It hasn’t even been a year since the New York Islanders shocked the hockey world by firing Barry Trotz, and there are already questions being asked about the job security of his replacement. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello spoke to the media including Kevin Kurz of The Athletic today and offered a clear stance of support for head coach Lane Lambert and the rest of his staff.
I certainly am around enough to see what they are doing, how they’re preparing, and there is nothing more that they can do. I think they’re doing the best job you could possibly ask of them. Total confidence.
Lambert, a long-time Trotz assistant, took over as head coach last May and has so far led the Islanders to a 23-21-5 record. That includes a 2-7-3 record since the calendar flipped to 2023, and an 8-12-5 record since the beginning of December. The usually stingy Islanders have allowed at least four goals in 13 of their last 25, and are still scoring at a rate that puts them among the league’s bottom third.
The powerplay in particular has been dreadful, with New York sitting 29th in the league. They have scored only 23 goals all season with the man advantage.
Even if Lamoriello is willing to take the blame, it doesn’t change where the Islanders currently find themselves. The team is now sixth in the Metropolitan Divison, only three points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Their chances at the postseason are slipping away daily and suddenly appear like a potential seller at the deadline.
Regardless of what happens, it doesn’t look like changing the coach is a bullet that Lamoriello is willing to fire at this point. It’s Lambert’s job, at least for the time being.