One of Lane Lambert's jobs as the new head coach will be similar to Barry Trotz's, pushing the right buttons and getting the most out of the group. Part of that has to do with figuring out the right line combinations early on, allowing those combinations to build chemistry and continue to grow as the season progresses. The NY Islanders aren't an offensive juggernaut by any means, but Lou Lamoriello and Lambert will surely be looking for more offensive output.
After learning that the Islanders were done making moves this offseason, the NHL Network did their best to piece together what they believe the lines will be for the forward group in 2022-23. There are certain combinations in their projection that you could see stick and others that you could see changes. For instance, it may no longer be a foregone conclusion that the fourth line remains intact despite Cal Clutterbuck's two-year renewal.
One of the more important projects for Lambert will be to find the proper line-mates for Mathew Barzal who, despite tying Brock Nelson for the team lead in points, had a disappointing season for a player of his stature. To be fair, his wingers were often changed last season due to a number of circumstances, but looking ahead to a season that should be relatively more normal, Barzal should be able to have two consistent running mates on a nightly basis.
So as the Islanders' "new voice," will Lambert choose to keep the lines the way they were and hope his message can result in a different output? Or will he choose to tinker with the lines and find new combinations of players that click to give the Islanders a boost in the goal-scoring department? Let's take a look at some possible forward-line combinations for the Islanders headed into the 2022-23 season.