To say the least, this past week has been the worst so far for the New York Islanders this year. Three games, three regulation losses and zero points gained in the standings resulted in tensions coming to a head and fans calling for Lane Lambert to be fired.
Let’s review how we got to this point, as painful as it may be.
What Good Is A Lead Anyway?
Don’t say this in front of Lane Lambert, but the Islanders have developed a trend of blowing leads in the third period this season.
On Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild, the Islanders held a 2-1 advantage midway through the middle frame but surrendered three unanswered goals down the stretch.
Engvall Benched In Boston:
Minnesota’s fourth and final goal was the result of a costly turnover by Pierre Engvall in his own zone. Ahead of the Islanders’ next game, Engvall was made a surprising scratch.
Vezina Finalists Faceoff:
The news of Engvall being scratched from the Islanders’ lineup against the Boston Bruins overshadowed an already intriguing storyline that night. Ilya Sorokin and Linus Ullmark, the two leading vote-getters for last year’s Vezina Trophy, went head-to-head for only the second time in their careers.
Sorokin and Ullmark are widely considered two of the best at their position but are succeeding under much different circumstances.
Bruins Beat Down Islanders:
So, how did the meeting in Boston go? Well, the Islanders hung around for the first 40 minutes or so. But eventually, they were reminded why the Bruins are the class of the Eastern Conference and why they are…the Islanders.
Lambert’s Questionable Decision Making:
In that game against Boston, Engvall’s line looked lost without him.
Was Lambert’s decision to scratch Engvall warranted? Yes. However, it was still questionable, just like some of his other lineup decisions this year.
Fans Lambaste Lambert In Fourth Straight Loss:
If there was any game the Islanders should have won this week, it was Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
At home, facing a team on the second night of a back-to-back with a goalie making just his second career NHL start should’ve been an easy victory. Nevertheless, the Islanders extended their losing streak to four games, and fans at UBS Arena placed the blame on Lane Lambert.
Time To Listen Up:
Islanders have fans made it loud and clear how unhappy they are with recent results. It’s time the team listens before it’s too late.
So now, here we are. The Islanders are 5-5-3 at the quarter mark of their schedule and are in seventh place in their division.
As they get ready to begin their first true road trip of the year starting Monday, with stops in Edmonton, Vancouver, Seattle and Calgary, it feels the Islanders are teetering on a cliff and that any loss could send them over the edge.
Check back in a week to see how far they’ve fallen.