The New York Islanders could have lost a significant piece of their coaching staff this offseason. But it seems that Lane Lambert won’t be heading to Anaheim as their new head coach.
Lane Lambert has been beside Barry Trotz for years. Lambert was initially hired by the Predators back in June of 2011. For seven seasons, and through three teams, Lane Lambert has been with Barry Trotz.
Lambert is eventually going to get a head coaching gig in the NHL. But for the moment, I’m glad he’s still around. Keeping him around builds continuity for the Islanders as they try to progress from last year’s surprise run.
Keep Lambert and Pushing On
Losing a key piece of Barry Trotz’s staff after a single year would have been unfortunate. That coaching staff worked so hard to create a winning identity for this team. There’s no doubt that the ease in which the coaching staff was able to communicate that identity to the players goes down to Barry Trotz and Lane Lambert’s familiarity with each other.
After eight years of working together, across three different teams, you eventually get on the same wavelength. Communicating ideas becomes a lot easier.
Now that he’ll be around for 2019-20, the Islanders coaching staff can get to work on the various areas that need it. Namely the power play, the penalty kill, and how to score a few more goals.
Obviously, some of that can be addressed by bringing in better talent. Bring in better forward players and that goal scoring and PP will surely get better.
The Islanders penalty kill ranked 18th last season with a 79.9 percent efficiency. Lambert, who as Stephens points out is typically responsible for forwards and the PK, will need to find a strategy that can limit the number of high danger chances against.
The Islanders were one of the worst teams when it came to giving up high-danger chances on the penalty kill, ranking 24th with 151.
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Again, Lambert will certainly eventually get a head coaching job in the NHL. But at least the New York Islanders can build on their great 2018-19 season with the key coaching pieces remaining.