3 NY Islanders still feeling the effects of Lane Lambert's tenure

The fatigue is starting to set in on the Isles' blue line.

Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) and
Apr 25, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) and / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Islanders have not played well over their last subset of games. Aside from their 6-3 victory on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets, the Isles have lost 6 of 7. Even with the Detroit Red Wings continuing to lose games, the Isles are falling further behind in their pursuit of the second wild card position. Instead of the Isles taking advantage of a mediocre Eastern Conference, it has been the Washington Capitals who have won 5 of their last 6 games, placing themselves well in front for the final playoff spot come April.

There are many reasons the Islanders never built off their six-game winning streak in early March. Most notable have been the offensive mishap as the team has been shut out three times in the last seven games. Secondary has been their defensive performance as the goaltenders have received more shots on goal than previously under Patrick Roy. However, the decline of certain performances can be directly linked to their usage under Lane Lambert earlier this season.

1. Noah Dobson

The Islanders opened the 2023-24 season with certain expectations from a veteran roster. The first was a reliance from their Vezina Trophy award finalist Ilya Sorokin to make a plethora of saves. Secondly was their defensemen to block shots, show a strong forecheck at the blue line, and mirror a penalty kill that ranked 6th in the NHL in 2022-23.

However, these plans changed as the injuries piled up on defense. Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock each missed 24 games while Scott Mayfield has only appeared in 41. As a result, Lambert asked the top defensemen to carry the load. The most notable was Noah Dobson, who was in the midst of a breakout season recording 46 points in 49 games through January. In 43 of those games, Dobson played more than 25 minutes in 43 games including over 28 minutes in seven of those.

However, the fatigue from increased usage under Lambert has set in for the 24-year-old defenseman. With the injuries setting in on defense and the team performing poorly, Lambert played his best defenseman into the ground in desperation to save his job. Unfortunately, Dobson's statistics have suffered only recording 11 points in 22 games between February and March. Even Butch Goring took note on Sunday by pointing out how Dobson has not skated with the same authority he had shown earlier in the season.