringBranch

Following Saturday’s loss, I didn’t see a point in firing Lane Lambert. There’s no one available, unless you think Bruce Boudreau is the answer, and it’s clear that nothing is waking this group up.

Also, if this is Lamoriello’s last season on Long Island, whoever takes over as general manager will likely bring in his own head coach anyway. Riding out this season and evaluating the coaching staff seems like the way to go.

Monday’s practice gave me even more of a reason not to fire Lambert just yet, as that was a critical moment in his coaching career, if the players were to respond. Despite the loss, the chances were there, and Lambert shortened his bench to give his top players a chance.

Tuesday’s loss was more of a reflection on Lamoriello and the roster he made then on Lambert’s coaching.

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